In 1976, comedian and author Larry Wilde founded National Humor Month. His intention: Share the therapeutic benefits of humor with the world.
Humor plays an essential role in our overall health. Everything from a giggle to a deep-rooted belly laugh can improve the quality of our lives. The benefits include lowering blood pressure, reducing stress hormone levels, triggering the release of endorphins, and improving cardiac health.
One study conducted by Dr. Lee Berk and Dr. Stanley Tan at the Loma Linda University in California suggests that laughter can even help tone our abs. When we are laughing, the muscles in our stomachs expand and contract, similar to when we intentionally exercise our abs.
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According to one study, adults laugh—on average—seventeen times a day. Pre-school children, on the other hand, can laugh up to 300 times a day.
That discrepancy becomes even more pronounced at this time of the year. With only one week to go before Christmas, many of us are scrambling to buy gifts, finish decorating, plan and prepare that special meal, and a host of other activities on a never-ending To-Do list.
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