We’ll let you in on a little secret: The best medicine for aging well is laughter! Keeping stress low is extremely important and often underrated for keeping the mind and body healthy as you age.
Did you know that medical professionals estimate that 90% of illness and disease is stress-related? Spending time with family and friends, as well as maintaining stress management habits can decrease the likelihood of illness and disease and add years to a loved one’s life.
Keeping a low stress level may sound easier in theory than in practice, and we understand how difficult it can be to manage stress during challenging times, such as a loved one growing older and rising risk factors for injury and illness.
Here at Reflections Management and Care, we empathize with families who face challenges in getting together and reducing stress, especially in the post-pandemic environment we currently live in.
There are many ways to reintroduce laughter as a habitual form of stress relief, and we’d love to share them with you. Here are some of our tips and tricks for providing the best medicine for aging well: laughter.
The Health Benefits of Laughter for Aging Well
Laughter is a completely underrated form of taking care of yourself and/or an aging loved one. Don’t wait until later in life before you realize the importance of regular laughter in your life! The best part is that it’s free of charge and available in abundance.
Laughter has many health benefits, including increasing dopamine and serotonin in our bodies, boosting your immune system, and relaxing the entire body. Laughter can keep your body and muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes.
Here are some other notable benefits of laughter for improving health:
- Triggers the release of endorphins
- Protects the heart
- Burns calories
- May help you live longer
Laughter helps you not only physically, but also mentally and socially. It can help strengthen the bonds between loved ones and brings great memories associated with good feelings. These moments have been proven to help people live longer and reduce stress in their lives.
Those positive feelings from laughter can contribute to an overall more positive outlook on life. This can not only help positively influence your health and stress levels, but those around you as well. Being silly and keeping life fun is a major aspect of maintaining a childlike wonder and appreciation.
Simple Ways to Bring More Laughter Into Your Life
Laughter is a part of the human experience and should be experienced as often as possible. There are many ways to bring laughter into your life – all it takes is a little practice and habit building.
Everyone could always use more laughter in their lives. It is a genuine and shared experience that truly strengthens our bonds and makes our spirits come alive.
Here are some fun ways to bring more laughter into an elderly loved one’s life:
- Watch a comedy show on TV or see a live performance
- Spend quality time with children or grandchildren
- Have and make dinner together
- Make a gratitude list
- Ask about a funny story or movie they saw recently
- Host a weekly game night
- Talk about funny memories or past shared experiences that were positive
- Share a joke
- Read the comics from the newspaper together
Most importantly – SMILE! Smiling encourages laughter and naturally makes you feel better. Smiling is contagious and a gateway to laughter.
It is also the universal and instinctual signal of comfort and joy, which can be tremendously helpful for elderly loved ones who are suffering from Alzheimer’s or other memory-related diseases. Smiling and encouraging laughter can be incredibly helpful for an elderly loved one when they are feeling confused or unsure of the situation.
Your Friends at Reflections
At Reflections Management and Care, we have many tools and resources to help you navigate the, at times, confusing and difficult process of deciding the options for an elderly loved one. We know how to provide the best care and options for senior citizens and their families.
We are experts in senior care management and can help you through the maze of health professionals, institutions, and stress. Reflections Management and Care has the knowledge and experience to help bring order to the chaos that can be choosing customized senior health care that’s perfect for your needs.