Take Some Time to Laugh This Tax Week|
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I’m Doug Hawthorne, CEO of Texas Health Resources, with “The Business of Health Care Report.”
This tax week, I’d like to give you a prescription for reduced stress and better health: a prescription for laughter.
Perhaps it’s not a coincidence that April 14 — the day before tax day — is International Moment of Laughter Day. Money is the number one source of stress for American adults, and with tax day looming, financial stresses are soaring.*
Studies have found that laughter reduces the level of stress hormones like epinephrine and cortisol, and increases the level of health-enhancing hormones like endorphins.** Laughter can also provide a much-needed distraction from negative emotions and stressors.
Successful participation in Moment of Laughter Day requires bringing about a good belly laugh — not just a smile — in people you encounter throughout the day. A good laugh actually produces an internal workout, contracting the abs, working the shoulders, and leaving the muscles more relaxed.
Not only will laughter promote healthy attitudes and a cheerful environment, it will have a positive impact on the health of those around you. Humor can provide a more optimistic perspective and help us to see difficult tasks ahead as challenges rather than threats.
So make some time to laugh this week. It’s a prescription you can take as often as you need. You can even share it with others.
For Texas Health Resources and our family of faith-based hospitals — Texas Health Harris Methodist, Texas Health Presbyterian and Texas Health Arlington Memorial — I’m Doug Hawthorne.
*American Psychological Association