It’s here. We wait all year for it. Literally. The time to ring out the old and ring in the new. I always enjoy looking back over the past year and peering into the new year with hope-filled anticipation. I enjoy reading the trends for the coming year and checking out all those checklists about how to make our goals happen in the new year. It’s a hopeful time. A nostalgic time.
In looking back, this has been a rough year for me personally. It began with the unexpected death of my mom less than 2 weeks after being diagnosed with metastatic cancer. And less than 3 months before, my dad passed away. And 2 months before, we had to put our beloved family dog of 13 ½ years to sleep. In a way, it has been a year (+) that’s gone by in a blur. This isn’t to discount the truly wonderful things that have happened this year, and there are many. But all the sadness has influenced my goals.
In reviewing numerous lists about healthy habits for 2014, including my own written for other publications, I see trends that I like and some common goals worth pursuing, including:
1. Eat mindfully.
2. Cook more.
3. Move more.
4. Get adequate sleep.
5. Stress less.
6. Be part of a community.
7. Downsize possessions.
8. Be thankful.
But I haven’t seen one of my main goals on any list so far. It is to:
• Laugh more.
If exercise is medicine – and it is, then laughter is medicine as well. A few reported benefits of laughter include:
• Decreases stress and relaxes muscles
• Triggers release of endorphins, the feel-good brain chemicals
• Boosts immunity
• Promotes group bonding
• Adds joy in the journey
In these ways, and many more, laughter can help you enjoy everyday a little (or a lot) more and can help you enjoy meeting all of your other goals. Please join me in laughing more in 2014. Here’s to a healthy, delicious and hilariously happy 2014!