Written by: Abigail Chaff
With Hurricane Sandy drenching us to the bone and winter fast approaching, it is easy to get a case of the blues that you just can’t shake. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), depression brought on by the change in seasons, wreaks havoc on so many.
When the clouds roll in and the temperature drops, it’s easy to get sad and stay sad. Many have little energy, sleep too much and overeat.
How can you be happy when there is blowing rain and the sky seems to be constantly grey? It’s like the sun gets to take a vacation and you’re stuck in the office, where the thermostat is broken and you’re in the corner cubicle with no windows.
A lack of sunlight can lead to a deficiency in vitamin D, because humans synthesize vitamin D from sunlight. Vitamin D promotes calcium absorption in the gut and is necessary for bone growth. Without sufficient vitamin D, bones can become thin and brittle.
Many take a risky route to taking care of the winter chills by jumping in a tanning bed, a form of light therapy sometimes recommended for SAD.
Considering the possibility of skin cancer, some choose to forgo the booth and suffer alone.
I have a new solution for the sadness of summer lost: laugh. Laughing is good for the soul. It does all kinds of good things for your body. According to helpguide.org, laughter relaxes your whole body for up to 45 minutes. A loud, heartfelt laugh relieves tension and even boosts your immune system.
“Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease,” the website said. Just like exercise, another great benefit of laughter is that it releases endorphins, the feel-good juices. Laughter also increases blood flow, which helps the heart.
Try staying mad or sad when someone smiles at you. It is impossible for the smile to not eventually creep onto your face too. And that smile will eventually turn into a laugh.
Maybe you can lift someone else’s spirits by sharing a smile as well. When you see a stranger with a long face, give them a smile and brighten their day.
Soon enough, the cold weather will once again give way to the warmth of sunshine. But in the meantime, tell a joke, watch a comedy, get tickled — anything to make yourself laugh and feel good. Laughter is the cure for all worries and woes, so laugh it up, friends.