Today's #UpbeatAuthors topic is: One simple way to improve your health today. And I've chosen laughter.

You've heard the quote "Laughter is the best medicine." And maybe even (one of my favorites) "What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul."

Laughter causes physiological responses that protect the body from disease and help your vital organs repair themselves. It can be compared to a mild workout, as it exercises the muscles, gets the blood flowing, decreases blood pressure and stress hormones, improves sleep patterns and boosts the immune system. A study by the John Hopkins University Medical School showed that humor and laughter can also improve memory and mental performance.

You should laugh every day. Yes, there are situations and circumstances that aren't funny, but in most things, you can find something ironic or funny. Laughter decreases stress (stress hormones like cortisol are actually a killer, affecting blood pressure, blood sugar, and heart rate), and laughter causes endorphins to kick in, which are natural pain killers and mood boosters (these also flood the body after a workout).

Think about it: would you prefer to be around someone who is stressed out and always negative and worried, or someone who is smiling, rolls with the punches, and is able to see the humor in any situation? Yes, it's funny and happy for the win.

If you're having trouble finding the funny in life, or need something to make you laugh, then add things to your environment that make you laugh or smile. In my office, I have funny quotes on my desk and copies of a few comic books (Calvin & Hobbes, and Heart & Brain). I also begin each day by reading comics on Surround yourself with people who make you laugh. Watch a comedy. Read a book (several comedians have written some great ones). Go to laughter yoga. There are so many ways to add laughter to your life.

It should go without saying that you shouldn't be laughing at someone else's expense (all of us have feelings, so put yourself in their place before cracking a joke at their expense). In all things, always aim to be positive.

Laugh at least once a day. It will improve your health, your outlook, and your entire life.

#UpbeatAuthors #laughter