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"A smile is a curve that sets everything straight." — Phyllis Diller

When you laugh, you make more than a sound.

Your body is in on the joke too. First, a chortle builds in your chest and throat. Then your belly begins to bounce. And if you really let loose, happy tears might run down your cheeks.

Afterward, you're awash in endorphins — chemicals that give your mood a natural lift. You and your muscles are more relaxed. Even your immune system has gotten a nice boost.

Laughing also gets your blood flowing — and may even lower blood pressure. So if you think, Ah, that laugh did my heart good — you're probably right. Speaking of hearts: Laughter can also help bring you closer to those you share it with.

Living on the lighter side
Clearly, laughter can benefit your body, mind and relationships. And besides, it's fun — and free.

One of the best ways to welcome more laughs into your life is to look for the humor in everyday moments and situations. Doing this may even help you get through challenging times. With lightening the mood in mind, here are six more ideas to amuse and inspire you:

1. Smile more. You might be surprised how this one small change leads to chuckles, cheerfulness and good times with others.

2. Seek out fun-loving friends. Know someone who laughs a lot? Have a buddy who never fails to crack you up? Make a point of spending time with your most lighthearted pals.

3. Let the games begin. Host a game night for friends or family. Whether it's old-school charades or virtual golf, there's sure to be some hearty laughs. And at the end of the evening, reward everyone with silly prizes.

4. Laugh at your leisure. Find a new favorite comedy. Revisit a classic sitcom or slapstick movie. Or look online for stand-up comedians who make you giggle. See "Tickle your funny bone."

5. Be one of the kids. If you have children in your life, you have built-in amusement. Let them take the lead — and try to forget you're the grown-up. Playing with pets is another fun way to let loose and laugh.

6. Keep humor in sight. Make a screen saver out of photos that make you smile. Hang up cartoons that tickle you. Or set silly flea market finds on a shelf you see every day.

Tickle your funny bone
Fill your prescription for humor with LaughRx. Browse funny videos from stand-up comedians on the Funny Bone channel on UHC TV.                    
Posted 11:48 AM  View Comments

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