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A chuckle, giggles, cracking-up or guffawing – no matter what you call it, laughter has some serious power! A good laugh can stimulate your heart, lungs and muscles, relieve stress, soothe tension, decrease pain and improve your mood.

April is National Humor Month a great reminder to gauge the amount of humor in your life. Remembering that laughter can be the best medicine, what are you doing to spread the laughter and keep yourself in stitches?

Here a few tips to help you feel empowered to laugh more often:

Love your laugh: leave your insecurities behind and embrace your laugh.

Remember, you don’t need to be funny: take the pressure off. You don’t need to be the only person in the room with a joke to break the silence. Let conversation flow and moments for humor will let laughs find their place naturally.

Embrace others’ humor: surround yourself with positive people. While they might not be comedians, their positive nature will allow you to discover moments of humor more easily.

Don’t force it: laughter is a positive response. If a friend or family member is feeling blue, it might not be time to crack a joke. Start the conversation with a smile and humor will invite itself when it is appropriate.

Be intentional: set a goal to laugh more. A conscious effort to find humor and share in laughter will help you find these moments.

Smile: smiling may not be laughing, but it does have similar benefits. When you smile, happy changes take place automatically and your mood is immediately improved.

Life is more fun if you laugh! Group activities at The Village at Gainesville – such as bocce ball tournaments, art classes, ballroom dancing lessons and opportunities to eat regularly with friends – naturally invite laughter and positivity into the lives of our residents.

Consider adding some of these tips to your daily routine to help improve your mood and overall health.