Although it’s much easier said than done, all of us should try to eliminate or at least limit the stress in our lives. Stress often can’t change the outcome of a given situation, and actually can negatively affect our health. In addition to simply dampening an otherwise great day, needless stress can often come with serious health issues, not the least of those being obesity, heart disease, diabetes and depression. So what can you do to help lessen your daily stress? At AFC, we have a few recommendations: 1) Laugh Believe it or not, a little bit of laughter truly is good for the soul, and at that, for the whole body. Laughter decreases the body’s stress hormones and triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s “feel-good” hormones. Add a little laughter into your day by listening to a humorous podcast or telling jokes with your kids. 2) Exercise Even simple exercises can have a profound impact on your stress levels. We’ve long known about the physical benefits of exercise, but more recent research has uncovered mental benefits, as well. Studies have shown that regular physical activity can decrease tension, improve mood and sleep quality, and help build your self-esteem. Aim for at least 30 minutes of some type of exercise on most days of the week. 3) Hug You know that feeling of relief that often accompanies a hug from a loved one? Well, it’s actually scientifically noted that a 20-second hug may reduce blood pressure and stress levels in adults. The oxytocin released during that hug also benefits you in other ways, too, by boosting your immune system and helping you fight fatigue. Want to learn more about how to care for yourself and your health daily? Visit us today!