According to a research study done at Loma Linda University, study proves that laughter really is the best medicine. Studies in Maryland and Vanderbilt University have seen that laughter provides a huge range of health benefits, including lower stress and decreased risk of heart disease.

One of the mottos I live by is “live well, laugh often, and love much”. However, we often get caught in the chaos of life that we forget to truly enjoy life. Think about this, when was the last time you actually laughed? 

Sometimes I don’t have an answer to this question. In the stress of daily life, laughter and enjoyment are often neglected, but they can both help with the 

Growing up, laughter and smiling was a big part of my life. Whether I was nervous or excited, I would still always have a smile plastered across my face. As a shy person, I typically have a hard time starting a conversation. Instead, I flash a smile at the other person.

During my second year of college, I went through a rough season where I didn’t make enjoying life a priority. I would flash a smile here and there to mask what I was truly going through, but bouts of laughter were few and far between. Life was no fun anymore. I was busy being serious about living the chaotic life of a student and checking things off of my to-do list. As I watched the happier people around me, I began to realize that I was missing one of the best cures in life: laughter. 

At the end of the day, either to shake the frustration off or take in the craziness of what happened, you need to laugh. Laughing at myself or with myself helps me shift my mindset in a way that empowers me to think more positively.

So, how do you lighten up?

1.) Embrace your weirdness.

Everyone has a little “crazy” in them. We all have something that makes you unique. If you like to wear bright colored clothes, do it. Are you a little socially awkward like me? Go for the conversation anyway. If it calls flat, laugh it off. There’s no shame in being different. If we we all had the same personalities or characteristics, this world would be boring.

2.) Let go of the seriousness.

A moderate level of seriousness is healthy, but don’t let it get to the point where you disconnect from others and become unsocial. You’re allowed to go out and have fun. As I look back, there were times were I was so focused on school  that my life revolved around school, homework, work, sleep. I didn’t socialize with anyone unless it was related to class work. This habit sucked the life out of me. I wasn’t enjoying life, and I became to hard on myself. So, I encourage you, even if it’s 30 minutes of socializing, spend that time and connect with those around you. It could be a breakfast/lunch/dinner date with a friend at the dining hall. Just something to give yourself a break and be apart of the world around you.

3.) Stop obsessing.

Life will happen, but learn to enjoy every moment and began to live in the present. I obsessed over having everything go my way. It was like checking off something from a list making sure my life was going the way I though it should be. But life happens, and things don’t always go are way. If it doesn’t, relax, breathe in, and accept the fact that life isn’t perfect. Life will move on and things will get better.

4.) Have some “me” time.

Set aside some time just to relax and be with yourself. Indulge in some Netflix, take a bath, or go for a long walk. Connect with the things you love and life becomes a lot more fun. For me, my “me” time is walking outside or spending 30 minutes in the gym. Find something that makes you feel like you can be yourself and enjoy the moment.

Bottom line:

If you are going through some rough patches in life, don’t be so hard on yourself. Add some spice into your life because laughter has helped me overcome my insecurities, perfectionism, and imprisoned thinking about a controlled life.

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About The Author

Landy is a 4th year student at Andrews University where she is majoring in Biology. She's a typical college student who splits her time between work, school, and working out. During her free time she finds herself scrolling through Pinterest for new healthy recipes or workout routines. After graduating, Landy plans to attend dental school where she hopes to specialize in pediatrics.

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