8Nurture friendships. no matter how old we are, friends are essential. Yet in our busy lives, it’s easy to neglect friendship. Get out at least once a day; remaining cocooned in your house might be a warning that you are becoming
depressed. Say yes to dinner invitations, movie nights and mini retreats.
Spend time with friends, sharing your defeats and triumphs. Know when to
listen, when to hold a conversation in confidence and when to seek help on a
friend’s behalf. Cry together, laugh together—and you’ll have a happier, longer
and more fulfilled life.
In tough times, a good friend can mean the difference between weathering
the storm or going down with the ship.
Laugh often. laughter really is great medicine. The more you laugh,
the healthier you’ll be. laughing reduces stress and anxiety, increases
endorphins, improves your cardiovascular system and increases oxygen to
your brain and body. no wonder hospitals have clown programs to bring
laughter and healing to patients.
laughter yoga is another way Albertans are laughing their way to better
health, coupling unconditional laughter with yogic breathing. Billy Strean,
who leads free laughter clubs in edmonton, says laughing first thing in the
morning will set you up for a healthier and more positive day. So wake up
For more about laughter yoga, see www.laughteryoga.org.
do you have a suggestion for a small change with big benefits?
Let us know about it at facebook/ applemag.ca.
Breathe deeply. On average, we take 20,000 breaths each day. Just a few
of those are the diaphragm-deep breaths that relieve stress and promote
good health. Find a few minutes every day to practise deep breathing. Slowly
inhale and then slowly exhale, counting to five (or more) each time. Slow, deep
breathing helps deliver oxygen throughout your body and brain, enhancing
cardiovascular health and helping to reduce stress and anxiety.
The more you practise, the more effective deep breathing can be. it’s a tool
you can always use to feel better, no matter what the situation.
Visit your local public library for books and other resources that can teach
you deep breathing techniques.
Sleep well. Sleep is not a luxury, but a necessary active state for healthy
bodies and healthy minds. The right amount of sleep differs from person to
person, but you know you’ve had enough sleep when you wake up refreshed
without using an alarm.
Too little sleep will leave you sluggish, cranky, forgetful or moody. To
ensure a good night’s sleep, create a soothing bedtime routine that prepares
your mind and body for rest. if you continue having trouble sleeping, consult
your doctor. You may need a referral to one of Alberta’s sleep clinics to
investigate any underlying causes.
For more information, visit AHS’s website ( albertahealthservices.ca) and
search for “sleep.”