Happy New Year!

2018 has taught me many things, including that I am stronger than I think and capable of overcoming challenges. I am a better person because of this year.

I hope you have a great New Year’s! Check back tomorrow to see what my goals are for 2019.

Xoxo,

Megan

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The Power of Laughter

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“What do you call an alligator in a vest? An investigator.” Did that pun make you laugh? If so, congratulations – you just strengthened your immune system, lowered your stress level, and got in a little bit of exercise. A simple laugh can cause the above health benefits, as well as many others to happen within your body. We have all heard the quote “laughter is the best medicine,” but do you know why?

Laughter has been known to be a positive healing force. It has physical, mental, and social advantages. When looking at your physical health, research shows a good laugh helps boost your T-cells. These cells are specialized immune system cells which, when activated, help your body fight off sickness. In addition, laughing releases endorphins, your body’s natural painkillers. When they are released, chronic pain can be relieved. Another benefit is lower blood pressure and stress hormone levels. Lowering a person’s blood pressure helps reduce their risk of stroke and heart attacks. Stress and anxiety levels can also be decreased, which triggers the T-cells to increase your body’s immune resistances. Lastly, humor can help a person add exercise into her day. When you are laughing, your stomach muscles expand and contract, providing effects similar to doing ab workouts. Along with your abs, laughing gets your heart pumping and can burn as many calories as walking at a slow to moderate pace. Can’t complete a physical activity due to injury, illness, or another health problem? Start laughing to get your body moving.

Humor has many mental health benefits. When a person’s stress and anxiety levels are decreased, a sense of well-being and joy can occur. Laughing is known to help create a positive and optimistic outlook. It helps a person shift her attitude and perspective during a disappointing and difficult time. Psychological research states humor allows people to see things more realistically and stop them from feeling overwhelmed. Another benefit is when you are laughing, you can’t feel any other emotions. You can’t be angry or sad when you have a smile on your face. Instead, your energy is increased, giving you a sense of hope and strength to face life’s challenges. A simple smile or small chuckle can go a long way, no matter how you are feeling.

Lastly, relationships are strengthened, and your social health can improve through laughter. There is a reason why people say laughter is contagious, because when one person starts laughing, it is easy to join in. It helps people connect and share a moment of humor and happiness. Humor can be used as a way to communicate and produce positive feelings among people. When a positive bond is created, people will be more spontaneous, express their emotions more, and there are less disappointments and disagreements.

All people learn how to laugh as babies. However, as you grow up, it can be harder to find things that humor you. Life’s challenges could make it hard or you might not feel like laughing because of one thing or another. Sometimes you have to make an effort to laugh during the tough times. Easier said than done, right? Try bringing humor into your day by completing small tasks, such as renting a funny movie, reading a funny book, or watching a funny television show. Every Sunday, your newspaper has a section dedicated to making you laugh, so why not check it out? Also, take a walk down memory lane and remember the hilarious moments of when things didn’t go right. Keep up to date on good jokes and stories, or play with a pet or children. Finding laughter in your everyday life can be trying, but take the time to do fun activities with your family and friends. Be silly and goof around. Once you start laughing, you’ll recognize the many benefits. After all, Charlie Chaplin once said, “A day without laughter is a day wasted.”

xoxo,

Megan

Midweek Motivation

Happy Wednesday! If you are like me, you can sometimes fall into a midweek slump. This slump is composed of tiredness and stress. To overcome it, I recite inspirational quotes throughout the rest of the week. These affirmations give me the strength to press forward and stay strong. So, I thought I would share some of my favorites with you.

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xoxo,

Megan

 

Give to January’s Charity of the Month

This year, I’m celebrating giving back to others in our local and national communities. Every month, I’ll be profiling a different nonprofit and the many ways YOU can help. Imagine how much we can change the world in 2018!

January – St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

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St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital treats children with cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Founder Danny Thomas opened the hospital on February 4th, 1962. Since then, it has been a pioneer in groundbreaking research that has helped raise the rate of survival for children with cancer to 80%. St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital provides comfort to children and their families during a stressful time in their lives. To donate, click on the logo above. To find out other ways to help, visit: Ways to Give 

Let’s change the world together!

xoxo,

Megan

Be a Snowflake

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At various times today, I’ve found myself staring out the window and watching snow fall from the sky. All day snow has fallen here in North Carolina and we are now up to about four plus inches. I can’t help, but think how peaceful, calm, and quiet the world seems right now. Also, there is something about a winter snow that brings out the 6-year-old in all of us and just makes you, well, happy.

From the texture, the coldness, and the beauty of it, snow just amazes me. One thing that is especially wonderful is the uniqueness of snowflakes. We can’t tell with the naked eye, but every single flake that falls from the sky is carefully created with its own design. No two snowflakes are identical.

Sound familiar?

No two humans are identical either. Every one of us were designed in our own special way. There is no one like you and that is a true sign of God’s love. Be proud of who you are, your personality, your style, etc. Everything about you is special and should be celebrated!

One time I saw a video on Facebook that showed snowflakes close up. The variety of the designs were beautiful; just like the variety of human beings in this world. Be a snowflake and be who God meant for you to be.

xoxo,

Megan

Thankful Sunday

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What better way to start the new week than with being thankful? This past week has had its ups and downs, like every week does. However, I’m happy to say that the ups outweighed the downs.

Neither my grandmother nor mom has cancer (Hallelujah! Can I get an amen?)! Just this news gives me the strength for the next seven days. My wish for you is that you experience new adventures, laugh more, and forgive easier this week.

Life is about having fun and making memories. Enjoy this upcoming week. It is a blessing you have been given, so make it a good one!

xoxo,

Megan

To Inspire and Motivate- My Mom

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there!

If you are like me, you are wondering how on earth will you find the right present for a woman who deserves the world. To honor my mother on this special day, I’m taking a look back at a previous post, written just for her.

For today’s “To Inspire and Motivate,” here is my letter “Dear Mom.”

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Dear Mom,

Recently, I have seen a lot of “Dear So and So” letters floating around the Internet. So, I decided to write one to my biggest supporter and hero, my mother. Below are the top five things she has taught me that I wanted to pass along in my “Dear Mom” letter (trust me, there are tons I have learned from her, but I’ll just share a few for now:) ).

Dear Mom,

What can I say? Thank you for being my biggest supporter and always being there for me. Thank you for teaching me that:

1. Everyone deserves love and respect–no matter what. End of story, no more explanation needed.

2. Over celebrate a person’s birthday.  Everyone deserves a special day, where the attention is on them.

3. It’s okay to be organized. Sometimes we need to have things colorized, alphabetized, sorted by size, etc.

4. Family comes before everything else. This is the group of people who will love and support you during the good and bad times. Family doesn’t have to be blood-related, they just have to be there for you and you need to be there for them.

5. It’s okay to break down and fall apart, as long as you get yourself back up. My mom never stops trying. She tackles everything life throws at her with class, charm, and gumption.

xoxo,

Megan