Cassie Gibbs

So, to sound like a character from Game of Thrones, the new year is coming. Are you ready for it?

Have you started working on your New Year’s resolutions, if you even do that? I set some last year, and I’m happy to say that I actually completed about 38 percent of them. A new record!

I’ve already started working on my resolutions for this next year because it never hurts to have a goal to work toward.

Most likely, I’ll probably add a few new ones while I recycle some of my old ones that I didn’t accomplish. You know, the “I’ll lose 50 pounds” goal or the “I won’t spend so much money on pizza when I’m too lazy to cook” goal.

I feel like those are timeless goals that rollover each year, kind of like any unused minutes when you have a plan with Verizon.

If you don’t set New Year’s resolutions for whatever reason, it still doesn’t hurt to reflect on your past year and think about where you would like to see yourself in the coming year.

For instance, if I didn’t feel up to writing my resolutions down, I could look at my past year and be pretty proud. My car still runs (though I’ve spent a fortune on tires), and I was never late making my payment to Netflix. That should look good on my credit report, right?

Looking at the coming year, I see myself strutting my stuff on the runway at Paris Fashion Week and signing on to work on the movie that will bring me my first Oscar.

I never said your goals had to be realistic.

In all seriousness, there is one goal that I know I’m going to put my all into accomplishing this coming year. I want to laugh more.

It’s not that I don’t laugh now. I just want to laugh more.

I’m sure you all know how great laughing is for your body and mind. Just to refresh your memory, I want to share with you some facts from the Mayo Clinic (I don’t trust WebMD) that show just how much laughing, or giggling, can benefit a person.

The Mayo Clinic tells us that laughing provides short-term and long-term benefits.

One big short-term benefit is reducing stress. “A rollicking laugh fires up and then cools down your stress response, and it can increase your heart rate and blood pressure,” which results in a person having a relaxed feeling, the Mayo Clinic’s website states.

This past year, at least for me, has been one of stress and aggravation. I could have used a few more laughs for sure.

Laughing can also increase the endorphins going to your brain. Endorphins are not an aquatic animal, just so you know. They are what Reader’s Digest calls the “’feel-good’ chemical.”

Some long-term benefits from laughing include pain relief and improving your immune system, according to the Mayo Clinic website.

What better way to ring in the New Year than with a good laugh or two? I hear it’s good for the body and soul.

Like I mentioned earlier, I plan on laughing more. I encourage you to join me this year in adding this goal to your list of resolutions. If you don’t make resolutions, you can just make it an active effort to laugh more.

If it helps, I know one way we can all accomplish this goal together. We should meet up somewhere with good food and lots of room and just laugh about those resolutions that we know we won’t accomplish, like spending less on pizza and losing those last 50 pounds.

Cassie Gibbs is a staff writer for The Southeast Sun and Daleville Sun-Courier. The opinions of this writer are her own and not the opinion of the paper. She can be reached at (334) 393-2969 or by email at cgibbs@southeastsun.com.

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