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We’ve discovered the secret to happiness. Laugh a lot and get a dog!


They’re more than just loyal, cuddly furry friends.  They are actually lifesavers, forcing you to walk and move.

A study by the University of Missouri has found that owning a dog can help improve your health.

Researchers looked at data from the 2011 Health and Retirement study, sponsored by the National Institute on Aging and the Social Security Administration, which included information on human-animal interactions, levels of physical activity, frequency of doctor visits and general health outcomes of its nationally representative sample of participants.

Not only did the team find that dog owners benefit from the bonds they form with their pets, but a stronger bond also meant that owners were more likely to walk their dog more frequently and for longer. Thanks to dog walking, this also meant that people participated in more frequent exercise, resulting in a lower body mass index, fewer visits to the doctor, and an increase in social connections thanks to interacting with other dog walkers.


People who laugh regularly live longer, happier lives than people who don’t.

Laughing, as we’ve discovered triggers a number of physiological responses, including:

  • Relaxation of the entire body, relieving muscle tension and stress
  • Levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, drop and minimize pain and inflammation throughout the body
  • The release of endorphins, natural feel-good substances that make you feel happy and content and have been proven to reduce the perception of physical pain
  • Reduction in blood pressure combined with a moderate increase in the heart rate and improved blood circulation and oxygen intake
  • The stimulation of the immune system thanks to the release of T-cells and salivary immunoglobulin A that is triggered by laughter

Researchers at the College of William and Mary have found that “a wave of electricity sweeps through” the entire cerebral cortex (the whole brain) just before we laugh – this supports the theory that humour can actually help improve cognitive functioning by activating all parts of the brain simultaneously.

Add a dog to the mix and you’ve got a powerful tool for health! The Village at St. Elizabeth Mills has multiple walking paths for you and your furry friend to get out, get active and get some fresh air.

The More You Laugh the Better You’ll Feel. Laughing really is the best medicine. So enjoy a liberal dose of laughter every day. It’s the best prescription for good health and happiness.