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Laughing Matters


A good, hard laugh does more than just make you feel good. It also lowers blood pressure and reduces your level of cortisol, your body’s stress hormone. In addition, laughing increases endorphins, your body’s natural pain killers. Laughing even activates T cells, an important component of your body’s immune system.  And get this — it can even tone your abs!

It’s really not so hard to make yourself laugh.  Have you ever begun laughing just because someone else is laughing even though you had no idea why they were laughing?  This is because laughing is contagious.  So one way to make yourself laugh is to seek out other people who are laughing or even a video of other people laughing.  Or you can look at silly cartoons or caricatures. You can also read a funny book or a comic strip.  Have you ever tried a “stare-down” with another person to see who laughs first?  It doesn’t take long for both people to burst out laughing.  If all else fails, you can just try forcing out a laugh in a physical way — sometimes this is the jumpstart you need to start the laughs rolling.  There doesn’t have to be a reason for the laughter.  Just let it happen.

Of course there are times when a situation we are experiencing is so serious that we need to allow ourselves time to grieve our losses and heal emotionally.  But even then, we may need a “break” from our seriousness.  Humor can be a very effective coping technique that gives our bodies a reprieve from the stress we experience when we encounter difficult times.  And like crying, laughing is cathartic, purging us of emotions that can overwhelm us when suppressed for too long.

So next time things are get too serious, don’t hesitate to lighten up with a good belly laugh.  It’ll do you good!


Diana Blake
Certified Professional Life Coach
New Leaf Coaching, LLC

Join the Circle

Where does the time go? I feel like every time I start a project, the time to complete it is fleeting. I finally did a real time assessment to see if I was being unreasonable with myself.  And guess what??? I do A LOT. No wonder I always feel behind the 8 ball.  My life is packed with good stuff. I work on balancing the wellness, work, study, spiritual, social, and play aspects. Are there ways I can streamline? Are there ways I can work smarter? Are there things I can turn over to others? Of course! It’s the Balance in my life that helps me accomplish what I set out to do. There are aspects that I have some control over, especially the choices I make. There are aspects for which I seek assistance. By being in Balance, my body has a chance to perform in optimum health and wellbeing.

It is through being exposed to others who live healthy life styles and have wonderful inspiration to share, that I have been able to choose what works for me. By sharing these ideas with friends and colleagues, I become accountable for my actions. There is a great deal of information available to all of us. It can actually be overwhelming when you begin to seek Wellness. It took a lot of effort and time to create my “routine” or habits…and believe me it is still a work in progress.

Wouldn’t it be great to be a part of a community dedicated to Wellbeing? Wouldn’t it be great to have easy access to people who share your journey? Wouldn’t it be great to have a regular space and time to come learn simple techniques for high self care?   The Circle of Wellbeing is a concept that Deborah Howard and I have created to fulfill this need. Our mission is to create a community where members can support and educate each other through an on-line forum, as well as attend monthly workshops where simple techniques for high self care will be presented and practiced.

We invite you to be a part of the Circle of Wellbeing community.

We have re-created the Circle of Wellbeing program. Our first workshop will be on Saturday, March 9th, 2013 from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM at Nourishing Journey. Please contact Janis Wasser @ or see our flyer. Registration is required.

Is Life A Pain?

Is your body in pain or do you have some nagging health complaints?  It could be that you are low in magnesium.  Magnesium is such a vital nutrient that it is involved in several hundred enzymatic reactions in the body.  It is also a nutrient that we Americans tend to be chronically low in.

Along with eating foods that are low in nutrients, heavy metals, diuretic drugs, alcohol, coffee and sugar cause magnesium loss.  If you are low in magnesium, you increase your chances for high blood pressure, kidney stones, heart disease, asthma, heart attacks, hyperactivity, tight muscles, back and neck pain, osteoporosis, insomnia, depression, constipation, anxiety and many other problems.  Can you see how important this nutrient is?

Foods that are high in magnesium include seafood, dark green vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes.  In the body, magnesium works with vitamin D, phosphorus and calcium, and it’s important to have balance.  It’s best to get your nutrients from foods, but sometimes supplementation is needed.

Magnesium citrate is easily absorbed and usually well tolerated.  You can also do an Epsom salt bath!  Epsom salt is magnesium sulfate and your skin can absorb the magnesium as well as the sulfate which helps with detoxification.  Our grandparents used to do these baths all the time for arthritis, and many people from their generation will not go for more than a couple of days without taking their Epsom salt bath.  Follow their wisdom!

Soul Food

Of course we all know what food is, right?  It’s what we eat or drink; it’s what we fuel our body with; it’s what we need to sustain life.  When we feed our bodies healthy, nutritious food, our bodies work better.  I believe is the same is true for life.  Our lives work better when we feed them properly.  Our lives need soul food. 

Soul food consists of the following 3 food groups: thoughts, actions, and environments.  In each of these food groups we have the option to choose healthy “foods” that nourish our souls and contribute to our wellness, or to choose junk “foods” that drain us and often lead to illness.  Undoubtedly, we are all unique individuals, so what constitutes the ideal soul food diet for me is going to be different from your ideal diet, therefore I encourage you to pay attention to your life and how what you feed it affects you.  What leaves you feeling hungry and unsatisfied?  What thoughts fuel your life and your passions?  What do you do that excites you?  What do you do that you dread?  What are the situations you find yourself in where you lose track of time?  What environments just seem to suck the life right out or you?  Your answers to these questions will help you determine what is junk food to your soul as well as what contributes to your health. 

One of my common junk food thoughts is that I’m not enough.  This thought comes in a variety of flavors, such as, I’m not smart enough, I’m not qualified enough, or I’m not worthy enough, just to name a few.  I know these are junk food thoughts because they leave me feeling drained and defeated, so I try to avoid them.  On the other hand, some of my more nutritious thoughts are that life is happening for me, not to me; there are no such things as mistakes, only opportunities to learn and grow; and I am love personified.   Moving my body, putting forgiveness into action, and volunteering are actions that sustain me, whereas standing in judgement of others, eating potato chips and shopping are actions that are exhausting to me.  (This last one really confuses my 17 year old daughter who finds shopping exhilarating, but this just goes to show we all have different ideal diets.)  And when it comes to environments, I’ve become a really picky eater.  I no longer watch the news (my husband does that for me!), spend too much time in the company of people who only see the glass as half empty, or partake in any form of media where the overarching message is one of negativity.  Instead, I’m choosing to feast on music with lyrics that make my heart sing; on surrounding myself with people who understand the value of taking care of themselves and being in service to others; and on books, movies and TV shows that make me think about how I can contribute to the world. 

How are you feeding your soul?  I’d love to hear your comments! I’d also like to invite you to my upcoming  “Nourish Your Soul” workshop lunch series.  For more information visit: 

Laura Hall is an iPEC certified life coach who believes every woman deserves a coach.  She offers both one on one as well as group coaching services.  She can be reached at or check out her website at

Oils That Nourish

Aromatherapy has been around it seems forever….dating at least back to Biblical times….I have been using it since the early 90’s.  When I was a Speech Therapist in the school system, I had some students who were very active and had a hard time focusing.  I had heard about aromatherapy. I wanted something that could be calming without being sedative. I wanted my students to be able to focus and enjoy learning. I had a custom blended formula made up for me to try in my treatment room. I was stunned at how much it helped my students. I dove right in to learning about essential oils. I was fascinated by the many uses. About eight or nine years ago I was introduced to Young Living essential oils. The high quality, the high vibrational level, and the intense research opened a whole new world to me. Since my original journey into Aromatherapy, I have used oils for knee and back pain, calming, sleep issues, mental alertness, and digestive issues, and general wellbeing, etc.

I am very excited to share my passion with you. I have joined with two other friends to start a Meet-up. It is the Central Maryland Introduction to Aromatherapy meet-up. Our first meeting was on April 3, 2012 at Nourishing Journey. We will meet the 1st Tuesday of every month thereafter. Please go to to join the group and sign up to attend an event. (You must reserve a spot as space is limited.)

Also, please join the Circle of Wellbeing . We will hold our next Circle on June 2, 2012. Please visit us on Facebook. Our last two Circles were incredible experiences for all in attendance!

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