EHP FYI

Newsletter from Employee Health Promotions

March 2019

https://youtu.be/zbHW1T7boSc

Stress Relief from Laughter? It's No Joke, Laughter is the Best Medicine!

Go ahead and give it a try. Turn the corners of your mouth up into a smile and then give a laugh, even if it feels a little forced. Once you've had your chuckle, take stock of how you're feeling. Are your muscles a little less tense? Do you feel more relaxed or buoyant? That's the natural wonder of laughing at work.


Whether you're guffawing at a sitcom on TV or quietly giggling at a newspaper cartoon, laughing does you good. Laughter is a great form of stress relief, and that's no joke. A good sense of humor can't cure all ailments, but data is mounting about the positive things laughter can do.


Short-term benefits

A good laugh has great short-term effects. When you start to laugh, it doesn't just lighten your load mentally, it actually induces physical changes in your body. Laughter can:

  • Stimulate many organs. Laughter enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air, stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles, and increases the endorphins that are released by your brain.
  • Activate and relieve your stress response. A rollicking laugh fires up and then cools down your stress response, and it can increase your heart rate and blood pressure. The result? A good, relaxed feeling.
  • Soothe tension. Laughter can also stimulate circulation and aid muscle relaxation, both of which can help reduce some of the physical symptoms of stress.


Long-term effects

Laughter isn't just a quick pick-me-up, though. It's also good for you over the long term. Laughter may:

  • Improve your immune system. Negative thoughts manifest into chemical reactions that can affect your body by bringing more stress into your system and decreasing your immunity. In contrast, positive thoughts can actually release neuropeptides that help fight stress and potentially more-serious illnesses.
  • Relieve pain. Laughter may ease pain by causing the body to produce its own natural painkillers.
  • Increase personal satisfaction. Laughter can also make it easier to cope with difficult situations. It also helps you connect with other people.
  • Improve your mood. Many people experience depression, sometimes due to chronic illnesses. Laughter can help lessen your depression and anxiety and may make you feel happier.


Are you afraid you have an underdeveloped — or nonexistent — sense of humor? No problem. Humor can be learned. In fact, developing or refining your sense of humor may be easier than you think. Put humor on your horizon by:

  • Find a few simple items, such as photos, greeting cards or comic strips, that make you chuckle. Then hang them up at home or in your office.
  • Keep funny movies, books or comedy albums on hand for when you need an added humor boost.
  • Look online at joke websites.
  • Go to a comedy club.

Share a laugh. Make it a habit to spend time with friends who make you laugh. And then return the favor by sharing funny stories or jokes with those around you. Knock, knock. Browse through your local bookstore or library's selection of joke books and get a few rib ticklers in your repertoire that you can share with friends. Laugh and the world laughs with you. Find a way to laugh about your own situations and watch your stress begin to fade away. Even if it feels forced at first, practice laughing. It does your body good. Consider trying laughter yoga. In laughter yoga, people practice laughter as a group. Laughter is forced at first, but it can soon turn into spontaneous laughter.


Know what isn't funny. Don't laugh at the expense of others. Some forms of humor aren't appropriate. Use your best judgment to discern a good joke from a bad, or hurtful, one.


© 1998 - 2018 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). All rights reserved. Terms of Use

Vital Worklife Employee Assistance Program

Vital Worklife Employee Assistance Program. This service is available to ALL EMPLOYEES and geared toward recognizing an employee's life situations and helping to find appropriate help. It is confidential and is available to both the employee and members of their household - at no cost to the employee.

Examples of services available:

  • Phone Coaching

  • Online Seminars

  • Chemical Dependency Assessment

  • Face to Face counseling

  • Legal and Financial discounts

  • Click HERE for a complete list of services offered by this provider.

Phone number is: 1-800-383-1908.

Website is: http://vitalworklife.com username-mankatoschools, password -member

It's Back by Popular Demand: April Active Event!

We are pleased to offer all MAPS employees the opportunity to engage in creating an inspirational message for your work or home with Laura Doyen of Design and Wine LLC . This year we are also partnering with Happy Thyme Cooking to learn all about the fine art of creating a charcuterie board with cured meats, nuts, fruit and cheeses. You will be able to enjoy a delicious charcuterie snack while Laura walks you through the process of creating your very own pallet sign.


April 16th at DMMS

April 18th at PWMS


  • Allow yourself at least 45 minutes and join us between the hours of 4pm and 6pm.
  • Cost to the employee is just $10.00.
  • Advance registration is required (by clicking on link above).
  • You will be billed directly by the vendor.


Employee Health Promotions is covering the rest of the cost. Maybe you will learn a new hobby, or meet someone new? Laura and Molly are passionate about helping you tap into your creative side and will guide you in creating your personal masterpiece that you are proud to show off!

Do You Know What Your Benefits Are?

Big picture

Other Resources for Your Wellness

  • MAPS Community Education and Recreation classes and events are advertised in the seasonal brochure each Fall, Winter and Summer. Employees are eligible for a $10 fee reduction for a class in each brochure. Each individual must register and provide their employee email address and work site. Contact the CER office at 507-387-5501 for more information.
Current Winter Brochure

Upcoming Summer Brochure


  • READY! for Kindergarten. At the time of a requested paternity/maternity leave, an employee is entitled to two (2) years of READY! for Kindergarten Classes advertised in the seasonal Early Childhood Brochure. Registration is conducted through the Early Learning Office by calling 507-625-4620 or stopping by the Family Learning Center, 820 Hubbell in Mankato and completing the paperwork process.
Current Spring Brochure


  • Vitals SmartShopper is another new program. It’s a health care shopping and savings program that works with your medical benefits. With SmartShopper, you and your covered family members shop for different medical procedures and tests via phone, web, or mobile device. When you choose to have your procedure at a facility on the SmartShopper list, you earn cash. You also save money on what you pay out-of­-pocket for the procedure. Register by calling the SmartShopper Personal Assistance Team at 1-866-285-7452 or click on title above.
  • BCBS Sharecare NEW BEGINNING JULY 1ST-to replace the gym membership program.
  • BCBS Doctor on Demand
  • BCBS Omada
  • BCBS Learn to Live

  • 2019 MAPS Employee Benefit Fair - May 16th 4-7 PM Lincoln Community Center

  • 2019 MAPS Employee and Dependent Flu Shot Clinic - August 29th 11:30-5:30 PM

We Couldn't Resist!

https://youtu.be/e5K19LKJibo