If it's true that laughter is the best medicine, why don't we do it more often? Laughter stimulates the immune system, relaxes muscles, releases endorphins, massages internal organs, reduces stress, relieves headaches, and burns calories, according to Enda Junkins, author of Belly Laughter in Relationships (Dustin Royale Publishers, 2002). Here are three tips to help you lighten up.

Keep a laugh log. When you see or hear something that makes you laugh, write it down. Later, if you're feeling blue, read your laughter journal for a chuckle.

Create a funny space. Make a "laughing place" in your home, where no serious thought is allowed. Fill the space with humorous posters, silly hats, or a scrapbook of your favorite comics.

Act out the problem stuff. Get the family together and take turns demonstrating and exaggerating each of your most annoying habits. For example, if your tone of voice can sometimes get you in trouble with your partner or family, ask them to act it out. Soon you'll all be chuckling—and more forgiving—when it happens again.