A Lighthearted Approach to Decreasing Stress LAUGH WITH ME!
This Earth Day, Get Involved!
Join These Atlanta Organizations in Protecting the Planet
Earth Day has been a rallying cry for nature lovers, environmentalists, hikers, hunters, and climate crisis activists since it was first established in 1970. Celebrations of the Wednesday, April 22, holiday vary, but they have one thing in common: They all aim to honor and protect the planet we call home. As you read on Page 1, our team here at Kevin Patrick Law will celebrate Earth Day by volunteering with Park Pride. If you’re ready to double down on your own environmental commitment this month, plenty of other excellent local organizations would love to give you a platform. One such group is Chattahoochee Riverkeeper , which has watched over the Chattahoochee since 1994. It organizes river cleanups, monitors water quality, works with the legislature to protect and restore the river basin, and even has “floating classrooms” kids can board to learn about the river. If you’re passionate about the Chattahoochee, you can pitch in at a cleanup, work a booth at a festival, or help out in the Riverkeeper office. Just visit Chattahoochee.org/volunteer to get started! Georgia Appalachian Trail Club has a similar mission, but instead of protecting a river, it protects the famous Appalachian Trail. Volunteers can meet up at Georgia-ATClub.org/Join-GATC and sign up for local events like trail maintenance runs, group hikes, and backpacking trips. Another great option is EarthShare Georgia , an umbrella organization for environmental nonprofits. It will host Earth Day events to plant gardens, remove litter and invasive plants, and plant trees throughout April, culminating in an Earth Day Leadership Breakfast. Visit EarthShareGA.org to learn more! Taking direct action by volunteering is fantastic, but there are other ways to give back to the planet if you can’t spare the time for a trash pickup. One of the fastest ways to make a difference is by contacting your local representatives to support environmental legislation and comment on pending initiatives that pose environmental risks. Organizations like Environment Georgia (EnvironmentGeorgia.org) and Protect Georgia (ProtectGeorgia. org) make it easy to do that by providing links to comment pages and petitions and even offering prewritten comments you can send with a click. However you choose to give back, remember this: You don’t have to limit your environmental action to April. The planet could use your help year-round!
We’ve all heard that laughter is the best medicine, and it turns out that human physiology supports this claim. When we laugh, our body releases a flood of feel-good chemicals and neurotransmitters. Our blood flow increases, and our production of cortisol, a hormone associated with stress, decreases. Oh, and laughing also burns calories! The feel-good, endorphin-inducing benefits of laughter are exactly what prompted Dr. Madan Kataria to develop laughter yoga in 1995. Laughter yoga incorporates breathing, stretching, clapping, and of course, laughing. Kataria developed the initial idea after coming across research into the benefits of laughter on overall health and well-being. He began to put the research into practice by telling jokes to his patients, and after seeing the positive effects, he took his material to a local park. Parkgoers, who were initially skeptical, joined in on the practice, and the first laughter yoga club was born. The laughter meetup had everyone in high spirits — until the group ran out of jokes. Unsure of what to do next, Kataria found another medical book suggesting the group didn’t need jokes to laugh. Fake laughter is just as beneficial as the real thing because the body can’t tell the difference between the two. Collaborating with this wife, Madhuri, Kataria combined common yoga warmups and breathing techniques with facilitated laughter to create the form of laughter yoga that is practiced worldwide today. If you’re interested in trying laughter yoga for yourself, then you’re in luck. Laughter yoga clubs exist across the United States and the world. Videos on YouTube can teach the basics, but laughter yoga tends to be most beneficial in a group setting. Just think about the last time you found yourself in a fit of giggles with a group of friends or during a comedy show. Didn’t it feel great? Rather than wait for a silly situation to trigger laughter, use laughter yoga to promote laughter and alleviate stress on any day at any time.
You can always reach Kevin directly at 404-566-8964 or Kevin@PatrickTrialLaw.com. (If you ever need it, his cell phone is 404-409-3160.)
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