Submitted by Joy Andre

joy andre has worked in the chemical industry for over a decade. she is a wife, daughter, sister, and aunt.

...editor's note - she is also my sister-in-law!

Here are Joy's "Five Rules For Life":

1.) Say "I love you" more often.
Never forget to tell those that mean the world to you that you love them. We take for granted that family and friends know that we love them, but how I would regret it if I had not told my dad many times in the last few years of his life that I loved him. I knew he loved me - he was my dad, he had to love me...but how sweet it was when he started saying it those last few years. He would say "I love you" before we hung up the phone and I always told him when we hugged and said goodbye after a visit. It is sometimes hard to say, but it is so sweet to the ears of the person you are saying it to.

2.) Laugh more often.
Science has proven that laughing helps heal and can help with pain management. I don’t need science to tell me that, I’ve lived it. When in pain, it’s nice to hear a good joke, watch a good sitcom (Seinfeld is the best medicine!), or enjoy a laugh with friends. It relaxes the muscles and sends good feelings through the body. If you don’t believe me, try it next time you feel down or in pain; change the channel to the Comedy network, read a funny book, or find good jokes online. Believe me, you will start feeling better quickly.

3.) Be kind, even to those who are not kind back to you.
Treat others with kindness - you never know what is happening in their life at that moment and a touch of kindness can do wonders for everyone. It’s the little things that count...hold the door open for someone, hold the elevator for that next person coming down the hall, buy something from a kid who is selling for a school fundraiser. You may not get a thank-you - you may not even get a smile or a nod of recognition - but you will feel better inside and you will be rewarded in the end.

4.) Forgive.
I’m trying to live up to this one now. How do you forgive someone when they keep doing wrong to you and others that love them? I can’t live my life feeling hurt and used; I don’t want others to continue to feel that way either. Even if it takes a long time, work on it and try to forgive those that have done you or someone you love wrong. Forgiving is better than holding in all the hate and anger.

5.) Do something you enjoy every day.
Get a hobby, take a walk, talk to a friend, read a book. Do something for yourself every day that you enjoy. Even just five or ten minutes a day spent for yourself can help with your outlook and stress level.