We’ve all heard the phrase “laughter is the best medicine.” It’s not a cliché. The Bible affirms “A cheerful heart is good medicine…” and medical evidence identifies many short and long term physical benefits. According to the MayoClinic.org:
"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:
Laughter isn't just a quick pick-me-up, though. It's also good for you over the long haul. Long term, laughter may:
- 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 increases 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 help reduce some of the physical symptoms of stress.
- 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 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. Laughter may also break the pain-spasm cycle common to some muscle disorders.
- 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 make you feel happier."
Wonderful health and wellness benefits are available for free.
In honor of National Humor Month – (yep, there’s a month for that too), take some steps to increase the laughter in your life.
- Loosen up a bit. Not everything is serious. Look for the funny in life.
- Embrace your inner child. Children laugh an estimated 300 times per day while adults laugh somewhere around a measly 20 times daily. That's sad! Remember the fun and ease in your childhood and find appropriate ways to incorporate those actions, ideas or attitudes into your adult life.
- Watch a comedy. Read the comics or a joke book. Watch a silly YouTube video or follow your favorite comedians on Twitter. Comedy is a huge industry. Take advantage of the offerings.
|Image source: norwaycovenantchurch.com|
- What people in your life guarantee a good laugh? Those people are gifts. Seek them out and connect with them regularly. Also pay it forward and let them know how much you appreciate the light they bring.
|These 3 people make me smile and laugh everyday.|
- Remember, laughter is not always connected to humor. It is also a result of relief, happiness or joy. Everyday, do something you thoroughly enjoy and more importantly, spend some time in remembrance of how outrageously good God has been to you.
Our mouths were filled with laughter,
our tongues with songs of joy.
Then it was said among the nations,
“The Lord has done great things for them.”
The Lord has done great things for us,
and we are filled with joy. Psalm126:2-3 NIV