06-04-20 Laughter - the best medicine
A Bible Reading: Proverb 15:13, 15-16; 17:22
A cheerful heart brings a smile to your face; a sad heart makes it hard to get through the day.
A miserable heart means a miserable life; a cheerful heart fills the day with song.
A simple life in the fear-of-God is better than a rich life with a ton of headaches. (The Message Bible)
A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. (New International Version)
Did you know that the sound of roaring laughter is far more contagious than any cough, sniffle or sneeze? In these days of anxiety and isolation as a result of Covid-19, it has been good to receive jokes and video clips to make us laugh.
When I was growing up, something funny could often spark a fit of giggles. My brother and I would fall about with uncontrollable laughter. We’d just get it under control, then one quick glance and we’d be off again. Laughter works wonderfully well in the moment, but it also has some surprising health benefits. In India, they even have ‘laughter clubs’, started in 1995 in a park in Mumbai, to encourage this cathartic release of therapeutic power.
In biblical times, ancient Greek doctors recommended fifteen minutes of laughter per day to maintain good health, and the Bible itself advocates laughter as good medicine. Today, numerous scientific studies confirm that laughter is beneficial. Why?
A good hearty laugh relaxes the whole body, relieving physical tension and stress; it strengthens your immune system and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease; it protects your heart by improving the function of blood vessels and increasing blood flow; it triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals and protects you from the damaging effects of stress; it boosts energy levels and improves sleep. What’s more as little as twenty minutes of laughter is sufficient to develop full physiological benefits.
Best of all, this priceless medicine is fun, free, and easy to use, so keep those jokes and comic videos coming and LOL (‘laugh out loud’ in text speak for the uninitiated!)
Heavenly Father, we thank you for the gifts of humour and laughter and the benefits they bring. We pray for eyes to see the funny side of life to protect our bodies, hearts and minds during the present crisis. May laughter lift our spirits day by day and give us courage to find new sources of strength and hope.