Recent travels have placed me in the presence of friends full of laughter. As a result, my spirit became light, my body - energized, and my heart - hope-filled. My journey became light in their midst.
The impact of humor and laughter grabbed me when Norman Cousins, former editor of Saturday Review, published Anatomy of an Illness as Perceived by a Patient. He chronicled his recovery from an incurable illness through the intentional use of laughter. Amazing? Maybe not!
The benefits of laughter are listed in Simple Health: Easy and Inexpensive Things You Can Do to Improve Your Health by David Beibel and Harold Koenig. They include the following:
- PHYSICAL: Laughter results in muscle relaxation, activation of the immune system, pain reduction, lowered blood pressure and cardiorespiratory exercise - to name a few
- PSYCHOLOGICAL: Laughter lowers stress; dissolves anger, frustration and sadness; aids in relaxation
- SOCIOLOGICAL: Laughter builds trust; unites families; enhances relationships
No matter our circumstances, the Joy of the Lord can be ours and can be expressed not only in prayer and worship but also laughter.
A merry heart doeth good like a medicine. (Proverbs 17:22 KJV)
Join me in a belly laugh this week?