Did you know that you can improve your life in a lot of ways with something as simple as laughter?
Facts About Laughter:
- God designed laughter because He knew we needed it! Proverbs 17:22 says: “A joyful heart helps healing, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.” And Philippians 4:4 tells us to: “Be glad in the Lord always! Again, I say, be glad!”
- Laughter helps put others and ourselves at ease! When two people share a laugh together, a bond is somehow formed. Laughter defuses tense situations and can bridge communication gaps and even language barriers. It can also make us less nervous.
- Children know a thing or two about laughter. Babies don’t have to learn to laugh. It just naturally comes bubbling out of them! There is nothing sweeter than a baby’s laugh!
- Laughter increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies. So, happy people are sick less, and may even live longer.
- When you laugh, it release endorphins, which are the body’s natural “feel good” chemicals. So laughing causes a natural high! Endorphins have even been known to decrease pain levels.
- Laughter also decreases stress levels. More on coping with stress and anxiety here.
- When you laugh, it gives your internal organs a massage! Who doesn’t like a good massage?
The truth is, we just NEED TO LAUGH!
- What If I Don’t Have Anything To Laugh About?
I have found that if I don’t have anything else to laugh about, I can always laugh at myself! Maybe it’s just me, but with all my awkward fumbling, I never run out of something to laugh about!
Just one of the things I have done this week that I had to laugh about was when I accidentally put glue on my lips instead of chap stick. I keep my chap stick and a glue stick in my desk drawer. Both are roughly the same size. When I reached in and grabbed what I thought was my chap stick, I wasn’t paying attention, came out with the glue stick and slathered my lips thoroughly with glue before I realized what I had done! And it was funny!
When I used to do Zumba, I came home one night showing off my moves, and my family howled with laughter. When I asked them what they were laughing about, my husband told me I should go and watch my moves in the mirror. I did, and it wasn’t long until I was howling right along with them.
Sometimes we take ourselves too seriously. Just loosening up enough to be goofy can keep the laughter coming! I could have gotten my feelings hurt when the family laughed, but I chose laughter instead. (It really was funny…I couldn’t deny it!)
Need more ideas about what to laugh about? Find some funny videos on Youtube; watch a funny movie or t.v. show, listen to music that makes you smile! Or even better, seek the company of those who make you laugh most often.
My kids probably make me laugh more than anybody. We love just hanging out and being goofy. Even when we are doing the common, mundane things that aren’t much fun, we can make it fun!
Another source I have for smiles and sometimes even laughs, is my Sunshine Folder. This was a gift from a friend, to gather notes, cards, print-outs of emails, or anything else that brings on a smile or a chuckle. I love my Sunshine Folder, because it brings back the joy of moments passed on days where joy is hard to find.
Start your Sunshine Folder today! It doesn’t have to be anything fancy of expensive. Just grab a simple folder the next time you go to the store…you might even have one lying around the house. Then start filling it with anything you come across that makes you smile.
Counting your blessings can also bring a smile to your face, and joy to your heart. When you’re feeling sad, take a minute to jot down some of your favorite blessings. You might see that it takes more than a minute to list them all!
- What About When Life Is Hard And I Don’t Feel Like Laughing? (Or even smiling?)
Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion. (“Truvy” – Dolly Partain) from Steel Magnolias)
I recently lost someone who was very near to my heart. During the time that the grief was most crushing, I still experienced moments of laughter. Many times the laughter was through tears, and it was such a blessing. I was able to recall so many memories that caused me to smile or laugh and it was a balm for my soul in the midst of pain.
My husband likes to make me laugh anytime he sees me crying. He says he hates to see me cry, so he will do something to try to make me laugh instead. It usually works! Sometimes, I am even mad for a minute that he messed up my good cry!
Finding joy even in life’s most difficult moments is critical to our physical, mental and emotional health.
In Philippians 4:12, Paul talks about finding joy in any circumstance: “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.”
We all go through hard times. It’s just part of living on Planet Earth. But as Christians, we know that our true home is in Heaven, and when we keep that in mind, we can have joy in knowing that hard times are only temporary.
Psalm 118:24 says: “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
Sounds kind of like a command, doesn’t it?
I can’t help but think that our God, who created sunshine and rainbows, baby giggles and bullfrogs, really does want us to laugh. Why else would he have given us so many blessings to bring us joy and even tickle our funny bone?
We don’t all have the same personalities. Some people just naturally laugh more than others. But I think a spirit of perpetual joyfulness is something we need to purposefully cultivate.
One of the best ways I can thing of to do this is to spend time with the Lord. When we begin to understand how much He loves us and all He has blessed us with, we can’t help but feel joy in our hearts.
So open His love letter to you, the Bible. Read His promises. He loves you so much.
Spend some time with Him in prayer. You can talk to Him about anything and He understands! On hard days, pour your heart out until you feel better! On happy days, praise Him all the more!
Never let others steal your joy, either. Keep your focus on Jesus and let ’em go on and do their thing!
My Mama always told me “Don’t sweat the petty stuff. And don’t pet the sweaty stuff.”
Pretty good advice if you ask me!
Remind yourself daily that the only things that really matter are the things that will matter in eternity.
In the meantime, avoid negativity and embrace the joy that’s all around you! Get those endorphins flowing! Improve your physical, mental and emotional health. All you have to do is LAUGH!