Laughter Is The Best Medicine

woman laughingPeople don’t often think about it, but God has a sense of humor. He has to since He made Humankind in His image, complete with a sense of humor. As an aside, a sense of humor is one of the things that sets humans apart from animals. I’ve never seen a dog pull off a good practical joke and they don’t really get knock-knock jokes, which I suppose could be blamed on the fact that they can’t make a fist. But that’s neither here nor there.

I’ve been thinking about winter, largely because the news has been carrying stories about the far-reaching cold blanketing (but not in a warming way) the US of late. A number of people have a hard time with winter, not simply because they don’t like the cold, but because they get depressed.

My Aunt Doris was one who had difficulties with winter—something about the reduced exposure to the sun’s rays, I believe.

More and more people, on either their blogs or Facebook have remarked about how they can’t wait for spring and they’re glad the days are once again getting longer. One blogger I follow, InsanityBytes, mentioned the winter issue in a recent post about hyperbole. Here’s the pertinent paragraph:

A headline this morning declared “80 million Americans Threatened.” That sounds rather ominous, so I decided to read the article. What threatens us this morning is “winter.” Well, when did that start happening?? There ought to be a law! This is a great offense indeed. I’m quite annoyed by this winter thing and liable to join some social justice campaign against it, perhaps engage in a bit of anti-winter advocacy. Winter definitely needs to be stopped. 80 million Americans threatened, ban it!

laughter-1-58874-mWell, I don’t know about you, but I got a good chuckle from that as I generally do when I read InsanityBites’s posts. Maybe I share her sense of humor, but I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of people did. It’s not dirty, crass, mean-spirited, or ugly, though she does often make a point which might make a person take a hard look inside or smart a little if they’re not willing to.

So, where am I going with all this. I think God gave us humor, but it’s hard to engage in laughter during winter time. People tend to bundle up with scarves in front of their mouths, so others can’t see them smiling and may even think that little chuckle they emitted was just them clearing their throat.

Plus, so many more people are staying home because of the cold, so there’s not the happy camaraderie and accompanying humor we experience the other three seasons. Too bad, I think. We’re left with the news and bad TV sitcoms, neither of which provides genuine laughter (just the mocking, snickering kind).

Oh, sure, there’s the occasional funny pet photo posted on Facebook, and thank goodness for YouTube!

But seriously, we’re missing out if we don’t get a chance to laugh uproariously every now and then. This principle is actually Biblical:

A joyful heart [laughter in the King James Version] is good medicine,
But a broken spirit dries up the bones. (Prov. 17:22)

Not surprisingly, science has now proven that laughter is actually, physically good medicine because when we laugh our brain releases endorphins—a natural analgesic. But according to the Mayo Clinic, it also “enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air, stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles . . .” In addition, laughter “fires up and then cools down your stress response and increases your heart rate and blood pressure.”

Medicine.

Maybe we’ve grown too distant from each other—not like families of yesteryear who regularly sat down together for meals or played games once in a while or talked to each other. Talked and laughed.

dancing-girls-63133-mSome of the greatest belly laughs I can remember were with my family when I was growing up. My dad had a way of keeping us laughing once we got started. Of course there were a few times when laughter wasn’t really appropriate, but trying to hold it in only made the situation funnier and made us laugh harder.

As a family we tickled and teased and joked. We enjoyed comedy, too, from Shakespeare’s plays to classic I Love Lucy. (I saw a slice of one of those old shows recently, and it still made me laugh).

So maybe the best way to get through winter is to laugh our way through it. I imagine if we laugh hard enough, another benefit will be to raise our body temperature! 😆

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Published in: on January 9, 2015 at 6:13 pm  Comments (4)  
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4 Comments

  1. Becky

    I spent 7 long winters in Wyoming…it was very hard to laugh in the wintertime. Now, back in Arkansas, I work outside in it all day…still hard to laugh.

    Does God have a sense of humor? Well, as you said, we are in His image and likeness. Speaking of that, I have a post coming Saturday about that subject.

    Becky, I so enjoy your writings. Please, keep it up.

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  2. Thank you for the kind mention and I’m so glad I made you laugh. God does indeed have a sense of humor and He sure does use the power of laughter to heal us. I really do believe our laughter is a joyful noise unto Him. Laughing at our own selves is one of the best ways to keep ourselves humble, and that’s always a good thing, too.

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  3. Really enjoyed this post and being reminded how beneficial laughter is. And bibical! Keep blogging!

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  4. […] People don’t often think about it, but God has a sense of humor. He has to since He made Humankind …read more       […]

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