Laugh A Little More
By Michael A. Verdicchio
Successful Christians have a merry heart. They are lighthearted. They can laugh a little and a little more!
Laughter is very healthy. Laughter also reduces stress. As a matter of fact, there are a lot of physical benefits to laughter.
Medical professionals agree that laughter is very therapeutic. Yes it's true, "A merry heart does good like a medicine." Here are some things that modern science has concluded about laughter:
It activates and strengthens the immune system.
It reduces at least four hormones associated with stress.
It provides a workout for the diaphragm and increases the body's ability to use oxygen.
It relaxes the muscles.
It can reduce pain for long periods of time.
It lowers blood pressure and can prevent hypertension.
It improves respiration by emptying the lungs completely of the air they take in.
Those facts are not just impressive, but also beneficial to our lives. And, unlike all the ads you see on TV for pills, laughter has no negative side effects! I saw one of those ads on TV the other day for a pill that promised to give you a good night's sleep. But then, like they all do, they then warned you about the possibility of seven or eight very negative side effects! You know, that's almost laughable!
Laughter carries no negative side effects. Perhaps if you were in the car by yourself laughing at something, and someone next to you saw it, they might wonder what was going on. But, when that happens to me, it just makes me laugh harder!
We Christians need to laugh, and it really is very healthy to laugh every day. I'm not talking about the cynical unloving type of humor that puts people down. I'm talking about genuinely funny things that make us laugh.
And, we're all different. Different things make you laugh and different things make me laugh. And there are things that make us both laugh. Let's try it.
I heard of a sign at a truck stop in Indiana that read, "Eat here, and get gas!" Now some may not find that very funny, but it sure makes me chuckle.
There are a lot of bumper stickers that are funny, like, "Honk if you love peace and quiet." Have you seen the one that says, "The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse always gets the cheese?"
Now as I said, some things are funny to some people, but not funny to others. But as a Christian, you really ought to find something that makes you laugh on a regular basis. I have several movies that I watch from time to time to just relax and have a good laugh.
My son gave me a book by comedian Bill Engvall that has some pretty funny stuff in it. Here's one from his book:
"I was talking on the phone when my wife came in and asked, "Are you on the phone?" I said, "No, I super glued the receiver to my ear so I won't have to pick up the next time."
Yes, I thought that was funny!
And here's another point. You can really brighten up someone else's day by sharing something funny with them. You don't have to be a professional stand-up comedian. But, you can offer a little stress relief to others.
Life is so often serious, but not so serious that you can't stop and have a good laugh on a regular basis. Do you want to know something? Some of the things that make me laugh the most are the things that I do and say. (Not that I want to share them with you, but they do crack me up!) Sure, I can laugh at myself. Why not?
Successful Christians laugh! So take some time to laugh today and remember, "A merry heart does good like a medicine."