Ok. I want you to try something right now. You can start this exercise by opening your mouth as widely as you can. Next I’d like you to throw back your head and exhale in short bursts, pronouncing the sound ha, ho or he, in rapid succession. Are you doing this? Ok. Great. Now I want you to shake your upper body like you are sitting in one of those vibrating massage chairs at the mall. If you have not yet figured it out, you are now laughing. Please repeat this exercise every time I tell a joke.
What’s with laughter? Why does it bring such joy to us? Why is it so contagious? And who doesn’t love hanging around a good laugher? There’s something that happens to us when we hear someone laugh. Proverbs 17:22 tells us that “A cheerful heart is good medicine.” People with cheerful hearts laugh a lot, and laughter does the body good. Scientist agree. Recent studies have found that:
Laughter relaxes the whole body. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after. Laughter boosts the immune system. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies. Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can temporarily relieve pain. Laughter protects the heart. Laughter improves blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.Laughter dissolves distressing emotions. You can’t feel anxious, angry, or sad when you’re laughing. Laughter helps you relax and recharge. It reduces stress and increases energy, enabling you to stay focused and accomplish more.Researchers estimate that laughing 100 times is equal to 10 minutes on the rowing machine or 15 minutes on an exercise bike. Laughing is a total body workout.
So what’s to lose? This doctor’s prescription is to laugh. And laugh a lot. Your body and your brain will thank you, and your friends will find excuses to hang around you. Laughter is a gift from the Lord. I encourage you to unwrap it today. Paul instructs us in Philippians 4:4 to “Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon.” I see no greater reason to rejoice than this. Jesus has conquered sin, Satan and death. And He’s coming soon!
In the meantime keep laughing. And if you find yourself a little embarrassed of the way your laugh sounds, be thankful that you don’t sound like this guy…
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