When was the last time you had a good belly laugh? On average, children have 300 good belly laughs each day. A typical adult, on the other hand, only experiences 10 per week! Yes, I know, adults have so much more to think about and even worry about. But today, I pray that the Lord would lift your burdens and that a lightheartedness like that of a child would return to you in Jesus’ name. May you laugh. A lot. And may your laughter be contagious.
And here are just a few reasons why.
We all know that feel-good experience after a hearty laugh, but do we also know that laughter triggers emotional and physical changes in the body? Studies show that stress hormones like adrenaline and epinephrine drop 70% just from anticipating a good laugh, while at the same time mood-elevating hormones called endorphins get a boost. When those endorphins are released, they can halt distressing emotions, enabling us to shift our perspective more quickly. It is even said that this boost can help us forget things that have caused us to feel angry, resentful, judgmental, and critical. And we are even apt to forgive more easily. Laughter can fuel courage to move forward and renew our sense of hope for the days ahead. It promotes positive feelings even in the midst of difficult situations and circumstances. And it fosters a positive outlook on life itself.
That old saying “Laughter is the best medicine” is solid, folks! Laughter improves our mental and emotional health for sure. It also relaxes the entire body, relieving tension and stress, leaving the muscles of the body relaxed for up to 45 minutes following. And when endorphins are released, they not only produce an overall sense of well-being but can even temporarily relieve pain. An article in the New England Medical Journal found that 10 minutes of belly laughter relieves physical pain for up to two hours! Laughter not only decreases stress hormones. It increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, improving our body’s resistance to disease. Laughter improves the function of blood vessels, increasing blood flow which will protect us against cardiovascular problems. And increased blood flow to the brain can repair neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s. Also, laughter has been found to reduce tumors, increase the effectiveness of cancer treatments, and lengthen the lives of cancer patients. It Impacts the cells in our bodies, setting us up for long life. A good hearty laugh brings the mind and body back into balance. Laughter supports both emotional and physical health. It is one of God’s built-in mechanisms to heal our whole person.
A happy heart is a good medicine and a joyful mind causes healing. – Proverbs 17:22 AMP
Proverbs 17:22a from the Message translations says, “A cheerful disposition is good for your health.” The Passion translation puts it like this, “A joyful, cheerful heart brings healing to both the body and soul.” Now, let’s take a look at the second part of this scripture. “But the one whose heart is crushed struggles with sickness and depression.” Read that again. The CEV version of this scripture says, “If you are cheerful, you feel good; if you are sad, you hurt all over.” And other versions like the NLT say, “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.” Folks, there are simply too many precious people all around us struggling with sickness, depression, low spirits, overwhelmed, and depleted of natural and moral strength.
We need the joy of the Lord, Friends. And we need to laugh! The best source of laughter is overflowing joy that comes from an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. A heart filled with joy is a good medicine! And God desires to fill us with His joy. He desires for us to be healed, whole, and walking in health. So today, get in God’s presence. Allow Him to lift your burdens, raise you above your struggles and circumstances, and fill you with His joy. My prayer for you today is that God would fill your heart with joy and your mouth with laughter.
Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, “The LORD has done great things for them.” - Psalm 126:2
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