Proverbs 17:22 – “A joyful heart is good medicine, But a broken spirit dries up the bones.”  NASB

There are scientifically documented studies regarding laughter and its benefits.  We are told that laughter causes the blood to flow more readily and that enhances the cardiovascular system in a positive manner.  Good-humored people generally have blood vessels that expand and contract easily and are more elastic.  Laughter increases the heart rate, oxygen consumption, and works the muscles of the face reducing wrinkles. 

It has been documented by medical researchers such as Dr. William Fry a psychiatrist and professor emeritus at Stanford University’s School of Medicine tell us that laughter, like physical exercise, once it has been engaged in will result in a reduction of the heart rate and blood pressure.  Some fitness experts compare laughter to a mild workout because of the connection to the muscles when one has a good belly laugh. 

Laughter reduces stress, causes endorphins to flow allows the adrenal glands to function at peak levels.  It has been documented that people who laugh often and deeply have an increase in their immune system, higher levels of antibodies and natural killer cells.  One research showed that those levels remained up for up to twelve hours after hearty laughter.  Laughter reduces pain, lowers blood sugar levels improves sleep, relaxation, and breathing.  Laughter is not just good medicine it is powerful medicine.

If you contrast that to the negative health results of a broken, depressed, sad, gloomy, cynical attitude and spirit you will be amazed.  Does that mean that anyone who doesn’t laugh is going to be sick and one who does won’t, NO!  It means that overall you are healthier and certainly happier if you can and do laugh and laugh often. 

I love having fun.  I joke a lot but am also very serious.  I find that it is far better to laugh at and during bad times than to allow them to dominate my thinking, ruin my day, and control my life.  I find that when I have a good belly laugh, I am relaxed more than I could be in any other activity.  I have laughed loudly in times of utter exhaustion and found that after the laughter subsided, I was renewed in my strength and ability to continue one rested as though I had gotten a good nap.

Not only those things but people who are joyful and laugh are much more pleasant to be around than a sourpuss who is always scowling, grumpy, and cynical.  I try to avoid people like that in the flesh as much as possible because I like to laugh and people who don’t, really don’t want me around anyway and their attitude is sometimes infectious, and I don’t need that disease.  I had someone tell me once in a major crisis that they could not believe that I could tell jokes and laugh during the situation. 

I know that God gave me a sense of humor and I will see funny things in many events of life that enable me to get past the direness of it and often find solutions as a result of laughter.  No, I do not make light of everything and do not consider frivolity to be appropriate for every situation, but I do find that being able to laugh is of immeasurable value.

May God help you to laugh, love, and enjoy life today and every day!  BLESSINGS!

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