The other night we were watching videos with our daughter and grandchildren. We were all in hysterics as the videos reminded us of some of our special, fun, family moments. At one point I was laughing so hard I said; "I think I will die laughing." How wrong I was!
Let me tell you why. The Bible says in Proverbs 17:22; "A merry heart does good, like medicine, But a broken spirit dries the bones." Laughter is actually good for you. For years, scientists have tried to understand the effects of a good belly laugh. Here are a few of their findings: Firstly, the short term benefits of a good laugh are that your heart, lungs and muscles are stimulated. Secondly, your brain releases endorphins, which is the chemical that makes you feel good. The long term benefits are many, but one of them is that laughter improves your immune system. And even better, endorphins are said to be like a natural pain killer and so a good laugh can help to reduce pain.
So laughter is good for you. But there is a flip side to all of this. Negative thinking, or as the Bible says, a broken spirit, can have the opposite effect. It can affect your body by bringing more stress into your system and ultimately decrease your immunity.
A number of years ago, my Dad who was in his late seventies, was having some heart problems. Things were not looking good. Some people in the medical profession suggested that he did not have long to live. That was ten years ago. I think my Dad is still alive and well today because he is so happy and jovial. He laughs, and he laughs hard. In fact, there are times we think he 'could die laughing!' But as long as he keeps laughing he will keep enjoying life and living it to the full.
Long before scientists discovered the benefits of laughter the Bible was encouraging a happy heart. Why? Because a happy heart is a healthy heart. Why not release some endorphins into your system and have a good laugh. The Bible encourages it! I am not sure about you, but I want a happy, healthy heart!
I am and always will be,
Recklessly abandoned, ruthlessly committed and in relentless pursuit of Jesus