Stress brought on by dealing with difficult situations, disappointments and loss can leave you feeling physically drained. Furthermore, the old “guilt trip” sneaks in telling you that since you are in the midst of the “serious stuff” there is no room for the lighter side of laughter. Nothing could be further from the truth. Scientists tell us that “laughter is the best medicine.”
Research shows that laughter 1) relaxes the entire body, 2) boosts the immune system by decreasing stress hormones, and by increasing immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, 3) triggers the release of endorphins (the body’s natural feel-good chemicals), and 4) protects the heart by improving the function of blood vessels! All of this from laughter? Yes!
Even in the Old Testament laughter is considered a gift from the Lord: “He will fill your mouth with laughter and your tongue with shouts of joy.” (Job 8:21). "A cheerful heart is a good medicine, but a downcast spirit dries up the bones” (Proverbs 17:22). “Then our mouth was filled with laughter and our tongue with shouts of joy. Then they said among the nations, the Lord has done great things for them.” (Ps 126:2). When Jesus said “Come to me all you who are weary” (Mt 11:28) he certainly was not inviting you to experience more weariness, but perhaps even laughter!
Test this against your own experience. Do you remember a time when you got a fit of giggles? Maybe in church as a kid, or during a wedding ceremony. No matter how much you tried, you couldn’t stop laughing. Do you remember Lucile Ball and Ethel packing candy on the assembly line? How do you bring laughter into your life? When was the last time you did something silly, or had a “game night” with friends who know how to play rather than be competitive, or played a sport non-competitively just for the sheer joy of playing?
Blessings as you move into the lighter side of life allowing the Lord’s gift of laughter its proper place in your journey. - - Jackie F.