As we look at ways to refresh ourselves from the busy-ness of life, consider one of the easiest and best ways to restore our equilibrium. Laughter! Laughter has been shown to have positive health benefits like relaxing tension, boosting the immune system, protecting the heart, and can even relieve pain. It can ease anxiety and smooth over tension, along with improving mood and strengthening relationships.
Dr. ‘Patch’ Adams is one physician who believes that laughter is important in the healing process. His work was highlighted in the 1998 Robin Williams film Patch Adams. Dr. Adams founded the Gesundheit Institute in 1971 as a holistic approach to medicine, including humor.
Proverbs 15: 15 and 17:22 tell us that “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine. He that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast.”
I was first introduced to the idea of a joyful, even laughing Jesus, many years ago on a Cursillo weekend, when I was given a postcard with this image on it. At first I was taken aback, but then I realized that anyone as full of the Spirit as Jesus would have been joyful. The “joy of the Lord is our strength” we are told in Nehemiah 8:10, and encouraged to “Rejoice in the Lord always; and again I say, Rejoice.” (Philippians 4:4).You can now get the image from Jesus Laughing.
Did you know that May 1 is World Laughter Day according to the Laughter Yoga organization? Did you know that there is such a thing as Laughter Yoga? Check it out!
Since laughter is so good for us, and since we are encouraged to engage in it regularly…why not laugh more today than yesterday? There are collections of jokes and funny stories online if you need a bit of a laughter break in the middle of the day… One is God’s Little Acre and another is Christian Suite.
For instance: “A three-year-old boy went with his dad to see a litter of kittens. On returning home, he breathlessly informed his mother, "There were two boy kittens and two girl kittens." "How did you know?" his mother asked. "Daddy picked them up and looked underneath," he replied. "I think it's printed on the bottom."
And this one reminds me of my granddaughter who insists on putting her shoes on the wrong feet—luckily she hasn’t thought of this comeback yet: “A three-year-old put his shoes on by himself. His mother noticed the left was on the right foot. She said, "Son, your shoes are on the wrong feet." He looked up at her with a raised brow and said, ‘Don't kid me, Mom. I KNOW they're my feet.’”
Some just make you smile and think, 'from the mouths of babes': “When a mother saw a thunderstorm forming in mid-afternoon, she worried about her seven-year-old daughter who would be walking the three blocks from school to home. Deciding to meet her, the mother saw her daughter walking nonchalantly along, stopping to smile whenever lightning flashed. Seeing her mother, the little girl ran to her, explaining happily, "All the way home, God's been taking my picture!" (all from God’s Little Acre)
So, as I Thessalonians 5:16 says, " Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances..." Laugh and be refreshed!