An American Christian writer once said that “of all the things God created, I am often most grateful He created laughter.” We may not admit it but the truth is many of us today become far too serious. Portrayed by our straight face sourpuss demeanor. We have forgotten to smile, chuckle, or have a hearty belly laugh. We have forgotten to think and act funny. We have forgotten that even painful situations can be turned around through laughter. We have forgotten that laughter brings us physical, emotional and spiritual healing. Simply because laughter blocks the shock and pain in our lives.
Let me share with you the story of a doctor in his book titled “Anatomy of an Illness as Perceived by the Patient.” Particularly on the power of humor in overcoming a debilitating illness. Cousins said that ten minutes of good belly laughter gave him two hours of pain-free sleep. Before using the humor therapy, Cousins said that he was under heavy medication. Sad to say, the heavy medication did not relieve the pain caused by the severe inflammation of his spine and joints. He could not sleep. Until he spent ten minutes watching humorous movies and reading funny books. Cousins later recovered. His case was the basis of numerous studies of the value of laughter in healing. Cousins also said: “I’ve never known a person who possessed the gift of hearty laughter to be burdened by constipation.
The late US President Abraham Lincoln once said: “With the fearful strain that is upon me day and night if I did not laugh, I should die. And you need this medicine as much as I do.” The occasion was a War Cabinet special meeting in the White House on September 22, 1862 called by the US President when in the midst of a serious discussion, the US President read aloud a funny chapter of a skit called “Highhanded Outrage at Utica” and laughed heartily. Abraham Lincoln is not only fondly remembered for being a compassionate president but a president with a rare gift of hearty laughter.
Surprisingly, research findings show that laughing 100 times is equal to 10 minutes on the rowing machine or 15 minutes on an exercise bike. Laughing can be a total body workout. That is why one often feels exhausted after a long bout of laughter – it’s an aerobic workout.
One may ask: When is a good time to laugh? Anytime, of course. Not many know that laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural pain killers, and produces a general sense of well-being. Today, the so-called “laughter therapy” is gaining more acceptance and patronage especially among the medical professional.
Laughter refreshes our minds, souls, and our spirits. It is no wonder then that people who make laughter and humor parts of their lives are the people who lift their problems to our Creator and Lord and enjoy sharing their humor and laughter with others. They are effective channels of blessings.
According to one laughter therapist: “We need to laugh more and seek stress-reducing humor in our everyday life. Laughter is the human gift of coping and for survival. Laughter ringing, laughter peeling, laughter roaring, laughter bubbling. Chuckling. Giggling. Snickering. Snorting. These are the sounds of soul-saving laughter which springs from our emotional core and helps us feel better, see things more clearly, and creatively weigh and use our options.
Laughter helps us roll with the punches that inevitable come our way. The power of laughter is unleashed everytime we laugh. In today’s stressful world, we need to laugh much more.
Let’s soften the blows of life with laughter!
Have a joyful day!