“As soap is to the body, so laughter is to the soul.”
There is nothing like laughter to make all the ills of the world disappear, even if only for a moment or two. This isn’t a new or contemporary realization of course. King Solomon wrote this verse in the book of Proverbs millennia ago; ‘A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. ‘ Proverbs 17:22
If you search for “the healing power of laughter” you will find countless results online. Well according to the Google search I just did there were about 11,700,000 results. One explanation on the power of laughter that I really liked came from the website for “The Council on Recovery”
“Laughing releases endorphins from your brain, reduces the level of stress in your body, and strengthens the immune system. It is proven that laughter therapy, also known as humor therapy, can reduce negativity, emotional stress, and physical discomfort.”
Isn’t that exactly what we need right now? A reduction in stress? A strengthening of the immune system? A reduction in negativity, emotional stress and physical discomfort?
It can be so easy to become sucked into a vortex of negativity through stress inducing news alerts and a constant barrage of statistics on infection rates, government mandated shut downs, and a whole host of other negative mental influences. How can you possibly laugh if all the content that is pouring into your brain is evoking your primal “flight or fight” response?
If you want to laugh, you have to be intentional in creating the opportunities to do so by feeding your mind with humorous content and by surrounding yourself with others who make you laugh. Last night my wife and I did a virtual meeting with other couples from our church LifeGroup and while some of our discussion was on serious matters I would say that over 75% of the time we were just sharing stories and laughing. It was such a great way to break free from the mundane and seriousness of our current world.
There are a million ways to laugh, be intentional today and seek out things that hit your “funny bone” and bring joy to your heart. Whether it is funny cat videos on YouTube or a comedy special from a great comedian, you have within your power the ability to take what just might be your most important medicine. I’ll leave you with this from Dr. Viktor Frankl (who went through far worse things that we will ever experience), “I never would have made it if I could not have laughed. It lifted me momentarily out of this horrible situation, just enough to make it livable.”
Laugh a little, that funny pill might be just what the doctor ordered….