Most people have heard the idiom, “laughter is the best medicine”. Another way to say it is “Laughter is good for the soul.”
But what does it really mean? Are there benefits to a jovial outburst?
We can learn from children who laugh about 400 times a day. The result? They have far less anxiety and way more satisfaction in life. Let’s take a look at how laughter is good for the soul.
What are the benefits of laughter?
So what does laughter is the best medicine mean? simply put, It is an idiom that means humor is good for our health and well-being.
Studies have been done with cancer patients who were prescribed some laughter each day. As a result, they had better pain control as well as a better response to treatment.
Laughter is so simple and most of the time is free. In fact, humor therapy is actually a field of medicine.
“Humor therapy (sometimes called therapeutic humor) uses the power of smiles and laughter to aid healing.” University of Michigan Health Medicine Library
Is it good for your heart to laugh?
Many of us engage in physical exercise to improve heart function. But what if I told you that laughter can do the same thing?
“Laughter has the same benefits of a cardio workout! It gets your heart pumping and burns the same amount of calories as walking. Not to mention, it lowers LDL cholesterol and raises HDL cholesterol.” The Heart Foundation
Don’t get me wrong.
I am not saying to throw out your exercise plan. There are other reasons for keeping it in your schedule.
Instead, by adding laughter to your daily routine you will benefit immensely. Laughter is good for the heart.
Laughter is good for the rest of the body
Doctors have found that laughter is good medicine.
Chronic illnesses are often made worse by stress. Fortunately, laughter helps relieve stress. Thus the person with chronic illness can benefit from this simple activity.
There are many other recognized benefits from laughter:
- boosting our immune system, helping our bodies fight infection and heal faster
- releasig endorphins into the bloodstream which is a source of natural pain relief.
- coping better with difficult situtaitons
- improve relationships with the people we love
Laughter is good for the soul and emotions
Humans experience a wide range of emotions, many of which are negative. Our mood can easily be improved with laughter. It has been shown to decrease stress, anxiety, and depression. People who laugh are happier all around.
But what about our soul and our spiritual wellbeing?
Talking about God, “He will once again fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.” Job 8:21 TNLT
Laughter is a gift. And all good gifts, including our ability to laugh, come from God (James 1:17). It helps us focus on the positive which is part of God’s path to peace. (Philippians 4:8-9)
What the Bible says about laughter
You may be wondering, “where in the Bible does it say laughter is good for the soul?”
The most well-known verse is found in the book of Proverbs.
“A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Proverbs 17:22 ESV
Without laughter in our lives, we simply “dry up” and lose vitality.
The book of Proverbs was written around 700 BC, long before modern medicine and scientific research.
Yet, the Bible has been telling us all along that laughter is good for the soul.
The Bible and science agree.
Resources to charge your laughter battery
Most people can immediately think of movies, books, cartoons, and other things that make them laugh hysterically. If you are not one of them, here are some ideas to get you started.
On your computer – Laughter is good for the soul
- On youtube
- “Just for laughs” has some of their best moments on Youtube.
- “Candid Camera” is another good one.
- The best of “I love Lucy” can make you almost roll on the floor laughing. My favorite episode is “The cholcoalte factory!”
- Art Linkletter and Kids Say the Darndest Things – scroll down to the hightlights for many really funny clips.
- On Facebook:
- Indian Hills Community Sign – lots of tongue in cheek and play on words humor.
- Laughter is the best medicine clean humor group – Not every post will have you rolling on the floor, but they will tickle your funny bone. But if you scroll down a little you will soon find posts like this.
On radio and online – Laughter is good for the soul
Phil Callaway is a Christian humorist. He hosts a daily, 5-minute radio program called Laugh Again which airs across North America, The United Kingdom, and Africa. You can also listen to it online.
In books – Laughter is good for the soul
- Chicken Soup For The Soul – Laughter is the Best Medicine– 101 feel good stories
- Laugh like a kid again – “brings a dose of laughter and levity to life’s toughest moments.”
- Diaryof a whimpy kid series, by Jeff Kinney. These books tend to have you chuckling about the many dilemmas that come up.
- Laughter is the best medicine – a colection of the best humor from Reader’s Digest.
Person to person – Laughter is good for the soul
Because laughter is contagious, sharing funny things with another person is probably one of the best ways to get your daily dose of humor.
Many of the already listed resources can be shared with a friend. Additionally, there are games like “charades” that can ticle one’s funny bone.
Final thoughts: Laughter is good for the soul
There are so many benefits to laughter. Furthermore, heart research has shown that these benefits last up to 24 hours.
Just 10 minutes of laughter can change our mood for an entire day. Laughter is a free gift from God.
So let’s take God’s instruction to heart. Laughter is good for the soul.
A gift for you
The following Scripture card is taken from Psalm 17:22. It is free to download- no email is required. There are 4 to a page so you are welcome to share with your friends.
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