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 or a good belly laugh?
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 it mean “laughter is the best medicine?” 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
Laughter Is it good for your heart
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
There are many health benefits of laughter.
Not only is a good sense of humor good for the heart, but it also improves blood flow to the rest of the body. But that’s not all.
Recent research has found our physical health is improved with the power of laughter.
Chronic illnesses are often made worse by stress. Fortunately, laughter helps decrease stress hormones. Thus a person with a chronic illness can benefit from this simple activity.
There are many other recognized benefits of laughter:
- boosting our immune response and infection-fighting antibodies, helping our bodies heal faster
- release of endorphins into the bloodstream which reduces pain levels
- coping better with difficult situations and lowering blood pressure
- improved 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. People who have a cheerful heart experience good mental health.
But what about our soul and our spiritual well-being?
“He (God) will once again fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.” Job 8:21 TNLT (explanation added)
Laughter is a gift that comes 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
The King James Version says, “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine.”
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 act of laughing is a great way to ensure good health physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
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.
Sources of laughter on your computer
- On youtube
- “Just for laughs” has some of its 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 Chocolate Factory!”
- Art Linkletter and Kids Say the Darndest Things – scroll down to the highlights for many really funny clips.
- On Facebook:
Sources of laughter on the radio and online
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.
Sources of laughter In books
- 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.”
- Diary of a wimpy 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 collection of the best humor from Reader’s Digest.
Person to person – Laughter is good for the soul
When was the last time you laughed hysterically with a friend?
Because laughter is contagious, sharing funny things with another person is probably one of the best ways to get your daily dose of humor. Think of it like taking vitamins. You will have greater happiness when you share a good belly laugh with friends.
Many of the already listed resources can be shared with a friend. Additionally, there are great games like “charades” that can tickle one’s funny bone.
And for the brave, even embarrassing moments can be turned into inside jokes that elicit positive feelings.
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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