Laugh nowadays? Some say it’s good for your health. Is that really true?
- Laughter relaxes the whole body. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.
- It boosts the immune system. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.
- And triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.
- Laughter protects the heart. A good laugh improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.
- It burns calories. Okay, so it’s no replacement for going to the gym, but one study found that laughing for 10 to 15 minutes a day can burn approximately 40 calories—which could be enough to lose three or four pounds over the course of a year. So, go ahead and laugh!
- And lightens anger’s heavy load. Nothing diffuses anger and conflict faster than a shared laugh. Looking at the funny side can put problems into perspective and enable you to move on from confrontations without holding onto bitterness or resentment.
- Laughter may even help you to live longer. A study in Norway found that people with a strong sense of humor outlived those who don’t laugh as much. The difference was particularly notable for those battling cancer. Reference: https://bit.ly/375UqFp
Laugh for your health.
Ok. But have you laughed much lately? Admittedly, there hasn’t been much in the news to laugh about. But maybe some kids can tickle our funny bones. Let’s harken back to another era when the world was simpler and, by some accounts, more prone to laughter.
Take, for instance, these jewels of wisdom by first graders.
Art Linkletter asked them to complete some well known proverbs. Here’s what they gave him.
1. Don’t change horses . . . until they stop running.
2. Strike while the . . . bug is close.
3. It’s always darkest before . . . Daylight Savings Time.
4. Never underestimate the power of . . . termites.
5. Don’t bite the hand that . . . looks dirty.
6. You can’t teach an old dog new . . . math.
7. If you lie down with dogs, you’ll . . . stink in the morning
8. The pen is mightier than the . . . pigs.
9. An idle mind is . . . the best way to relax.
10. Where’s there’s smoke there’s . . . pollution.
11. You can lead a horse to water but . . . how.
12. A miss is as good as a . . . Mr.
13. No news is . . . impossible.
These kids told the unvarnished truth and gave some good advice wrapped in laughter.
My contribution: Back in the early ’70s when my daughter Lynn Lee was a 3-yr-old, we lived in Germany. I wanted her to hear about her family back home even though she hadn’t met them yet. At every opportunity, I’d ask when Grandmama or Uncle Dale lived, and she’d say, “In the States.”
One evening while I was reading her a bedtime Bible story that had a message about Jesus living in our hearts, I stopped and asked her, “Now, where does Jesus live?” And she answered, “In the States?”
Do you have any to add?
Coming soon: more proverbs from children. (They may make you laugh even harder!)
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Lord, remind us that You want us to be joyful, even in suffering. And to laugh. Give us the innocent hearts of children.
~ For Jesus’ sake ~