Laughter Is Good For Your Health

Health is no laughing matter, but it does help if you laugh.
In proverbial wisdom even God is depicted as laughing, “He who sits in the heavens laughs.” If you doubt that look in the mirror. If He laughs so ought we who are created in His image.

The book of “American Averages” notes the average American laughs 15 times a day. Are you up to average?

Laughter is good medicine; it is therapeutic. Clinical studies confirms this. Laughter releases tension and enables persons to better face life.

Stress-sensitive persons as well as somber persons daily release a flush of biochemicals comparable to those released during a major threat. These chemicals suppress the immune system to infectious diseases, according to psychological research.

Laughter is nature’s doctor. A positive jovial spirit releases health inducing pain killers and “feel good” endorphins and enkephalins into the system. These morphine-like substances caused by the brain to be secreted act as a natural anesthesia and relaxant. Persons feel at their highest state of well-being when they are at work. They provide a natural high.

Four hundred years ago, in his “Anatomy of Melancholy,” Robert Burton cited authorities who said, “humor purges the blood, making the body lively and fit for any manner or employment.”

Dr. William Fry of Stanford University wrote, “Laughter causes the muscles in the abdomen, chest, and shoulders to contract, the heart rate and pulse to increase, and you have stationary jogging.”

Immanual Kant (1724-1804) was sensitive to this as evidenced by his comment of laughter, “It is a good way to jog internally without going outdoors.” Kant also concluded he had never known a person who “possessed the gift of hearty laughter to be burdened with constipation.”

Dr. Henri de Mondeville, a great medieval professor of surgery, was ahead of his time when he suggested in the 13th century that post-surgery recovery should include relatives and friends cheering the patient and having someone tell jokes.

Solomon the wise clued us in to this a long time ago when he wrote, “A merry heart does good like a medicine.” Are you taking your medicine? Are you helping others take theirs?

Work at creating a healthy humorous environment. Look for it. Remember the wisdom of Dr. Seuss: “from there to here, from here to there, funny things are everywhere.”

As a test of your funny bone consider this. A couple that had a reputation for harmony and happiness were privately often at war with one another. Not wanting to ruin their public image the wife said, “Since we don’t believe in divorce let’s just pray one of us will die — and I will go live with my sister.”

In this and every way I want to be more like the God “who sits in the heavens and laughs.”