Laughter Is Your Best Medicine

By: Bill Bratt 

The following appeared in a Church bulletin: "A minister was preparing his sermon as his small daughter was watching him. She asked her father, "Daddy, does God tell you what to say?" Her father answered and said, "Of course, honey, why do you ask?" The little girl replied, "Then why do you scratch out so much of it!""

"A son asked his father the following question: "Dad, why do they rope off the aisles at weddings?" His father answered and said, "So the Bridegroom can't get away!" "

We all like to laugh. We all want to have life and to have it more abundantly. Through laughter, you can enjoy life more.

Proverbs 17:22 says: "A merry heart does good like medicine: but a broken spirit dries the bones."

Webster's Dictionary defines "Laugh" as: "To express emotion, typically mirth, by a series of inarticulate sounds, characteristically with the mouth open in a wide smile. To manifest or resemble the manifestation of joy in any way."

The Good News Bible translates Proverbs 17:22 as: "Being cheerful keeps you healthy. It is a slow death to be gloomy all the time."

Proverbs 15:23 says: "When people are happy, they smile, but when they are sad, they look depressed."

I would like to quote a few paragraphs from an article in the U.S.NEWS & WORLD REPORT, Jan.23,1989 titled:

One Laugh = 3 tbsp. Oat Bran

by:John Leo

"Loretta Laroche of Plymouth, Mass., says that healthy people laugh 100 to 400 times a day. Laroche should know. She is a health educator who runs a company known as Wellness Associates, and she travels around staging workshops on health matters, including "Humor: The Healing Power of Health and Play."

Yukking it up at Laroche's recommended peak capacity - 25 times an hour, 2,800 times a week, 146,000 times a year - is obviously no laughing matter. Holding it down to 5 seconds per laugh, this would still amount to 200 man-hours per year devoted solely to self-help guffawing. In a properly monitored belly laugh, muscles all over the body contract, the pulse doubles from 60 to 120 and blood pressure shoots from 120 to 200.

Researchers believe that regular injections of mirth are associated with fewer headaches, reduced stress and even a longer life. This means it can be packaged and sold to high-strung workaholics who would otherwise have to change their lifestyles or risk expiring of a heart attack at age 35. With a few jokes and an exercise bicycle, scientists believe, many such death-prone workers can confidently expect to reach the age of 37.

The following is a human interest story that I read several years ago.

"Norman Cousins, is now retired, but he was the editor of the ‘Saturday Review’. A serious illness occurred to Mr. Cousins in 1964. In his book "Anatomy of an Illness", he states that he was suffering from a serious collagen illness - a disease of the connective tissue. All arthritic and rheumatic diseases are in this category. Collagen is a fibrous substance that binds the cells together. So, in a sense, Mr. Cousins was becoming UNSTUCK. This meant that the connective tissue in the spine was disintegrating. This crippling disease is one that doctors believe to be irreversible. After his diagnosis and much contemplation on his own, he asked himself a question: Is it possible that love, hope, faith, laughter, confidence, and the will to live have a therapeutic value? Mr. Cousins did research on the medicines he was taking and finally decided, with his doctors help: Leave the hospital and get a hotel room. Quit taking all his medicine except his vitamin C and Laugh.

Allen Funt, producer of Candid Camera sent him films. He also watched old Marx Brothers films. Norman Cousins made the joyous discovery that TEN MINUTES of genuine belly laughter had an anesthetic effect and would give him at least 2 HOURS of pain free sleep. When the effect wore off, he watched more funny movies. Mr. Cousins recovered sufficiently enough to go back to work and to play tennis and golf."

We all like humor. We all like to laugh. We feel good when we can laugh. Television can be a good tool for laughter. Pick a good comedy program to watch. (Now a days, this may be harder to do than you think.).

Years ago there was a television series called Mr. Ed. You might catch reruns on certain channels on cable TV. This was a very humorous program. Mr. Ed was a horse that could talk. The idea of this is totally preposterous, absurd, and ridiculous.

It couldn't happen - or - COULD IT?

Let's read: Numbers 22:21-33, "So Balaam rose in the morning, saddled his donkey,...{22}"God's anger was aroused because he went, and the Angel of the LORD took His stand in the way as an adversary against him. And he was riding on his donkey, and his two servants were with him." {23}"Now the donkey saw the Angel standing in the way with His drawn sword in His hand, and the donkey turned aside out of the way and went into the field. So Balaam struck the donkey to turn her back onto the road." {24}"Then the Angel stood in a narrow path between the vineyards, with a wall on this side and a wall on that side." {25}"And when the donkey saw the Angel, she pushed herself against the wall and crushed Balaam's foot against the wall; so he struck her again." {26}"Then the Angel went further, and stood in a narrow place where there was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left." {27}"And when the donkey saw the Angel of the LORD, she lay down under Balaam; so Balaam's anger was aroused, and he struck the donkey with his staff." {28}"Then the LORD opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, "What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?"" {29}"Balaam said to the donkey, "Because you have abused me. I wish there were a sword in my hand, for now I would kill you!"" {30}"So the donkey said to Balaam, "Am I not your donkey on which you have ridden, ever since I became yours, to this day? Was I ever disposed to do this to you?" He said, "No."" {31}"Then the LORD opened Balaam's eyes, and he saw the Angel of the LORD standing in the way with His drawn sword in His hand; and he bowed his head and fell flat on his face." {32}"And the Angel said to him, "Why have you struck your donkey these three times? I have come out to stand against you, because your way is perverse before Me." {33}"The donkey saw Me and turned aside from Me these three times. If she had not turned aside from Me, surely I would also have killed you by now, and let her live.""

This is an example of some humor in the Bible.

One of the fruits of God's Holy Spirit is joy. Proverbs 29:18 says: "Happy is he who keeps the law." God wants us to obey His law and to be happy and joyful.

In Closing. Let's not take ourselves to seriously and miss out on the enjoyment in life that God wants us to have. Certainly our job, our calling and responsibilities are to be taken seriously. But, let's remember a little humor and a little laughter can make our lives much more enjoyable.

Laughter is probably the best medicine you could ever take for some of your troubles. Take a dose, laugh a little, live a little and thank God for all the blessings He has bestowed upon you.

Laughing is good for one's health unless there are flies around to inhale.

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