I was chatting to someone today about staying healthy, and I was reminded how important having a cheerful outlook on life is for our overall health.
The bible says, “A joyful, cheerful heart brings healing to both body and soul. But the one whose heart is crushed struggles with sickness and depression” (Proverbs 17:22 TPT)
Finding ways and people to help us be cheerful triggers healthy physical changes in the body, strengthening our immune system, boosting energy levels, diminishing pain, and protecting us from the damaging effects of stress. Laughter brings our mind and body back into balance as it lightens our burdens, inspires hopes, brings healing, reminds of the joy of being alive and connects us to others.
The sight of someone laughing uncontrollable is contagious. My husband is particularly hilarious when he laughs. He ends up practically rolling on the floor with tears streaming down his face, unable to speak as he chuckles and then roars with laughter. You can’t help but laugh along with him.
Laughter like that draws people together and increases happiness and intimacy.
Sometimes life can try to beat the laughter out of us. We can find ourselves rarely smiling, much less laughing. But there is a remedy.
We can begin by setting aside special times to seek out humour and laughter; eventually, it becomes part of who we are, especially if we allow Jesus to restore and heal our hearts, exchanging our tears for His joy. He says, “The thief (devil) comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows].” (John 10:10)
"You have turned my mourning into dancing for me; You have taken off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy.” (Psalm 30:11-12)
Here are some other ways to help joy and laughter become part of our day regardless of what is going on around us or appearing on our news feeds:
1. Keep things in perspective. Many things in life are beyond our control, but they are not beyond God’s. Spend time with Him and give Him your burdens on a daily basis. It will keep the “laughter thief” stress under control, lift the weight off your shoulders and replace it with His joy.
2. Count your blessings. Give thanks for what you do have. In the big scheme of our life’s story. I have a saying. “If we won’t remember it in 20 years, it probably isn’t worth stressing about”.
3. Smile. Smiling is the beginning of laughter. Like laughter, it’s contagious. It’s possible to laugh without even experiencing a funny event. The same is true for smiling. Practice smiling when you look at someone or see something even mildly amusing. The world and its inhabitants are quite hilarious.
4. When you hear laughter, move toward it. People are often pleased to share something funny because it allows them to laugh again. When you hear laughter, seek it out and check out “What’s so funny?
5. Spend time with fun, joyful people. Spend time with those people who laugh easily, both at themselves and at life’s hilarious moments. Hang out with those who laugh easily. It’s contagious. St Teresa of Avila stated rather bluntly, “May God protect me from gloomy saints”. Misery loves company, so make sure you aren’t keeping company with it.
6. Bring humour into conversations. Ask people, “What’s the funniest or the best thing that happened to you today? We regularly ask this at our family dinner times. Kids especially can be very funny with their view of the world and people. Give people the opportunity to share the joy.
7. Laugh at yourself. We all have embarrassing moments, but some of them are truly hilarious when shared. Hopefully, when we share them with others and have a good chuckle, We end up laughing instead of cringing when we think of those moments in the future.
8. Surround yourself with reminders to lighten up, and be more spontaneous. Have things around you that make you laugh; a funny poster, a screensaver or ringtone that makes you smile, and memories of family or friends having fun. Watch a funny movie regularly, spend time doing fun things, try something new and renew your passion and joy for life. We all struggle when we have nothing to look forward to, so find things you enjoy and then do them.
Charlie Chaplin wisely said,” a day without laughter is a day wasted.”
Don’t waste any more days. “Cast all your cares upon Jesus, for He cares for you”, then smile, laugh and embrace the gift of your day. (1 Peter 5:7)
Prayer: Lord, I want to thank you for the gift of laughter. Would you lift off my burdens and concerns. I don’t want to spend another day without laughter, so please fill my heart with peace and joy today. In it. In Jesus Name Amen.