Studies have shown that laughter can help fight disease, relieve stress levels, decrease pain levels and obviously increase happiness. The Bible even says that a joyful heart is good medicine.
I liked this article with lots of details and suggestions of how to incorporate more laughter into your life. I think Robin Williams did a movie once portraying a doctor who dressed like a clown and bought into this theory. Was it called Patch Adams?
I know of benefits of laughter first hand. My husband has given me and my children that gift. He can laugh, a deep, healthy, hearty laugh at any moment. And he is rarely sick. He has a positive attitude and thankfully has passed that on to our kids. Unlike me. Some days it is all I can do to just smile, much less laugh. But the article does say that the body cannot tell the difference between laughter you do on purpose as opposed to real spontaneous laughter. The results are the same. I have allowed myself the freedom to laugh, and a couple of times that I specifically remember were at the movies. The first one was watching the sequel to Three Men and a Baby with Ted Danson, Tom Selleck and Steve Guttenberg. Tom Selleck is trying to get to a place in Europe in this tiny tiny car and the one shot of it just struck me as hysterical. I laughed and laughed with the rest of the theater, but then kept picturing it and kept giggling and giggling. I would try to be quiet, but I kept giggling and giggling and realized the rest of theater began giggling too. So laughter is healthy and contagious. Double benefit. The other hearty, tear-jerking kind of laugh that makes me smile just thinking about it, was in Wild Hogs. The four characters are in the forest and Dudley is going to hang his bag of crap in a tree because he is not going to bury it in the earth and he doesn’t want the bears to get it. Woody yells at him that he doesn’t need to hang it in a tree because “Bears don’t eat Sh&*!” Another episode of contagious laughing. Loved it!
I have had this nagging pain in my stomach for about 18 years, got tested and nothing showed wrong. Perhaps I need to try the laughter prescription. Time to fire up the DVD player …
I would love to hear what makes you laugh.
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