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The Sound of Laughter

She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.
Proverbs 31:25

Daddy asked me the same question every time I returned from a movie date.  At the time it was embarrassing, but now I wish I could hear him ask me one more time, “Did anyone get hit in the face with a pie?” If I replied with a negative answer he would say, “The movie must not have been any good.”

To Daddy a good movie was laughable. He read the funny papers. He found humor in everyday happenings. He knew something about life. Scientists tell us that laughter is strong medicine for our minds and bodies.

Doctors tell us that there are many benefits of laughter. It helps physically by boosting our immune system. It lowers stress hormones, decreases pain and relaxes your muscles. Some scientists go so far as attributing laughter to heart disease prevention.

Mental health benefits include adding joy and zest to our lives, easing anxiety and fear, relieving stress, and improving our moods. The good feeling that we get when we laugh remains with us even after the laughter subsides. Humor helps us as we navigate through difficult situations and loss.

Laughter’s social benefits include strengthening relationships, attracting others to us, enhancing teamwork, and defusing conflict. Have you even noticed that laughter is contagious? Shared laughter is one of the most effective tools for keeping relationships fresh and exciting.

You can learn to laugh at any stage of life. Start by smiling. Like laughter, it’s contagious. Count your blessings. This will distance you from negative thoughts that are barriers to humor and laughter. Read the comics. Spend time with fun, playful people. These people find humor in everyday events. Seek out laughter. When you hear it, move toward it. Laugh at yourself. I close with a funny story on myself. I hope it makes you laugh.

 I stood in line to have blood drawn at a lab one day. An elderly man stood in front of me. He seemed decrepit. I overheard the nurse ask him what year he was born. To my horror he gave the year of my birth. No! How could this be? He was so old and I am so young. Later I was able to laugh about this happening. At the time it was devastating.

Dear Father, Teach us to laugh. Let us invite more humor into our lives so that we may deal with each day in a more relaxed way. Like the godly woman in Proverbs, let us laugh at the days to come.

Janice Yandell                                    

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