“A cheerful heart is good medicine,
but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.”
– Proverbs 17:22 (NLT)
I like to laugh. Who doesn’t, right?
But I really like to laugh, and when I get going, I’m about 99% positive that it gets annoying to the people around me. I can’t help it. I’m the guy who laughs at a funeral, and only holds in the volume by shaking maniacally until it subsides. I wheeze-laugh, snort-laugh, and shriek-laugh. I’ve snorted milk, Mountain Dew, water, and orange juice through my nose as a result of sudden laughter. I’ve laughed so hard I dry heaved. I’ve been criticized by some because I joke too often and laugh too loudly.
I don’t care.
Long before we discovered laughter’s medical benefits, the Word of God said, “A cheerful heart is good medicine.” It wasn’t until 2,000 years later that we discovered laughter increases healthy-enhancing hormones like endorphins and neurotransmitters. It increases the number of antibody-producing cells and enhances the effectiveness of T cells, resulting in a stronger immune system and fewer physical effects of stress. A good belly laugh exercises the diaphragm, contracts the abs, and works out the shoulders. Even the heart benefits from laughter, which improves the functioning of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.
Laughter isn’t just good for you — it’s great for you! Get off your mopey, uber-serious high horse and join the rest of us. Laugh until you cry! Laugh until your abs are sore! Laugh until people give you dirty looks! Laugh it out!
“But look, God will not reject a person of integrity, nor will he lend a hand to the wicked. He will once again fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.
– Job 8:20-21 (NLT)