In Praise of Laughter and Silliness
What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul. — Yiddish Proverb
Here’s a question for you: how much did you laugh today? If you said none at all, or that there’s nothing worth laughing about, then you need to find a way to tickle your funny bone, my friend. Laughter is good medicine; in fact, it might just help you stay healthier longer.
A recent study conducted by cardiologists at the University of Maryland Medical Center found that laughter, combined with a good sense of humor, may help to prevent heart disease. Click here to read the entire article. There’s even a type of yoga called, appropriately, laughter yoga, that uses breathing and laughter to promote good health. A variety of physiological benefits result from laughter, including a reduction in blood pressure and reduction in the stress hormones epinephrine and cortisol. Laughter also helps boost the immune system by raising levels of immunoglobulin A and cytokine. For more information about the health benefits of laughter, click here.
If you find life is getting you down in the dumps, try a little laughter. Click here for a Youtube video that’s sure to give you a chuckle. Now, don’t you feel better? I know I do. We got a huge kick out of our Springer modeling a fuzzy purple hat. He’s a pretty good sport about humoring our silliness. If you don’t have a canine to provide much needed humor, consider these options: watch a good comedy, get together with friends who enjoy a good laugh, be silly with your children, or even make faces in the mirror. Don’t risk a diagnosis of “terminal seriousness” when a dose of “silliness” and a little laughter each day will lead you to better health.
PS: Don’t miss Krista Tippett’s interview with Kevin Kling about “The Losses and Laughter We Grow Into” this week on the American Public Media radio show On Being. Click here for more information.
Photos by AugieSchwer and Elspeth Lucas used under Creative Commons License. Thanks!
Lent 40/40/40 Update
More than halfway to Easter and still going strong! Here’s the latest…
My cousin, Melanie, is bright, articulate, compassionate, and FUNNY. Whenever I’m around her I laugh and laugh and laugh. She can take any story and give it a humorous twist, and she can find a silver lining in every cloud. Thanks, Mel, for being just who you are, and for sharing joy and laughter with so many people.
In praise of laughter, I’m giving away my copy of the hilarious book Angry Conversations with God: A Snarky but Authentic Spiritual Memoir by Susan E. Isaacs. Isaacs writes with great honesty, passion, and humor about her quest to take God to couples therapy and reclaim a relationship with her creator. All you have to do is leave a comment telling something you find funny, or share a link to a funny video, or tell a joke. Laugh on! I’ll draw a random winner from responders on Saturday.
Today I am thankful for the gift of laughter and silliness. It’s good to laugh until your belly hurts. It’s fun to be silly. Thank you, God, for the gift of laughter!