Billy's Blog
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January 31, 2017, 11:32 AM

Laugh a Little

You've heard that laughter is good medicine...well, here's some backing for it. While Dr. Robert Provine, professor of psychology and neuroscience at the University of Maryland says, "The definitive research into the potential health benefits of laughter haven't been done yet", there is much evidence that it sure can't hurt. 

We change physiologically, our pulse and blood pressure goes up a little, we are stretching muscles throughout our face and body, and we breathe faster sending more oxygen into our bloodstream. Maceij Buchowski, a researcher from Vanderbilt University, actually found that 10-15 minutes of laughter burned about 50 calories. It's not exactly Pilates but it's something. 

Proverbs 17:22 says, "A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones." 

In other words, laugh a little. I am not an expert on anything, but if there's anything I come close to being an expert on it's laughing. I love to laugh and I love to make others laugh. Here's some pointers if you want to laugh more, cry less, and burn calories while doing it. 

1. Don't take yourself too seriously

One of the biggest issues I have with Christians is that we are too uptight. We take ourselves way too seriously. We are too easily offended. We are too easily put off. We just need to chill a little. Learn to make fun of yourself. Learn to laugh when someone gives you a hard time and it's truly funny. When you forget that your zipper is down it's funny...let it go. I mean, you do need to zip it up, but right after you do have a laugh. 

2. Enjoy the funny things that happen around you all the time. 

There are funny things that happen every day. We need to be more aware of these events. Sometimes I do my writing and sermon work in public places. I hear some funny stuff. I was sitting a few tables down from a group of older men this morning talking about a guy who supposedly was a preacher but also was known as a shady salesman. One older man said, "During the week he preached BS and on Sunday he preached the Gospel!" That was funny. Our children do funny things, enjoy it. Our spouses do funny stuff...enjoy it. I love when I can make my wife laugh, and sometimes she's laughing at me. We had a little laugh last night about a mistake that she made. I was kind to her when she made the mistake but a few days later I made a little jab at her. We both laughed. 

3. Allow yourself to laugh

Maturity is NOT being a sour prude. Maturity is knowing when it's ok to laugh and when it's not. I debate this line in my head many times a day. Sometimes I cross a line, and I know it. I feel bad. But sometimes you need to let yourself laugh. I have used laughter to ease the tension in really tight spots. I have used it at funerals and people have commented on it. It really helped them relax and helped them remember happier times with their deceased loved one. I've used it when couples come in for counseling...just a little joke to ease the tension. I use it in sermons to get everyone relaxed and ready to listen. Allow yourself to laugh. It's ok to let your guard down sometimes and relax. 

4. Choose to laugh

Crying and laughing are both therapeutic at times, but it's much more fun to laugh. Choose this. Happiness is a choice. Choose to laugh. I know I can get really worked up when something goes wrong, but we can just choose to laugh. We have choices every day how we respond to things. We can go crazy. We can scream and rant and rave, but you know what that does to you? It does all kinds of negative things to you physically. Let it go and maybe have a little laugh. 

Find some time to laugh today. Maybe watch the Three Stooges or a Chris Farley scene. Laugh at yourself when something goes wrong. Laugh at a friend who says something dumb. Find ways to laugh with your kids. Sit at a table and have lunch and tell funny stories. 

You get one life. Enjoy it. Laugh more. The end. 


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