Last summer, our family nestled in the mountains of Estes Park, Colorado for a reunion. Every few years, our goal is to get together to catch up, love on each a bit and reconnect. One of the points of our family’s reconnection is laughter.
Even as a small boy, I can remember the calm mood that my parents set in our home. Something would happen that could potentially explode into arguing and yelling but instead, my parents would smile or shake their head or find something humorous to say about it. While sometimes it was misplaced, that lighthearted atmosphere allowed us to deal with troubling situations in a way that gave perspective and peace.
Researcher say that there are many heath benefits to laughter. Here are a few:
- Laughter relaxes the whole body. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.
- Laughter boosts the immune system. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.
- Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.
- Laughter protects the heart. Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems. (read more here…)
So how do you create that sense of lightheartedness in your life?
- Choose to laugh. Most of us don’t realize the power we have in the choices we make. Set out this day to identify 3 situations in which you normally would be frustrated and choose to see humor in them. (e.g. The daily commute or that irritating coworker. Click Here for a free app regarding your office mate)
- Smile when you begin to feel frustrated. As mentioned above, smiling can trigger laughter which can trigger feel-good chemicals in your body.
- Make reality your friend. When you feel anger, bitterness or paranoia, remove the emotion from your thought process and determine to ask, “What is the reality of this situation? Is it all that bad?”
Remember that Jesus told jokes all the time in the New Testament and that’s one of the reasons that people loved to be around Him. Be like Jesus. Have a fresh perspective of your life and, for heaven’s sakes, laugh!
How do you lighten up your day?