According to an article in Psychology Today the average adult laughs about 15 times a day, where as a child may laugh up to 400 times a day. Some joy advocates indicate a healthy person should laugh between 100-400 times a day. Laughter is a mild form of exercise and it is good for the human heart. King Solomon said it best, “A merry heart does good, like medicine.”
We must learn to appreciate the diverse humor of each day. There’s an abundance of comedy in the world if you just look. Something funny is always happening. Search for it. Laugh. It will do you good.
Laughter has been proven to be therapeutic. It’s a tension reliever, and a shock absorber for life’s ills. Laughter increases the oxygen in your blood, raises the heart rate and gives a mild workout. William Fry, a pioneer in laughter research, claimed it took ten minutes on a rowing machine for his heart rate to reach the level it would after just one minute of hearty laughter.
“Researchers aren’t sure if it’s actually the act of laughing that makes people feel better. A good sense of humor, a positive attitude, and the support of friends and family might play a role, too”, says R. Morgan Griffin in a WebMD article. A positive attitude may be hard-pressed in comparison to world circumstances, economic downturns or life’s hardships. Yet, there are ways to overcome stressors.
First, look for the comical in stressful situations. There must be something that is a little humorous. Seek it like treasure. It may be your only nugget of sanity for the day. I once worked for a very demanding boss who was a perfectionist. His words, however, did not match his actions. I had the choice of becoming irritable and stressed over his silly demands, or I could choose to see the amusing side of his idiosyncrasies.
Second, lighten up. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Life is too short to be serious all the time. This does not mean laughing away every situation. There is a time for everything. Laughter must be one of them. As church organist, I was expected to be prim and proper…until the Sunday someone pointed some distinguishing white marks on my shoulder…lovingly left by my pet parrot. I could have been humiliated. I chose instead to take things lightly and laugh at the irony of the situation.
Third, rearrange your thinking and readjust your priorities. Get rid of stinkin’ thinkin’. This is your “heart attitude” that plays into your personality. Prepare a think list. The apostle told his readers to concentrate on “things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, or if anything is excellent or praiseworthy.” (Philippians 4:8) In other words, get the junk out of your minds; put your mind towards something worthwhile.
As you practice the right kind of attitudes through your problem, your heart will fill with joy. A heart filled with joy is a contented and merry heart. A happy heart brings out a cheerful countenance. Take caution. It is contagious. Your troubles may just start to melt away with a good dose of laughter.