April May 2020 Newsletter The Importance of Laughter
The importance of laughter
I am pretty confident we all could use more laughter in our lives today. I know I need it every day. Being able to see the funny side of life makes it easier for us to deal with tough times.
As most of you know, I am a big fan of Joel Osteen, the pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas. I was very fortunate to attend his church last August and visit with him after the service. Today I want to share some of Joel’s thoughts as well as my own perspective on the importance of laughter.
If you want to live a long and healthy life, laughing is a great place to start. Many people are unaware of the remarkable things that a simple laugh can do for their health.
Scientists tell us that laughter, humor, and joy improve our physical health. Laughing lowers blood pressure, reduces stress hormones, and increases muscle flexion. It increases the circulation of antibodies in the bloodstream and makes us more resistant to infection. Research has shown that laughter has an anti-inflammatory effect that protects blood vessels and heart muscles from the damaging effects of cardiovascular disease.
In the words of Joel Osteen:
“A lot of the sickness in our world is simply because we don’t have the joy that we should. When we live uptight and on edge, it causes headaches, digestive problems, lack of energy. We don’t sleep well. Much of this would go away if we would just learn how to deal with the stress properly. One of the greatest stress relievers God has given us is laughter. Laughter is like taking medicine. It not only makes you feel better but it actually releases healing throughout your system. When we laugh it restores and rejuvenates what the pressures of life have taken out.”
Laughter helps us to transcend ourselves, and I need that help. Too often I take myself far too seriously. Knowing this, I take advantage of every opportunity to make fun of myself.
When I was honored as the University of Nebraska’s “Man of the Year,” I purposely designed my acceptance speech to make EVERYONE laugh at EVERYTHING I said. I told the audience I was such a bad football player that they didn’t issue me a helmet until my third year because they knew I would never get to play. I said they would put the cheerleaders in the game before they would consider me, and so on. The audience was rolling with laughter the entire time I was speaking, and that was my goal. I enjoy making fun of myself. Why? Because it makes people laugh, and it makes me laugh, too.
Here’s a suggestion. The next time you’re in the middle of an argument, start laughing – not in a derogatory tone, but in the jovial sense of being in on a good joke. Then see if the anger begins to melt away and if you can find a more creative way to handle things. I’ve done this, and it actually works. And you know what else? When I think about doing it but I don’t follow through, I know that I have lost my perspective.
Laughter can be an important tool for keeping our troubles in proportion, for realizing that things aren’t always as bad as they seem. But even when things really are as bad as we think they are, laughter creates positive emotions and helps us find a frame of mind in which we can more easily cope with the struggles of life. Laughter eases tension and sharpens our ability to concentrate.
If you and I are able to laugh together about my mistakes as well as yours, it suggests we are all flawed and imperfect. Embracing good-natured humor, we find the humility to see the foolishness of trying to be perfect and the gift of enjoying smiles, laughter, and love.
Social interaction is a highly important aspect of our lives. However, for some people, engaging socially is not the easiest of tasks. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be hard. In fact, breaking the ice with new people can be as simple as finding something to share a laugh over. A simple joke or a comment about something funny is all it takes. You would likely be surprised by how well this works. I have done this not only with new friends but also in my conversations with real estate clients and people who hire me to speak.
Laughter is contagious, and it doesn’t take much to spread it to others. Laughing will also attract the right type of people into your life. The vibes we send out will attract people with the same types of vibes. Therefore, the happier we are, the more likely we are to pull happy and positive people into our lives.
Life can become very stressful at times. Exposure to stress over long periods of time can begin to have negative impacts on your mental and physical health. On top of that, it’s anything but pleasant.
If you are currently stressed out, the cure may be as simple as finding some humor in your day. If you find this hard to believe, a simple search on the Internet will alleviate any of your doubts.
Depression is no laughing matter. However, laughter can prevent depression from occurring. When we laugh, we release endorphins into our bloodstream that make us feel good physically as well as mentally.
On top of that, humor promotes a positive mindset. Our mindset plays a key role in helping us live a happy and successful life. If we see things in a negative light, negativity will be drawn into our lives. On the other hand, if we see the world in a positive light, positive things will happen.
It’s hard to think negatively when you’re laughing. I’m sure you have had a day where you thought nothing could go worse and then suddenly someone or something made you laugh and turned your entire day around. That’s the beautiful thing about laughter – it has the power to not only change a day but an entire life.
There is no need to be serious all the time. As the old saying goes, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” There is more truth to this saying than many people realize.
We only get one life, so it’s important to make it the best that we can. The more we laugh, the more enjoyable life will become. Best of all, when we are able to enjoy life, everything else seems to fall into place. So, laughter can basically be the piece you need to make the jigsaw puzzle of life come together.
As you can see, laughter does some very important things in our lives. If you want to enjoy these benefits, all you have to do is laugh. It doesn’t even necessarily have to be genuine laughter. Sooner or later, even a fake laugh turns into a real one.
If you’re currently experiencing some doubts on how powerful laughing can be, take this into consideration. The benefits of laughing are so amazing that a form of therapy has been developed that revolves around laughter. It’s known as laughter therapy.
Joel Osteen reminds us,
“Proverbs 17:22 puts it like this, ‘A happy heart is like a good medicine and a cheerful mind works healing.’ Notice, when we’re good-natured and full of joy, taking time to laugh, taking time to play, it’s like taking a good medicine. That’s what helps us to stay healthy. In fact, medical science tells us that people that laugh, it boosts their immune system. Laughter reduces blood pressure. People that laugh regularly are 40% less likely to have a heart attack than people that don’t laugh regularly. Laughter triggers the right side of the brain, which helps release creativity, helps us to make better decisions. Laughter activates the body’s natural tranquilizers that not only help us to calm down but it helps us to sleep better.
Laughter is a mindset that we all can incorporate into our lives. And best of all, it’s free and everyone around you will benefit.
If not now, then when? And if not you, then who?