I was looking through some articles I had found in preparation for a workshop on wellness. One of them was a cross-cultural study that measured the effects of laughter on well-being. It reminded me of an old bit of wisdom: “A merry heart does good like a medicine.” (Proverbs 17:22)
There are bunches of articles and books declaring that this is true, from stories of people watching funny movies to laugh their way out of depression to people living far longer than expected because they stayed cheerful through life-threatening illness.
What works for you?
Are you a comics reader – A daily dose of Charlie Brown or Farside keeps you going?
OR a joke book collector – One in every room, especially the bathroom?
Or is it vids for you?
Perhaps you don’t need any of these helps. I know people who can laugh, just because they decide to.
Then there is the kind of laugh:
Are you the quiet sort, who kind of chuckles under your breath?
Or one with a real guffaw?
perhaps yours is more like a bubbling creek that just trickles out of you; maybe you have a belly laugh that has everyone around you joining in.
Do you laugh at the drop of a hat; are you one who needs to warm up to it a little?
An interesting note in this one study I was reading is that moderate levels of laughter are the most beneficial: Too little or too much either had no effect or an adverse impact because it tended to set off bouts of respiratory problems. One thing is consistent, however, laughter clearly improves our health, from the inside out.
Have you taken your merriment medicine today?