Laughter and Joy

Contributing Writer: Lisa Duscio, Team Inheritance of Hope Coordinator
The Bible holds countless mysteries that modern science has barely tapped into. As we read in Proverbs 17:22, the Bible tells us about a good medicine. Today, there is a science discipline called gelotology that is the study of humor and laughter and its psychological and physiological effects on the body. 

Read these 15 psychological and physiological benefits of humor (Berk, 2001).

8 Psychological benefits of laughter:

  • Reduces anxiety
  • Reduces tension
  • Reduces stress
  • Reduces depression
  • Reduces loneliness
  • Improves self-esteem
  • Restores hope and energy 
  • Provides a sense of empowerment and control

7 Physiological benefits of laughter:

  • Improves mental functioning 
  • Exercises and relaxes muscles
  • Improves respiration
  • Stimulates circulation
  • Decreases stress hormones 
  • Increases immune system defenses
  • Increases production of endorphins

Once again we see science is only confirming a deep Bible truth! Laughter is good medicine!

Action Item

What makes you laugh, cackle, guffaw, howl, shriek, or roar?? 

Only you know. Plan time in your life to be around that environment, those people, the music, that movie.

Daily purposing to laugh will get easier the more you do it. 
My Story

As I battled stage 3 cancer in 2001, I purposed to be around those things and people that made me happy and light-hearted. I spent tons of time with my three year old. She even came to every doctor appointment with me (minus the infusions). I played Pinnacle regularly with fun friends, and I watched shows that were funny to me. Granny from the Beverly Hillbilly’s makes me laugh! I laughed with the people I loved. 

Life went on, and I had learned to enjoy the journey, although I did not give up believing the circumstances would change. Living in the present helps us to trust God … and this, in turn, most often produces a byproduct that we can’t produce on our own - called authentic JOY!

We are each in a different place in our self-care journey. We range from having serious health issues to being serious health nuts living in outstanding strength. The truth is, how we deal with setbacks, our attitude, our resilience in spite of our physical circumstance, will define our legacy. As we go forth with an attitude of joy, hope, and confidence, “self-care” transforms into a powerful message for others. Those who witness our enduring spirit of strength through trial will be inspired by our legacy of self-care.