God’s Medicine For Our Hearts
A cheerful heart is good medicine,
but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.
PROVERBS 17:22 (NLT)
One of my favorite books of the Bible is Proverbs. Proverbs, the Bible’s book of ancient wisdom, is known for its practical advice for daily living but also for its sound advice for healthy living. I love it when modern scientific research catches up – thousands of years later – and proves God’s advice and wisdom to be true. Take a look at the following health benefits that have been linked to laughter and having a “cheerful heart”.
- Reduces immune suppressors such as epinephrine and cortisol.
- General increase in immune system activity – specifically “T” cells, “B” cells, immunoglobulins and natural killer cell activity.
- Increases heart rate.
- Temporarily increases blood pressure followed by a prolonged mild decrease in blood pressure.
- Increases breathing, which raises oxygen consumption.
- Increases muscle relaxation.
- Increases levels of beta-endorphins – natural painkillers in the blood stream.
- Reduces stress due to the above physiological changes.
Benefit: Reduces certain chemicals produced by your body that can have an adverse affect on your immune system.
Benefit: Increases chemicals in your body that help fight infection and disease.
Benefit: You get a workout without going to the gym!
Benefit: Your vascular system gets a healthy workout! Some researchers call laughing “informal jogging.”
Benefit: Your respiratory system gets a healthy workout too! After a hearty laugh you frequently have to take in a big breath of air.
Benefit: Your muscles relax, prompting comments such as “I laughed so hard I wet my pants!”
Benefit: This is why we feel so much better after a good laugh.
Benefit: High stress people who laugh easily have shown to be less depressed and anxious than folks who have a gloomier perspective.
So please – no matter what you are presently enduring – enjoy a spoonful of laughter because …
A chuckle a day may not keep the doctor away,
but it sure does make those times in life’s waiting room
a little more bearable.
ANNE WILSON SCHAEF
On the Journey with You,
Dave and Jan Dravecky