Friday, 4 May 2012

The Best Medicine - Laughter

A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
Proverbs 17:22
Humor is infectious. When laughter is shared, it binds people together and increases happiness and intimacy. Laughter also triggers healthy physical changes in the body. Humor and laughter strengthen your immune system, boost your energy, diminish pain, and protect you from the damaging effects of stress.

As if these aren’t reasons enough to yuk it up humor can strengthen relationships, help defuse conflict and it promotes bonding.

There are numerous references to humor in Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and even Job.  What do these books of the Bible have in common?  They are four out of the five books of the Bible referred to as the Wisdom Literature, and for the most part written by Solomon who was known for his wisdom.

Obviously we are not talking about humor that is at someone else’s expense.  Usually sarcastic humor should be avoided unless both partners specialize in such wit.  Usually situational humor is the funniest, i.e. when I find my missing keys in the refrigerator.  Learning to laugh at ourselves can almost be a full time job for some of us.  Taking ourselves and our circumstances too seriously can lead to great stress and anxiety.

There are humorous expressions such as “Everyone has a photographic memory. Some just don't have film.”  When I do something that would be deemed less than intelligent I’ll say to my wife, “The wheel is still spinning, but clearly the gerbil has left the cage.”  I have another friend, and I use that term advisedly who says to me, “I’d agree with you but then we would both be wrong.”

Occasionally as we are driving along my wife will say, “what are you thinking about?”  Now for a guy this is a dangerous question. There is a very well known comedian who has made big bucks acknowledging that men have a “nothing box” which they frequent often.  So I can either tell my wife that I am in my nothing box or that I was lost in thought which for me could be considered unfamiliar territory.

I have never seen a marriage that wasn’t greatly enhanced by a huge dose of humor.

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