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Die Laughing

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Die Laughing - January 20, 2006

Where did we come up with the term "die laughing"? How many chuckle fatalities do you suppose there really are?

As a matter of fact, I hear more studies every day that indicate the exact opposite. Studies show that a good belly laugh lowers blood pressure and boosts the immune system. That means that people who laugh more get sick less. They're better able to fight off illness. Laughter has been found to help the circulatory and respiratory systems as well. It helps chemically with stress levels, too. It even helps a person deal with pain better.

Of course, I wouldn't necessarily suggest giving this information to a woman in labor- especially if you're the husband. It's amazing how strong a woman in labor can be. No, I don't think laughing away labor would be a good suggestion for a husband who would like to leave the hospital without having to be admitted himself. And I doubt we'll ever replace "hee hee hoo" with "ha ha ha."

But if you're in the midst of some of that non-labor kind of pain, it might be just what the doctor ordered to have a little chuckle. It may seem unnatural to be laughing through pain of any kind. But since laughter helps with physical, emotional and mental health, maybe we should stop fighting it and let ourselves laugh when the time is right. I love Proverbs 17:22: "A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person's strength." (NLT) Doesn't that mean we should stop fighting the giggles and take our medicine?
Incidentally, you might be interested to know that a good belly laugh burns a few calories, too. It's medicine and it's practically aerobic! One more reason to laugh, and one more way to be inspired to work toward a merry heart. A merry heart will add "life" to your life. So go ahead. LIVE laughing!

Rhonda Rhea writes for dozens of Christian publications and speaks at conferences and events across the country. You can find her books, "Who Put the Cat in the Fridge," "Turkey Soup for the Soul--Tastes Just Like Chicken," and "Amusing Grace" at your local Christian bookstore. "I'm Dreaming of Some White Chocolate--Christmas Reflections with a Little Holly and a Lot of Jolly" will be available in 2006. Rhonda's husband, Richie Rhea, is a pastor in Troy, Missouri. You can reach them through her Web site at: www.rhondarhea.net.
 

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