One day after finishing my college classes, I felt very ill, was nauseous, and had a headache, fever and body aches. Later that day I still had to go to a band practice, and that was the last thing I felt like doing. About an hour before having to leave, I turned on the tv and watched an old rerun of “All in the Family”.
Although I do not remember the episode, I do recall laughing. It was very funny. I laughed a lot. When the show ended, I felt well. I walked across campus to go to my band practice, walked home, ate and stayed up late doing homework. I have often felt that joy is a very important part of my spirituality and health.
A study from the American College of Cardiology found laughing very beneficial to health, having a similar effect to aerobic activity. 95% of the volunteers in the study had better blood flow after watching a comedy. Other studies have shown that laughing benefits the immune system, blood sugar levels, and allows a better night’s sleep.
Laughter is also good for our spiritual health. Peanuts creator, Charles Schultz, once said, “Humor is a proof of faith.” Our spirituality is increased as we have the humility to laugh at ourselves and join others in good-natured joy. The Psalmist wrote, “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord all ye lands.” What more joyful noise is there than laughing!
It is reported that the average American child laughs 200 times per day. Also, adults only laugh 15 times a day. We need to increase that! Our spirituality and health demands of us more laughter. In this case, childlikeness is so valuable. I think that is what Mary Baker Eddy found when she was advising her Church about the value of innocence. She wrote, “Beloved children, the world has need of you, - and more as children than as men and women: it needs your innocence, unselfishness, faithful affection, uncontaminated lives.”
Your laughter is needed. Give us a chuckle, a guffaw, a ho-ho-ho, it’s a way of helping others, and it brings health benefits back to you!