Enjoy laughing? Turns out it does a body good. It’s been suggested that if laughter could be ordered at the corner drugstore, any doctor would prescribe many laughs every day. It seems that a dose of laughter is a combination of stimuli like that of vitamin tablets plus the relaxation of bromides.
In the movie “The Bucket List,” actors Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman play two men who find themselves facing life-threatening illnesses. Together, they compile a list of things they want to accomplish before they “kick the bucket.”
Among the assortment of items included on the list is laughing until they cry. That proved to be the last goal they would accomplish together, which is sad when you consider how good laughter is for a person.
It’s been suggested that if laughter could be ordered at the corner drugstore, any doctor would prescribe many laughs every day. It seems that a dose of laughter is a combination of stimuli like that of vitamin tablets plus the relaxation of bromides.
Laughter is exercise for the diaphragm, which is neglected in most exercises except deep breathing. Experts say if you could X-ray yourself while laughing, you would see astonishing results. Your diaphragm goes down, and your lungs expand. You are taking in more oxygen than usual. A surge of power literally runs from head to toes.
Laughter can help people deal with stress. Studies a few years ago at Loma Linda University School of Public Health in California showed that a good laugh reduces levels of the stress hormones cortisol and epinephrine, and boosts immunity. What’s more, the beneficial effects of a good belly laugh last up to 24 hours, according to researcher Lee Berk.
Researchers at Loma Linda also report that even looking forward to laughing can have a calming effect on people. They discovered that telling volunteers they would participate in an experiment that involved watching a funny video created a more positive mood and lowered their stress levels on the spot.
There are even those who think laughter helps keep a person young, offering that we don’t stop laughing because we get old, but we get old because we stop laughing.
Of course, no matter how much you laugh, eventually life will come to an end and with it, a person’s laughter. Right? It’s assumed that’s the case since laughter is never heard coming from a coffin at a funeral.
A large percentage of folks who believe in an afterlife probably don’t include laughter when they fantasize about what heaven will be like. In fact, most people’s image of heaven consists of harp playing and singing songs of praise to God. But laughter in heaven? The concept is downright sacrilegious.
There are some who believe that laughter doesn’t end when they enter the pearly gates. In fact, one person said, “If you’re not allowed to laugh in heaven, I don’t want to go there.”
Who would make such a statement?
It wasn’t Mark Twain. It was none other than church patriarch, Martin Luther.
“Where did humor orginate?” asks Randy Alcorn in his book “Heaven.” “Not with people, angels or Satan. God created all good things, including good humor. If God didn’t have a sense of humor, we as his image-bearers wouldn’t. That he has a sense of humor is evident in his creation.”
Alcorn’s belief that there will be laughter in heaven is actually scripture based. In Luke 6:21, Jesus says, “Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.”
According to Alcorn, the idea that God is joyless and humorless while Satan is the one to see for a good time is, well, laughable.
“In fact, it’s Satan who is humorless,” writes Alcorn. “Sin didn’t bring him joy; it forever stripped him of joy.”
As Alcorn points out, only followers of Christ can laugh in the face of persecution and death because they know that their present trouble isn’t all there is. They know that someday all will be right and joyful.