To laugh is to live! To enjoy laughter is to enjoy living! When humor comes to us in wholesome and honest ways, it is both refreshing and invigorating. On the other hand, humor that is aimed and targeted as ridicule of others never benefits anyone, and leaves us feeling as though we robbed someone else of their dignity and honor, just to have self-glory, at their expense. But when humor is found in the little things in life, and harms no one, it is a gift of God provided for our enjoyment. It’s our dose of daily laughter!

A Few Examples of Daily Humor:

The other day our teenage son was washing his clothes in the laundry room, and exclaimed with shock the stains on his white clothes that had just been taken from the dryer. He said, “Mom, what are these stains, there is a blue spot here on the front on my shorts, and look, all on the back of these! I was going to wear these tonight!”  I looked closely at his new white shorts with the blue spots, and said, “This looks like detergent, laundry detergent.” He said, “The spots weren’t there when I took them out of the washing machine, and put them in the dryer.”

As he explained the steps he took, it suddenly dawned on him, and he said, “Oh, wait a minute, I think I put a Tide pod in the dryer instead of the Bounce dryer sheet!” And sure enough that is what had happened! We all had a big laugh and let him rewash his clothes, and they were as good as new! It turns out that the reddish/orange box of Bounce dryer sheets that sits on top of the dryer was covered with a towel, for some reason, and he didn’t see them as readily as he did the red Tide pod container. It was humor for us all! I thanked him, and told him that I had needed to laugh that day! He laughed to!

Then yesterday, as I was driving our little five-year-granddaughter from her house out to ours, I had stopped by a drive-thru to get her a kids meal. While we were driving, she said, “DeeDee, look at me. Can you see this?, she asked.  I said, “Sweetie, I can’t look at you right now, because I’m driving, and I have to see where I’m going.” To which she reasoned and said, “Ok, I will watch where you’re going for you, so you can look and see me!” I couldn’t help but laugh at both how sweet and funny that was!

Earlier in the afternoon, as she was swinging on her new swing set, she called to her dad, “Daddy, I can feel the Holy Spirit, when I’m swinging, and I close my eyes!”

And the other day, when my mom texted me the dishes she was making for a Sunday gathering which included a chicken-pot-pie, blueberry cobbler crunch, and a platter of steamed broccoli and carrots (with parsley), she said that my humorous sister had told her make sure she made a “BIG” platter of broccoli and carrots, that she was sure everyone would want some!

And when we took four of our sons tubing out on the boat the other day, our youngest son had us rolling with laughter with his antics while he was on the tube, pretending to be yawning, relaxing, texting, answering the phone and reading a book. He had everyone on the boat laughing out loud the rest of the afternoon! I realized later that it wasn’t the tubing, but the laughing, that they had enjoyed the most!

These are just a few of the “funnies” that I have laughed out loud with, just in the last few days, and even recounting them here, brings up fresh rolls of laughter again! The kind that leaves you feeling calm and relaxed all over.

When we give ourselves a chance, we can experience the funniest things without even trying too hard. Just by taking in the moments of our every-day lives, we can find the joy that honest laughter can bring!

The Benefits of Daily Humor:

Laughter is a natural wonder, and according to the Mayo Clinic, has many health benefits, both short-term and long-term. Healthy, hardy laughter produces physical changes in your body, and can both lower your blood pressure, and decrease stress, depression and anxiety, bringing about a soothing, relaxed feeling of well-being. Laughter can increase the endorphins that are released by your brain, and therefore lightens your load mentally, and enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air, and stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles.

In addition to stress relief, and pain relief, laughter can also help improve your immune system. The reports that negative thoughts manifest into chemical reactions that can affect your body by bringing more stress into your system that decreases your immunity, whereas, positive thoughts can release neuropeptides that help fight stress as well as potentially more serious illnesses.

Even the Bible says, “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine; but a broken spirit drieth the bones,” Proverbs 17:22 (KJV). The medicinal benefits of laughter are both healing and healthful!

So be sure to laugh every day! And share your fun stories with others, so they can laugh, and get their daily dose of laughter as well!

Deborah Reynolds Harper, Ph.D.

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