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Laugh It Up

"A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones."1

"Laughter may not be the best medicine, but it is surprisingly effective. While the idea has been around for a while, more studies are confirming the anecdotal evidence. In a study published in Diabetes Care, researchers reported that people with type II diabetes had a smaller rise in blood glucose when they watched a comedy program versus a boring lecture on television. A team at the University of Maryland found that people who laughed often and were able to see the humor in situations were less likely to develop heart disease.

"Researchers say people who laugh tend to be healthier people. In study after study, hostility and anger are associated with disease, and humor with health. This is especially true when you're laughing it up with friends. Research on support groups has shown that the effects of laughter are magnified when it takes place in a social setting."2

I worked as a teacher for several years, and one of the greatest things about children is their sense of humor. Their belly laughs are contagious! It's as though all my worries melted away and my day became brighter the moment I started laughing along with them. I have also met a few adults with this same cheerfulness, but it is less common as adults tend to get consumed with the stresses and responsibilities of life. This is exactly why it is so important for us to be cheerful people! Our attitudes will be contagious to those around us.

Some ways to cultivate a cheerful spirit is by being grateful for all the good things God has given us, focusing on the gifts every new day brings - life, health, family, friends, and love to name a few. The moment we start clinging to God's promises about his provision and constant care for us, then we can let go of all the worries weighing us down and laugh it up! 

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you for the people in my life who are good medicine for my soul. Give me a cheerful spirit so that I, too, can be contagious to those around me who need it most. Thank you for your constant care and provision for me, and for all the good things you allow me to enjoy. In Jesus' name, amen.

1. Proverbs 17:22 (NIV).
2. Paul Perry, "Seven Resolutions to Keep This Year, Part 6," AH About Health, Winter 2004. Page 9. Published by McMurry publishers and South Coast Medical Center, Laguna Beach, CA. by

Today's Encounter was written by: Crystal B. 

All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.