I recently watched a seminar entitled “Health-Related Benefits of Humor and Laughter” given by Psychologist Dr. Brian King. He says that laughter reduces tension. 

This is good advice at anytime but it is especially important today when we see a recent rise in domestic violence. The Pandemic has caused people to be tense because they can’t do what they would regularly do, so being more confined to their homes, they take out their frustrations on other family members.

King said that you can’t be happy and stressful at the same time. We all want to be happy but unless we deal with the stress in our lives, we’ll never be happy. 

Stress is a physical, mental, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension. Stresses can come from our environment, from psychological or social situations, or internal illness, or from a medical procedure.

Until we are honest with ourselves and face the disturbing situations and deal with them, we will never be happy. We all have problems. Until we face our problems and stop thinking of ourselves as victims, we will never get rid of our stress.

People who have a genuine relationship with God can deal with stress better than those who do not have a relation with the Almighty. St. Paul says, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Rom. 8:31) 

Psalm 23 gives us strength when it says, “Although I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me.” 

Comedian Kevin Hart said, “Laughter heals all wounds, and that’s one thing that everybody shares. No matter what you’re going through, it makes you forget about your problems. I think the world should keep laughing.” 

Try to bring a sense of humor to your family gatherings. 

King also says that laughter can boost the immune system, reduce pain, lower blood pressure, and reduce anxiety. 

Author Wayne Dyer says, “It is impossible for you to be angry and laugh at the same time. Anger and laughter are mutually exclusive and you have the power to choose either.” 

We also have the power to choose whether we want to live a healthy life style. 

Depression, the 2nd leading cause of death in the U.S., is on the rise. It is defined as a mental health disorder characterized by persistently depressed mood or loss of interest in activities, causing significant impairment in daily life. King says that laugher can help reduce depression. 

Humorist Arnold H. Glasow reminds us, “Laughter is a tranquilizer with no side effects.”

King says that laughter is social. 

Bob Newhart said, “I think one reason for a successful marriage is laughter. I think laughter gets you through the rough moments in a marriage.”

King tells us that the Bible contains humor but sometimes we take Jesus’ words too literally and we miss the humor or his exaggerations. Some examples: Jesus said, “Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? (Matt. 7:3) 

Having a log protruding from your eye is hyperbole (deliberate exaggeration, not to be taken literally.) 

Jesus said, “You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel!” (Matt 23:24) 

No one can swallow a camel. Again, “It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” (Mk 10:25) 

These exaggerations are not falsehoods, because his hearers know they are overstatements. Jesus is not misleading anyone; he is appealing to the hearer’s sense of humor to make his point. Jesus had a sense of humor!

In conclusion, Wayne Dyer tells us, “The child in you, like all children, loves to laugh, to be around people who can laugh at themselves and life. Children instinctively know that the more laughter we have in our lives, the better.” 

Laugh often!

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