Everyone who knows me, knows how I love to take pictures. I love to make people smile. I love to watch mothers tear up when they are looking at their child’s photographs, whether Senior pictures or baby pictures. It brings such joy to me to give to others. I like to take pictures and put them in the newspaper, the kids and parents enjoy seeing themselves. It makes them smile and it makes me smile.
Many times we get so stressed out or high strung we forget to smile and to laugh. When a person doesn’t expose themselves to joy every once in awhile, it can reek havoc on your body and mind.
Some friends came over last night and we were acting silly in front of my Mac with the photo booth. We laughed so hard and long just by acting silly and posing for the camera. Before we realized it, the time had flown by. I found it quite hard to wind down to go to sleep at eleven. It was fun to smile and to laugh with one another. It will bring up memories of laughter every time we view the pictures. Who do you surround yourself with? Is it people who bring joy or laughter to your life?
How do you actually reduce the levels of chronic stress in your body and enhance your lifespan, boost immune system function, protect your nervous system and your sanity, and give your endocrine system a much-needed rest? LAUGH! Laughter is a healing activity.
Now, we all know is oxygen is good for your body. Oxygen gives us energy. It’s also interesting to note that cancer cells are destroyed in the presence of oxygen. In fact, many parasites and bacteria don’t survive well in the presence of oxygen, and to the extent that you can circulate extra oxygen throughout your body, you can help prevent, or in some cases treat, these diseases. This is one reason why we see an increasing number of so-called “oxygen bars”. Lyle, Jordan, Spencer and I decided to try one of these at the Nashville Mall. We couldn’t get Jeff to do the most ridiculous act, he waited and talked on his cell phone. We paid $20 each to sit in a massage chair, listen to music and breath in high flavored oxygen. It was quite an experience for twenty minutes. Afterwards, they gave us a head massage, back rub and a shot of energy drink with a chaser. The powerful chocolate covered strawberry smell going up through my plastic tube into my nose only made me hungry. People enjoy going to these bars and breathing a much higher concentration of oxygen, because they say it gives them greater mental clarity (and hunger). But the point is, oxygen is good for you, and when you laugh, you get more oxygen into the cells of your body. If you can laugh at an oxygen bar, that’s even better!
Laughing also boosts circulation, so at the same time that you’re distributing oxygen around your body, you’re boosting the circulation of your blood; you’re exercising abdominal muscles; you’re exercising the muscles of your face; and you’re enhancing the flexibility of various joints throughout your body. So it’s a bit of physical exercise and healthful body movement as well.
The harder you laugh, the greater this effect. If you can find a way to put yourself into a state of rolling, outrageous laughter, you’re going to get a fantastic physical workout from it. In fact, the next day, you may even find your stomach muscles are sore. Have you ever laughed so hard that your stomach hurt and your facial muscles were exhausted? That’s some serious exercise, and it’s the kind of exercise in which we should all engage on a regular basis.
Laughter effects your body and mind. When you laugh it also improves your outlook on life; it will diminish any symptoms of depression; and because it helps reduce stress, it will also prevent all of the various diseases and disorders that are caused by stress.
Find a way to get laughter into your life, even if it means being a little weird or laughing at yourself. It does the body good!
Psalms 126 When God brought us out, it was a dream. How we laughed and sang for joy and others said, “What amazing things the Lord had done for them.” Yes, glorious things, what wonder, what joy. May we be refreshed as by streams in the desert. Those who sow tears shall reap joy.