Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Is Laughter Really the Best Medicine?

My wife and I really enjoy watching America's Funniest Home Videos.  Currently hosted by Tom Bergeron, AFV is now in it's 21st season and keeps getting better with each passing year.  What a great concept for a television show! The viewers provide 90% of the content, while the writers fill in the cracks with funny quips.  My favorite categories are (with videos illustrating each category) -

  1. Animals going crazy
  2. People scaring others
  3. Groin shots

Much of what I enjoy about this show is being able to laugh with (ok sometimes at) other people's misadventures.  While we never see the aftermath of what happens once the camera stops rolling, I just assume that the people and pets are not permanently damaged or scarred.

Medical studies show that the benefits of laughter include lowering blood pressure, exercising certain muscles (you can burn up to 50 calories an hour laughing, so crank up the reruns of Seinfeld), as well as ridding the body of unwanted toxins.  Plus it just makes you feel great, and it's absolutely contagious - there's nothing like laughing with others.  

I love to laugh - loud and long and clear.  There's just something very refreshing about it.  Proverbs 17:22a states ever so clearly - "A cheerful heart is good medicine."  Proverbs 31:25b shows the virtuous woman as one who "Laughs without fear of the future".  Job 8:21 tells us "He will yet fill your mouth with laughter, and your lips with shouting".  I firmly believe God is a God of humor when the time is appropriate.  How else can you account for Adam Sandler's extremely successful movie career?  Or what about the aye-aye, a lemur that's native to Madagascar, pictured below?

So what makes you laugh?  How many calories did you burn today through laughter? 

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