Laugh it Out Loud!

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laughter2Yes, it’s true: Way too many bad and insane things are going on around us!  All of which could make you want to be of a heavy heart, saddened, stressed-out, negative and laugh-less.  But those are choices you’ve made. And they’re dangerous choices for your health.  They rob you of your power to be well.  They rob you of the “Joy of the Lord Who is your strength.”  Who’s stealing your joy?  Your laughter?  Your peace?  Primarily it’s the sworn enemy of your body, soul and spirit… the evil one.  But it’s also…you.

What to do about it

Laugh.  Laughter is a powerful antidote to stress, pain, and conflict. Nothing works faster or more dependably to bring your mind and body back into balance than a good laugh. Humor lightens your burdens, inspires hopes, connects you to others, and keeps you grounded, focused, and alert.

With so much power to heal and renew, the ability to laugh easily and frequently is a tremendous resource for surmounting problems, enhancing your relationships, and supporting both physical and emotional health.

close to home 16Laughter is good for your health

  • Laughter relaxes the whole body. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.
  • Laughter boosts the immune system. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.
  • Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.
  • Laughter protects the heart. Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.

close to home 8The Benefits of Laughter

  • Boosts immunity
  • Prevents heart disease
  • Lowers stress hormones
  • Decreases pain
  • Relaxes your muscles
  • Gives you the power to be well

Mental Health Benefits:

  • Adds joy and zest to life
  • Improves mood
  • Eases anxiety and fear
  • Relieves stress
  • Enhances resilience

Social Benefits:

  • Helps defuse conflict
  • Strengthens relationships
  • Attracts others to us
  • Enhances teamwork
  • Promotes group bonding

laughter3Laughter and humor help you stay emotionally healthy

Laughter makes you feel good (and look good).  And the good feeling that you get when you laugh remains with you even after the laughter subsides. Good, clean humor helps you keep a positive, optimistic outlook through difficult situations, disappointments, and loss.

More than just a breather from sadness and pain, laughter gives you the courage and strength to find new sources of meaning and hope. Even in the most difficult of times, a laugh – or even simply a smile – can go a long way toward making you feel better. And laughter really is contagious – just hearing laughter primes your brain and readies you to smile and join in the fun.

laughter4The link between laughter and mental health

  • Laughter helps you relax and recharge. It reduces stress and increases energy, enabling you to stay focused and accomplish more.
  • Laughter dissolves distressing emotions. You can’t feel anxious, angry, or sad when you’re laughing.
  • Humor shifts perspective, allowing you to see situations in a more realistic, less threatening light. A humorous perspective creates psychological distance, which can help you avoid feeling overwhelmed.

The social benefits of humor and laughter

close to home 17Humor and playful communication strengthen our relationships by triggering positive feelings and fostering emotional connection. When we laugh with one another, a positive bond is created. This bond acts as a strong buffer against stress, disagreements, and disappointment.

  • Read the funny pages.
  • Laughing with others is much more powerful than laughing alone.
  • Play with a pet.
  • Creating opportunities to laugh
  • Watch a funny movie or TV show. Laugh along with the old classics such as “The Three Stooges”, “I Love Lucy”, etc.
  • Seek out funny people.
  • Share a good clean joke or a funny story.
  • Check out your bookstore’s humor section.
  • Host game night with friends.
  • Goof around with children.
  • Make time for fun activities (e.g. bowling, miniature golfing, karaoke).

4 guysShared laughter is one of the most effective tools for keeping relationships fresh and exciting. All emotional sharing builds strong and lasting relationship bonds, but sharing laughter and play also adds joy, vitality, and resilience.  Humor is a powerful and effective way to heal resentments, disagreements, and hurts. Laughter unites people during difficult times and these are difficult times so find your laughter.

Incorporating more humor and play into your daily interactions can improve the quality of your love relationships – as well as your connections with co-workers, family members, and friends. Using humor and laughter in relationships allows you to:

  • Bring more humor and laughter into your life.
  • Be more spontaneous. Humor gets you out of your head and away from your troubles. It gives you the chance to “lighten up”.
  • Let go of defensiveness. Laughter helps you forget judgments, criticisms, and doubts.
  • Release inhibitions. Your fear of holding back and holding on are set aside.
  • Express your true feelings. Deeply felt emotions are allowed to rise to the surface.
  • Blow off stress which is a killer.
  • Restore your joy.

CorgyWant a little bit more laughter in your life?  Get a pet…

Most of us have experienced the joy of playing with a furry friend, and pets are a rewarding way to bring more laughter and joy into your life.

Having a pet is good for your mental and physical health.

Studies show that pets can protect you depression, stress, and even heart disease.

God gave You the Gift of Laughter

Laughter is your created birthright, a natural part of life that is innate and inborn. Infants begin smiling during the first weeks of life and laugh out loud soon after being born and even in the womb. If you didn’t grow up in a household where laughter was a common sound, you can learn to laugh at any stage of life…it’s never too late.

Begin by setting aside special times to seek out humor and laughter, just as you do with working out, and build upon it from there. Eventually, you’ll want to incorporate humor and laughter into the fabric of your life, finding it naturally in everything you do.

close to home 11Here are some ways to start:

  • Spend time with fun, playful people. These are people who laugh easily – both at themselves and at life’s absurdities – who routinely find the humor in everyday events. Their playful point of view and laughter are contagious. They are healthy and refreshing to be around.
  • Count your blessings: Literally make a list from top to bottom. The simple act of considering the good things in your life will distance you from negative thoughts that are a barrier to humor and laughter. When you’re in a state of sadness, you have a long ways to go to get to humor and laughter, so stay as close to the road of laughter as possible.
  • Smiling is the beginning of laughter. Like laughter, it’s contagious. It’s possible to laugh without even experiencing a funny event. The same holds for smiling. When you look at someone or see something even mildly pleasing, practice smiling.
  • When you hear laughter, move toward it. Sometimes humor and laughter are private, a shared joke among a small group, but usually not. More often, people are very happy to share something funny because it gives them an opportunity to laugh again and feed off the humor you find in it. When you hear laughter, seek it out and ask, “What’s funny?”
  • Bring humor into conversations. Ask people, “What’s the funniest thing that happened to you today? This week? In your life?”
  • Developing your sense of humor: Take yourself less seriously! For goodness sake lighten up!

close to home 10One essential characteristic that helps us laugh is not taking ourselves too seriously. We’ve all known the classic tight-jawed sourpuss who takes everything with deathly seriousness and never laughs at anything. No fun there! In fact, they’re toxic to you and really should be avoided if you want the power to be well.

Some events are clearly sad and not occasions for laughter. But most events in life don’t carry an overwhelming sense of either sadness or delight. They fall into the gray zone of ordinary life – giving you the choice to laugh or not. Use discretion and wisdom.

Ways to help yourself see the lighter side of life:

  • Surround yourself with reminders to lighten up. Keep a toy on your desk or in your car. Put up a funny poster in your office. Choose a computer screensaver that makes you laugh. Frame photos of you and your family or friends having fun.
  • Laugh at yourself. Share your embarrassing moments. The best way to take yourself less seriously is to talk about times when you took yourself too seriously.
  • Attempt to laugh at situations rather than bemoan them. Look for the humor in a bad situation, and uncover the irony and absurdity of life. This will help improve your mood and the mood of those around you.
  • Keep things in perspective. Many things in life are beyond your control – particularly the behavior of other people. While you might think taking the weight of the world on your shoulders is admirable; it’s unrealistic, unproductive, unhealthy, and egotistical. Most pastors/leaders are guilty of this, so stop it and lighten up because you ain’t God.
  • Deal with your overload of stress with professional help. Stress is a major obstruction to humor and laughter.
  • Pay attention to children and imitate them. They’re the experts on playing, taking life lightly, and laughing.

Checklist for lightening up

When you find yourself in what seems to be a horrible problem, ask these questions:

  • What does God’s Word say about it?
  • Is it really worth getting upset over?
  • Is it worth upsetting others?
  • Is it that important?
  • Is it that bad?
  • Is the situation irreparable?
  • Is it really your problem?

Bottom Line: You need to laugh and if you do, you probably need to laugh more. As you’ve discovered, laughter is VERY healthy for you… it gives you the power to be well.

Ready to laugh? The following is a list of 10 Funny Church Bulletins that you may have seen before, but to see them again is always worth a chuckle or two. Let’s have some fun with it.  By the way, Church, it’s always important to have a proof reader or two, or three. So, let’s lighten up and laugh:

10. The Fasting and Prayer Conference.  Includes Meal

Ohhh really, does it, now? That seems very tempting. For those wishing to fast, this church is going to cook some Chicken Fried Steak with all the trimmings right in front of you.

  1. Ladies, don’t forget the rummage sale. It’s a chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around. Don’t forget your husbands.

Wow! Fun times! This church is selling husbands in a rummage sale. I wonder, what was the going rate? Don’t get on a wife’s bad side (not that she has one!) or hubby will be sold.  Happy wife, happy life.

  1. Don’t let worry kill you.  Let the church help.

It seems like this church is now being hired out as assassins – Holy Assassins.

  1. Thursday at 8 PM will be a meeting of the Little Mothers Club. All wishing to become Little Mothers, Please see the minister in his private study.

Talk about scandalous. Can you imagine what your reaction would be if you saw this in your church bulletin?  How could anyone keep a straight face? I betcha folks erupted into laughter (and odd looks) the moment they saw this hilarious church bulletin typo.

  1. The senior choir invites any member of the congregation who enjoys sinning to join the choir.

Do you enjoy sinning? Well, you’re in luck! This church has just the place for you – the sinning choir!  Please sign-up with them by listing the sins you enjoy on a daily basis. Preference is given to those who enjoy sinning the most.

  1. Please join us as we show our support for Amy and Alan in preparing for the girth of their first child.

This poor, poor child. Let us pray…the child definitely needs it. But, will he or she even fit in our prayers, much less the crib?

  1. Bertha Belch, a missionary from Africa, will be speaking tonight at Calvary Baptist. Come hear Bertha Belch all the way from Africa.

I’m sure a lot of folks came out to hear Bertha Belch all the way from Africa. I hope they have the audio archived; wouldn’t you love to hear it?  Besides the typo, can we just take a moment to reflect on how awesome that name is: Bertha Belch.

  1. The sermon this morning: “Jesus Walks on the Water.”  The sermon tonight: “Searching for Jesus.”

Yep, He walked on water, but according to this church He must’ve got lost doing it.

  1. For those of you who have children and don’t know it, we have a nursery downstairs.

Do you think a lot of people realized this one? If you have children but don’t know it, remember the church has a nursery…somewhere…downstairs.

  1. Fred Carter and Amy Benton were married on September 17 in the church.  So ends a friendship that began in their school days.

What this typo is telling congregants is that, once Fred marries Amy, they’ll no longer be friends. After all, surely they must know the three rings of marriage: the engagement ring, the wedding ring, and the suffering.

Okay yall, those are always funny… always good for a chuckle or two.  Now then, head on over to my website: www.WannaLaff.Fun or www.BabyBoomer.Fun – either one takes you to the same site. While there make sure you purchase my latest, 3rd Edition book, “Wanna Laff”.

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