A lot of the sickness in our world is simply because we don't have the joy that we should. When we live uptight and on edge, it causes headaches, digestive problems, lack of energy. We don't sleep well. Much of this would go away if we would just learn how to deal with the stress properly. One of the greatest stress relievers God has given us is laughter. Laughter is like taking medicine. It not only makes you feel better but it actually releases healing throughout your system. When we laugh it restores and rejuvenates what the pressures of life have taken out.
Proverbs 17:22 puts it like this, "A happy heart is like a good medicine and a cheerful mind works healing." Notice, when we're good-natured and full of joy, taking time to laugh, taking time to play, it's like taking a good medicine. That's what helps us to stay healthy. In fact, medical science tells us that people that laugh, it boosts their immune system.
Laughter reduces blood pressure. People that laugh regularly are 40% less likely to have a heart attack than people that don't laugh regularly. Laughter triggers the right side of the brain, which helps release creativity, helps us to make better decisions. Laughter activates the body's natural tranquilizers that not only help us to calm down but it helps us to sleep better.
I know this one lady, she hadn't slept well in years and years. She was constantly taking tranquilizers. She had taken them so long it hardly even affected her anymore. She had tried everything, different diets, different doctors, different medicines. Nothing seemed to work.
But this one doctor gave her a very unusual prescription. He said, "Every night before you go to bed, you need to watch something funny – a funny movie, a funny video, a funny drama – something that makes you laugh." She started doing that night after night. Month after month she got better and better. Today she is totally off her medications. She can sleep like a baby.
What happened? She was having to take man-made tranquilizers because she wasn't releasing the natural tranquilizers that God put on the inside. Could it be that you would receive the healing you've been longing for if you would just lighten up and learn to laugh more often? Could it be that the headaches, backaches, migraines, chronic pain, chronic fatigue, even depression would go away if we would just take time to play, to laugh, to enjoy the life God has given us?
When my mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 1981 this is one of the things that she did. During the day, instead of going to bed, instead of sitting around feeling sorry for herself, thinking about her problems, she would go in and watch cartoons on television. She would sit there and laugh and laugh. What was she doing? She was releasing the healing that God put on the inside. If she couldn't find something funny to watch she'd just go look at my brother, Paul. That always made her laugh!
I know when I've had a hard day and I feel pressured and uptight it causes me to have a backache. Right down the center of my spine I can feel this pain and I know it's just from tension. I do just what I'm asking you to do. I'll go play with my children. They always make me laugh. Or, I'll watch something funny on television. Invariably, after a few minutes of laughing that pain is totally gone. It's just like I had a good massage but it was a lot cheaper!
The medicine I'm talking about today can save you a lot of money. It can save you from buying sleeping pills, tranquilizers and anti-depressants. Laughter releases the body's natural medicines. It can not only bring physical healing but laughter will help strengthen our relationships.
I have a good friend that is a doctor. He told how this lady came in that has a severe case of fibromyalgia. It's very painful. She would spend hours a day in bed suffering. She had chronic fatigue, no energy. She was in poor health both physically and emotionally. She had gone through tough times and lived a basically very depressed life.
The doctor gave her medication to treat the pain but he knew that was only dealing with the symptoms and not the root cause. After he talked with her a while he realized just how depressed she was. He asked her a very interesting question. He said, “How long has it been since you've had a good, hearty laugh?
The lady thought about it a moment. She said, "Doctor, I haven't laughed like that in over 30 years, since I was a child."
He said, "Well, here's your prescription. You need to go find every funny movie you can find. Go find every funny book you can read and laugh as much as you possibly can."
She began to do just that. Instead of sitting around feeling sorry for herself she began to laugh. Little by little she got her joy back. Every day she would laugh more and more. She started feeling better. The pain began to subside. She got her energy back. Three months later she went back to the doctor for her checkup. He said the moment she walked in he could tell something was different. There was a sparkle in her eye, a spring in her step, a smile on her face.
She said, "Doctor, I've never felt so good in all of my life."
Month after month, as she continued to relearn how to laugh, eventually, all those diseases left her body. There is too much sickness in our world today. Much of it is related to sadness. It's directly related to the fact that we don't smile enough. We live uptight and stressed out. What's happening? There's a healing power that we're not tapping into.
There's a medicine available, a cure that is completely free. It has no side effects. You can take it as often as you'd like.
I'm going to give you a prescription today: Every day, at least three times, find something funny that makes you laugh out loud. Not a laugh on the inside. Not a chuckle down in here. No, release that joy out loud. Release those endorphins on the inside. Activate your natural tranquilizers.
Every time you laugh it boosts your immune system. It reduces your blood pressure. Tension leaves and creativity comes. If you'll stay on this prescription and laugh every day with a happy heart, having a cheerful mind, then you're going to sleep better. You're going to get more done. You'll have more energy. You're going to make better decisions. You'll be more creative. I believe even some of these areas of chronic pain, chronic fatigue, you'll begin to see them go away.
Make sure you're taking your medicine!
by JOEL OSTEEN