Searching for happiness is a big part of our life. We not only want it but we have an inner need and desire to spread joy to others. I notice that when I tell a funny story and make someone laugh, I wish I could tell another one. Laughter and smiles are contagious and spread from person to person.
“Humor helps keep life in perspective,” said Gary K. Palmer, a BYU professor. “When a person laughs, blood pressure decreases, heart rate and respiration increase, the body releases endorphins, and depression declines. After the laughter subsides and you relax again, that good feeling has a lasting effect, even until the next day. Not many medicines will do that.” (The Power of Laughter, Ensign, September 2007)”
I’ve always heard that laughter is the best medicine. Is it really true? The Reader’s Digest wrote, “Scientific evidence has shown that laughter helps people breathe easier and it massages the heart and other vital organs.” (The Healing Power of Laughter, Reader’s Digest, 2010)
Some scientists believe that it can even guard against illness. If this is true, then laughter is definitely the best medicine. The Reader’s Digest went on to say, “In experiments, students who watched funny movies were found to have an increased flow of infection-fighting proteins in their saliva.”
Isn’t this amazing? Scientists have found that positive thinking is the secret. After much research, they found that optimistic people have less health problems and live longer compared to pessimistic people.
In the scriptures, it says: “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine.” (Proverbs 17:22)
Laughter can definitely reduce stress. Whenever I feel stressed about something, I tend to show it. One day I was moping around the house when my husband came home from work. I told him how my day was and how overwhelmed I was feeling. Usually he knows that I need a bit of cheering up, so he cracks a joke just to make me smile. If it works, then he wants to tell another one. Before long, I’m smiling and laughing and forgetting about my stressful day.
This is one joke he once told me that made me burst into laughter. Why? Just imagine a buff masculine man, over 250 pounds, grinning at me as he says:
I answered, “Who’s there?”
“Pink Panther who?”
“Pink panther not my thyle.”
I burst into laughter as he stood in front of me, smiling from ear to ear.
The secret to happiness has puzzled many people. Perhaps the real secret of happiness is a bit of laughter. Think about it. Isn’t that the time that you feel on top of the world…when someone is making you laugh?
So is laughter the best medicine after all? I believe it is!