According to author and professor Robert Provine, “Most laughter is not in response to jokes or humor.” Research indicated only 10%-20% of laughs were joke related. 80%-90% of laughter was in the course of normal routine conversation – no jokes told. The study of 1,200 “laugh episodes” indicates laughter has much more to do with “being” than joke telling. Laughter is the confession of inward self, a window to the soul. Laughter is an expression of thanksgiving, appreciation, and contentment.
Consider the Pilgrim’s Psalm. Read Psalm 126:1-3:
Those who laugh more demonstrate an attitude or disposition of contentment. A demeanor of appreciation and thanksgiving is witnessed through laughter. This week take a few moments of self-evaluation. How often do you laugh? Do you laugh only at jokes or are you able to laugh throughout the daily routine? Is laughter a normal part of life’s rhythm or is it forced? Choose to laugh more.
And if what you’ve already read isn’t enough enticement to laugh more, consider its health benefits. Read Proverbs 17:22:
Let me write it another way. A laughing heart is a good cure. The Hebrew word for “medicine” literally mean cure – the only time this particular word is used in Scripture. Laughter is a cure for what troubles you. Consider the study completed at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore concluding, “People with heart disease were 40 percent less likely to laugh in a variety of situations compared to people of the same age without heart disease.” People with healthy hearts typically laugh more than people with heart disease. It sounds to me as if laughter is not only good for the soul, but it is good for the body too. It’s just what the doctor ordered. Laughter truly is the best medicine!