Read an Excerpt
A LITTLE JOYBOOST
A Mouthful of Laughter
"He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy."
JOB 8: 21
At some time in life every woman will ask, "What will keep me young?" Is the secret of youth different for everyone, or is there some universal anti-aging potion?
I heard someone say recently that laughter is her drug of choice. Simple as that. Laughter is the language of the young at heart and the antidote to what ails us. No drugstore prescription is required; laughter is available to anyone at any time. Laughter's benefits are felt immediately. With large doses, the benefits show on our face, in our body language, and in the spring in our step. So who needs a face-lift or crazy diets that don't work?
Did you know that one laugh burns six calories? Laughing is jogging for your insides. It increases heart rate and circulation, stimulates the immune system, and improves the muscle tone of the abdomen. Dr. William Fry of Stanford University says laughing heartily a hundred times a day has the same beneficial effects as ten minutes on a rowing machine.
According to Psychology Today magazine, laughter goes hand in hand with creativity, too. Researchers found that people with a keen sense of humor have a more creative outlook to problem solving than do somber individuals. Tests also showed those who had listened to a comedy album were able to withstand twenty percent more pain than those tested who were not exposed to humor. Other studies show that companies encouraging employees to bring a sense of humor to work are more profitable than those emphasizing business-as-usual. If these facts are true, we should be laughing on a grand scale in everything we do and using laughter as a barometer of success.
If you want to get to know someone, I say: Don't bother analyzing the way she talks or what her ambitions and ideals may be. Just watch her laugh. If I were an employer, I'd hire the person who laughs well. If I were a single woman, I'd marry the man who laughs well. If I were looking for a special friend, I'd search until I met a woman who laughs well.
God gave us this capacity to be tickled way deep down inside. Giggles are as contagious as a viral disease. And y'know what? You -don't have to be happy to laugh. You become happy because you laugh.
One day when my boys were little I came home from shopping and heard all four of them in the kitchen shrieking with hilarity. They were flicking huge spoonfuls of gooey raspberry Jell-O with bananas against a white wall at the far end of the kitchen and watching it ooze down to the floor.
I walked in and asked nonchalantly, "Where's my spoon?"
Tim promptly grabbed a soup ladle and handed it to me. I loaded it with a glob of goo and fired off. It hit the wall with a giant splat. Hey, this was fun! I started to laugh, scooped up another load, and let it fly. My boys joined in, and soon the wall was a red dripping mess. We were laughing hysterically--yes, even two hours later as they finished scrubbing the wall and cleaning up the floor.
Today, I wonder if my two oldest boys are laughing in heaven. I think they must be cooking up all kinds of jokes and games around the throne of God. And as for the rest of us here on earth, I think about how the many hours of laughter we shared with Tim and Steve helped prepare us for their deaths. Laughter is to life what shock absorbers are to automobiles. It won't take the potholes out of the road, but it sure makes the ride smoother.
When the losses of life became unbearable for me, I coped and learned to move on by cultivating a sense of humor. Later, seeing everything in a humorous light became a way of life to dissolve disappointment. It works every time. One day when I ran into a high school classmate I realized she had aged so much she didn't even recognize me! (See how humor turns everything around?)
There is nothing like a mouthful of laughter. Get some for yourself and everyone else you know.
"Dear Lord Jesus, I would have loved to hear the sound of your laughter ringing through the Galilean hills. I'm sure it was a rich, warm sound that made other people want to hang around you. Help me spread your love through chuckles and smiles to as many people as possible today. Amen."