Therapy for Mind and Body
RESEARCH shows that a prolonged laugh is relaxing and healthy for mind and body. It “can not only relieve stress, but may also increase the chances of surviving a serious illness,” says Your Better Health magazine. It is like “internal jogging.” Tests reveal that sustained laughter can reduce pain as well as be a good workout for the heart. Circulation improves, the diaphragm is exercised, and the oxygen level in the blood is raised. Chest, neck, face, and scalp muscles also get a workout, along with the eye muscles that expel tears.
The Journal of the American Medical Association reported on a study that “suggests that a humor therapy program can increase the quality of life for patients with chronic problems and that laughter has an immediate symptom-relieving effect for these patients.” The results of this psychological approach to rehabilitation prompted the British Columbia Cancer Agency to add a “humor room” to their library.
Laughing our way through life, however, will not ensure good health. Rather, balance is needed. The Bible says that there is a time to laugh and a time to be quiet. Thoughtless laughter may grate on the ears of others and is compared to the sound of crackling thorns being burned under a pot because it is useless and offers no edification.—Ecclesiastes 3:4, 7; 7:6.