OPEN WIDE AND SAY “AH-HA”!
St. Arbucks is alive with laughter, giggles, and humor these days as we gather together to enjoy laughing WITH each other and helping people to not take themselves tooooo seriously! What a gift we have in Laughter! We remind each other of the three emphases:
- “And God said, “Lighten Up!” He also said, “I am the Light” of the world, which makes us “lights” also!
- Laugh AT yourself first!
- Give other people permission to laugh!
As one of our joy-filled friends likes to say, “If you love Jesus, why don’t you tell your face about it!” Sounds a little law-oriented, but it does help us to remember Psalm 126:3 –“The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with JOY!”
The St. Arbuck’s gang has developed a “test” to help each other to focus on the gift of laughter. We are happy to share it with you ….and you have our permission to add to it and take from it, as long as it helps people younger and older to laugh more and sulk less! Here are some of the benefits of laughter, in addition to the powerful fact that laughter reminds us that the Lord continues to love and forgive us, regardless of how we look, act, or feel. Sure, “The Lord loves a cheerful giver”, but He also loves us grouches!
A Quiz, (with answers) on the Benefits of Laughter
- Why does it make you feel good to laugh? Medical folks claim that laughter releases certain brain chemicals, like endorphins and dopamine, to create these positive feelings and actions.
- Socially, we use laughter to show others we like them. We are 30 times more likely to laugh when we are with others than when we are alone.
- How many calories can 10-15 minutes of laughter burn? Studies show that we burn 40 calories in the process. So, if we laugh 15 minutes a day, we will lose 4 lbs. a year! And that’s without even going to the gym!
- How does laughter help our heart? It helps our blood to flow more freely and relaxes our arteries. Sounds healthy to me!
- How does laughing help to ease pain? It releases endorphins which is especially helpful to older adults with chronic pain. No, we cannot “laugh our pain away” totally, but it sure will help our well being in the process.
- Laughter is helpful to mental health issues. It lowers stress and helps fight depression. I recall one friend’s quote, “I do not have stress – but I am a carrier!”
- Laughter is contagious. We have a built-in “laugh detector”. Once we begin to laugh, our “laughter generator” is tripped and we develop the giggles. And then, watch out world– here we come!
- Babys’ first giggles that bonds them with their families are generated through smiles, laughter, and tickling, as they learn by watching and responding.
- Our early ancestors laughed before they could talk. It is how they communicated and found out who was a friend or foe. Laughter was used as a “sigh of relief” after dangerous situations. Recall the importance of laughter in meetings and other events, especially when tough and heavy-duty topics are being debated.
- Free one: Who is the medical doctor who uses humor as medicine? Patch Adams is his name, and he continues to practice his skills at enabling people to laugh their way to being healthy and happy people, in the Lord!
“Happy Laughing” to each of us as we continue to celebrate God’s gift of laughter with and to those who he has placed around us. When we think of keeping healthy in the Lord, remember the doctor who quips, “Open wide …and say “AH-HA!”
Dr. Rich Bimler
Ambassador of Health, Hope, and Aging (AH-HA!)