As stated in yesterday’s blog, life changes can bring a significant amount of stress and we all tend to deal with stress in differing ways. The first answer to dealing with the stress of life changes is to accept Jesus Christ, God’s only Son into your life…making Jesus the author of your life.
Today we are going to explore the second step. Step #2. Start spending time daily reading and meditating on God’s Holy Word, the Bible. Start with one verse of scripture. Let’s take a look at a verse of scripture:
Philippians 4:4 Amplified Version “4 Rejoice in the Lord always [delight, gladden yourselves in Him]; again I say, Rejoice! [Ps 37:4.]”
Rejoice in the Lord always. Always? Really? Yes, really. Even in the midst of horrible circumstances? Even when the baby has kept me up all night? Even when the doctor says I have terminal cancer? Even when…? Yes. Notice it says, “Rejoice in the LORD”, not in your circumstances. We can rejoice in the midst of the circumstances, not necessarily about the circumstances. The Bible also tells us that “laughter (being cheerful) does good like a medicine.”
Prov 17:22 Amplified Version ” A happy heart is good medicine and a cheerful mind works healing, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.”
Now medical science concurs with the Bible and has proven that laughter releases “endorphins” the body’s natural painkillers and you feel better overall. The following article can be viewed in its entirety by going to: http://holisticonline.com/Humor_Therapy/humor_therapy_benefits.htm.
Here are some highlights of the article:
Therapeutic Benefits of Laughter
Dr. Lee Berk and fellow researcher Dr. Stanley Tan of Loma Linda University in California have been studying the effects of laughter on the immune system. To date their published studies have shown that laughing lowers blood pressure, reduces stress hormones, increases muscle flexion, and boosts immune function by raising levels of infection-fighting T-cells, disease-fighting proteins called Gamma-interferon and B-cells, which produce disease-destroying antibodies. Laughter also triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers, and produces a general sense of well-being.
Following is a summary of his research, taken from an interview published in the September/October 1996 issue of the Humor and Health Journal.
Laughter Activates the Immune System
In Berk’s study, the physiological response produced by belly laughter was opposite of what is seen in classical stress, supporting the conclusion that mirthful laughter is a eustress state– a state that produces healthy or positive emotions.
Research results indicate that, after exposure to humor, there is a general increase in activity within the immune system.
Laughter Decreases “Stress” Hormones
The results of the study also supported research indicating a general decrease in stress hormones that constrict blood vessels and suppress immune activity. These were shown to decrease in the study group exposed to humor.
For example, levels of epinephrine were lower in the group both in anticipation of humor and after exposure to humor. Epinephrine levels remained down throughout the experiment.
In addition, dopamine levels (as measured by dopac) were also decreased. Dopamine is involved in the “fight or flight response” and is associated with elevated blood pressure.
Laughing is aerobic, providing a workout for the diaphragm and increasing the body’s ability to use oxygen.
Laughter brings in positive emotions that can enhance – not replace — conventional treatments. Hence it is another tool available to help fight the disease.
Experts believe that, when used as an adjunct to conventional care, laughter can reduce pain and aid the healing process. For one thing, laughter offers a powerful distraction from pain.
In a study published in the Journal of Holistic Nursing, patients were told one-liners after surgery and before painful medication was administered. Those exposed to humor perceived less pain when compared to patients who didn’t get a dose of humor as part of their therapy.
Perhaps, the biggest benefit of laughter is that it is free and has no known negative side effects.
So your assignment for today is to watch a funny movie or listening to some funny jokes. Learn to laugh at yourself. Lighten up. I believe the statistics are that only 8% of what you were worrying about this time last year even came to fruition. I leave you with this:
One Sunday morning, the pastor noticed little Alex was staring up at the large plaque that hung in the foyer of the church.
It was covered with names, and small American flags were mounted on either side of it.
The seven-year-old had been staring at the plaque for some time, so the pastor walked up, stood beside the boy, and said quietly, “Good morning, Alex.”
“Good morning,” replied the young man, still focused on the plaque.
“What is this?” Alex asked.
“Well, son, it’s a memorial to all the young men and women who died in the service.”
Soberly, they stood together, staring at the large plaque.
Little Alex’s voice was trembling and barely audible when he asked, “Which service, the 9:45 or the 11:15?”
Wishing you lots of Joy & Laughter,