10 Years of Blog Archive

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Healing the Heart and Soul with Laughter

Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude. -- Denis Waitley

I believe the happier we are and the more we laugh the longer we will live. Having contentment and peace in our lives gives us the freedom to laugh and be happy and because of that, laughter can be a great form of natural healing. In fact, joy and happiness have even been found to boost the immune system!

We’ve all heard the old saying" laughter is the best medicine," and it definitely appears to be true when it comes to protecting the heart according to Michael Miller, M. D. of University of Maryland Medical School. His studies have shown that laughter is linked to a healthy function of blood vessels. So start laughing out loud more!  Laughter is also a good cardiovascular workout. It increases the activity of the heart and stimulates circulation. In addition, after the laughter subsides, the cardiovascular system goes into a state of relaxation.

A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. Proverbs 17:22

Unfortunately, not everyone feels joy or happiness in their lives. Some people are chronically depressed, others are going through personal hardships and still others, just aren’t very happy people. I believe the more we tell ourselves we aren’t happy the more the walls of unhappiness close us off from helping and being of any use to others.

Happiness... consists in giving, and in serving others.
Henry Drummond

If laughter is a form of healing medicine, how can we bring joy and happiness to those who are hurting and depressed?  Well, one way to help others who are feeling discontented is to be joyful and happy ourselves. People are like chameleons, if we turn red so will those around us but if we turn yellow everyone around us will too.

Some people allow their surroundings to control their happiness. They equate happiness with having stuff. As long as they believe it's people, places and monetary possessions is where happiness is, they will invariably be unhappy. THEY are seeking joy in all the wrong places. An example might be how some people might think moving abroad will somehow make them feel happier, but happiness doesn’t work like that. Happiness comes from within not from without.  

A place doesn’t make us happy, but to find our place within ourselves will make us happy. Sometimes we can't help others, as much as we try, some things are just beyond our control and belongs to the big guy upstairs. 

It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness. -- Charles Spurgeon 

What if you can't find anything to laugh about? Get creative! Everyone has creative juices flowing within them; sometimes it just takes a bit of soul searching and the ability to stop and “smell the roses” kind of attitude. 
Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.
Abraham Lincoln

So if we aren't feeling particularly joyful or happy, which happens to the best of us from time to time, then we can provide a little change of pace for ourselves and seek out things we enjoy in life.  We can take up the hobby we always wanted to do; creating, building, cooking, writing, painting, photography, gardening, volunteering, service, drawing, pottery, etc are all wonderful forms creativity and when we create from our talents we feel contentment from that; not talking about making money with these things but rather just doing what we like to do for the sake of doing.

Have you seen the movie Patch Adams?  It is about a doctor, portrayed by Robin Williams who heals others using laughter. In the movie he goes to a children's hospital dressed like a clown and gets all the children there to laugh and be happy. It is based on a true story and Hunter "Patch" Adams is still alive today practicing what he preaches. I recommend everyone watch the movie; young and old alike will find it entertaining; it will make you laugh, I promise…and it might make you cry...but if I remember right, it has a happy ending.

Realize that true happiness lies within you. Waste no time and effort searching for peace and contentment and joy in the world outside. Remember that there is no happiness in having or in getting, but only in giving. Reach out. Share. Smile. Hug. Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on yourself. -- Og Mandino

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We're an Expat Family of Five, Living Frugal, Healthy and Happy Abroad. We live in Cuenca, Ecuador and travel the Ecuador coast whenever we get a chance. We just adventured throughout the country of Panama for five weeks! Come along and enjoy some of our experiences with us!

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