Studies have shown that laughter is healthy, healing. It may even have benefits similar to a light workout! And we all know the verse “A merry heart does good, like medicine, But a broken spirit dries the bones.” (Prov. 17:22) Let us consider the healthy habit of laughter.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter, And our tongue with singing. Then they said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.” Psalm 126:2
The Healthy Habit of Laughter
10 Ways To Build The Healthy Habit of Laughter
How can we bring the healthy habit of laughter into our homes? Let us share and let us teach the healthy habit of laughter. Here are 10 ways to build the habit of laughter:
Laugh at yourself— I do this on many occasions, because I am by nature a klutz. I trip over my own feet, spill things, and knock full glasses off tables regularly. The habit of laughter helps to diffuse the situation and any tension that might arise with it.
Laugh with your children— What you are in essence doing is teaching them to laugh at themselves. When they do funny things as mentioned above, have a good laugh with them, but not at them. Make them feel better by sharing a time something similar happened to you.
Laugh in the good times— that’s easy. When a prayer is answered and I just didn’t see how it was going to happen, when Dad gets a raise, when we finally book that trip to Disneyworld after years of saving… we laugh. Not a long, lingering laugh such as when you witness something hilariously funny, just a short, happy laugh, reminding you that God is good.
Laugh in the bad times— when we have had financial trials, when several things around the house are broken and we can’t afford to repair them all, when we are under a tornado warning… my husband and I often resort to light joking about our situation. In our family, it is ok to make jokes about serious things. We tread lightly here, cautiously. This would not work for some families but it has helped ours make light of what would normally be stressful situations.
Make jokes! Nice ones, clean ones. Just to let a little laughter into your day. Read jokes– I love to read “Laughter, the Best Medicine” in Reader’s Digest.
Watch funny tv shows in your leisure time— My all-time favorite is I Love Lucy. I often insert one of my dvds after a tiring or “down” day. Who wouldn’t laugh at that? My family does… even though we’ve seen each episode multiple times! This is a great way to build the habit of laughter.
Watch Christian comedians— we have our favorites. Sometimes I will just pop over to YouTube and watch a two-minute segment of one of them. Ah, that relaxes me and helps me get on with my day.
Play board games with your family— want to have a long laugh session? Play Balderdash. I still have the picture I took of my parents, sitting at our kitchen table when I was in college, with red faces and tears running down their faces because what someone had just written as a “definition” in Balderdash was hilarious. I treasure this memory!
Never laugh at another’s expense— if it does not edify, we don’t do it.
The habit of laughter heals— One of my favorite memories of the terrible, yet beautiful ordeal we had with our daughter’s accident was the 5th day she was in the ICU. Her youth pastor had flown up to visit us, and brought her a number of homemade cards from the youth group. All were sweet and caring, with Bible verses and artistic drawings. Except one. One young man, known for his precociousness, wrote a funny anecdote. Having been cooped up in the ICU for too long, I probably thought it was even funnier than it was, and started laughing so hard tears ran down my face. I took a break and then read his card aloud again, and laughed again. My daughter soon joined in with me, and as I looked at her precious, bruised face under the oxygen mask, my heart swelled with joy. My little girl was healing.
Ah, the power of laughter.
Kim (aka Daisy Muse) is a former elementary school teacher, textbook author and editor, and seventeen-year homeschool veteran. She currently tutors and teaches middle and high school students at a homeschool academic center. You can find more of her musings at thedaisymuse.com.
–first published May 2013