August 25     

Today's quotation:

If people only knew the healing power of laughter and joy, many of our fine doctors would be out of business.  Joy is one of nature’s greatest medicines.  Joy is always healthy.  A pleasant state of mind tends to bring abnormal conditions back to normal.

Catherine Ponder

Today's Meditation:

I've got to laugh.  I have books full of comic strips that make me laugh, including "Mafalda" and "Calvin and Hobbes," and I have DVD's of series that regularly make me laugh.  It's medicine for me, something that makes me feel much better.  Sometimes I get stressed, sometimes I start taking things far too seriously, and sometimes I get caught up in stuff that isn't good for my mental health, and laughter helps to bring me back to reality, to gain a healthier sense of perspective.

Reader's Digest for years has had a two-page section called "Laughter, the Best Medicine."  They've known for a very long time that laughter is, indeed, something that can make us feel better and even heal us of certain things.  What this means to us is that we really should pay attention to the fact that laughter is a medicine, and seek out more ways to experience genuine laughter and joy in our lives, whether that be by reading, watching comedies, or playing in our back yards with other people who make us laugh.

Sometimes life weighs down on us, and then we have the choice of letting that weight accumulate or doing our best to alleviate it by finding something to laugh at.  Not laughing at other people or making fun of them, for that kind of laughter tends to be mean-spirited and won't do anything to reduce our stress.  Rather, we can find things that are funny in themselves, and not funny at someone else's expense.  When we do this, we're helping ourselves to grow healthier and lighter at heart.

We can find laughter if we look for it, and we can find joy.  Joy is a bit harder to define, for it seems to be something that comes in different ways for different people.  But we can lead our lives in such a way as to make joy more accessible, easier to achieve and maintain.  The benefits of laughter and joy are incredible if we make room for them in our lives, and there really is no reason not to.  Perhaps it's time to get off the treadmill and try to enjoy ourselves for a change.

Questions to consider:

What do you think are some of the benefits of laughter in your life?

What is the relationship, if any, between laughter and joy?

What brings you the most joy in life?  How often do you search out that particular something?

For further thought:

Can you go a whole day with joy in your heart?  Joy and vitality are an inseparable combination.  Joy is not concerned with having fun; it is an inner spiritual quality that overcomes despair, pain and defeat.  You cannot turn on joy like an electric light, but you can prepare yourself to receive it.

Norman Vincent Peale

more on joy



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