The story for today was on the value of laughter and according to Dr. Paul Maggie, if you want more laughter in your life the best thing to do would be to get a pet. He continues to say that most of us have experienced the joy of playing with our fury friends and that pets are a rewarding way of bringing more laughter and joy into our lives. He suggests that laughter is not only good for our physical bodies but also enhances mental health.

Studies indicate that pets can protect you from depression, stress and even heart diseases. Laughter dissolves distressing emotions and you can never feel anxious, angry or sad when you are laughing. It helps you relax and recharge, reduces stress and increases energy according to Dr. Maggie.

Humor also shifts perspective allowing you to see situations in a more realistic, less threatening light. A humorous perspective creates a psychological distance, which can help you avoid feeling overwhelmed. Having a pet in our lives helps lighten things up. We all need this since we take everything so serious, we try to do so much and so it is important to consider how fun your pet can be.

She reads a quote by Louis that says “you call to a dog and a dog will break its neck to get to you.” Dogs just want to please. “Call a cat and its attitude is; what’s in it for me?” She also shares a story of how she was walking her dog in a big field in which was a church. She had her off leash; the dog was trained and would always listen. So, she let her run around and that is when her dog came in front of the church.

Before she could know it, her dog was already walking down the aisle with the bride and though she tried to yell and whisper at the dog at the same time, she never succeeded in preventing her dog from getting into the church. Amazingly, all that were gathered in the ceremony celebrated the dog and when she finally got her out, the owner could not help it but laugh and she hopes that the bride and groom got over the whole ordeal.

Debby writes and says “I have been around dogs since childhood and have always loved being in the company of the four legged friends. When I told my husband that I wanted a dog, he was not thrilled with the idea at first. I was travelling a lot for work and he knew he would have to take on most of the responsibility. The compromise was to have him choose the breed.”

Eventually, three husky puppies were adopted. They loved the breed so much such that after the original ones passed on, they adopted two more huskies. The dogs are a constant source of love and amusement but even so, they have taught us some of the greatest life lessons. One of the life lessons Debby states in her book is;

“Jump for joy when you are happy – have you ever seen a dog circling around or jumping up and down at the thought of getting up a tree or chasing a ball? Wouldn’t it be fun if we could all jump around when we are excited about something? We live life so fast that we often forget to get excited and celebrate the good times because we are already onto the next thing. We live in a miraculous world where the sun comes up every day, flowers bloom and seasons change. There’s much to jump for joy about.”

When we are happy, we laugh more. Dogs laugh by wagging their tail. When you look at your dog and see how happy that dog is, let that relate to you. Life is so serious; we have got to find more humor in our lives.

What is so good about laughter?

According to Paul Maggie:

  • Your sense of humor is one of the most powerful tools you have to make certain that your daily mood and emotional state, support good health. Laughter is a powerful antidote to stress, pain and conflict. Nothing works faster or more dependably to bring your mind and body back into balance than a good laugh. Humor lightens your burdens, it inspires hopes, it connects you to others and keeps you grounded, focused and alert.
  • With so much power to heal and renew, the ability to laugh easily and frequently is a tremendous resource for surmounting problems, enhancing your relationships and supporting both physical and emotional health.

Why is laughing good for your health?

  • Laughter relaxes the whole body. A good hearty laugh releases physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.
  • Laughter boosts the immune system. It decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection fighting antibodies thus improving your resistance to disease. Laughter triggers the release of endorphins; those are the body’s natural field of chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well being and can even temporarily relieve pain.
  • Laughter protects the heart. It improves the functions of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.

Some of the ways you can have more opportunity to laugh include

  • Watching funny movies or TV shows and nowadays we have many of these.
  • Go to a comedy club.
  • Read cartoons.
  • Seek out funny people.
  • Share a good joke or funny story.

She has put together a group of funny quotes in a little book and one of them says “If I had to live my life again, I would make the same mistakes, only sooner.” Another one says; “I just got sky lights put in my place. The people above me are furious.”

Look at your dog and realize that your dog is so expressive and you can have so many more laughs if you connect with that light and funniness of your dog. You can also;

  • Host a game night with your friends.
  • Do something silly like going up to a karaoke club, get up and sing. Doesn’t matter whether you are good at it or not.

Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.