The joy of the Lord is your strength.Nehemiah 8:10b
The pandemic Advent is focusing us to look at things in a new way. In my house, we are moving toward the first Christmas without both our mothers and the presence of our grandchild. It could be sad. So let us intentionally bring joy and laughter to our homes instead.
This Advent, make laughter a daily intention. If you haven’t laughed hard by 7 p.m., watch a funny movie or TV show. Listen to a funny podcast, or read a humorous book. If you have friends who always make you laugh, reach out to one of them. You also could create an Instant Smile collection, described here.
Laughter is good for you. The Mayo Clinic lists these short-term and long-term benefits:
- Stress relief
- Enhanced intake of oxygen-rich air
- Stimulation of heart, lungs and muscles
- Increased endorphins
- The ability to raise and then lower heart rate and blood pressure, causing relaxation
- Reduction of the physical effects of tension
- Improved immune system (releasing neuropeptides that fight stress and illness)
- Pain relief
- Improved coping abilities
- Reduced depression and anxiety
So make laughter part of your Christian mindfulness practice this Advent. It’s no joke. You’ll feel better.