A Joyful Heart is Good Medicine

For many years, Reader’s Digest magazine has published a monthly article called “Laughter the Best Medicine.” But Reader’s Digest didn’t originate the idea. It was written in the Bible thousands of years ago. Proverbs 17:22 says, “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.” The Proverbs are wise sayings written by wise men such as King Solomon of Israel, inspired by God Himself. God has made us in such a way that joy and humor are meant to be vital parts of our lives.

The connection between our emotional health and physical health is undeniable. Those who are have a joyful and positive outlook are far more likely to have better physical health. It’s not a guarantee that the joyful will never get sick, but their ability to recover and cope with illness is greatly enhanced. Conversely, those who rarely laugh or spend long periods of time in overly serious states have less of an ability to handle the stress of illness and disease. Those with long term depression–what the Bible calls “a broken spirit”–often have physically declining health that parallels their emotional illness.

So what are we to do to ensure both emotional and physical strength? The answer seems to be that we should give effort to being strong and healthy in both areas. Having a good laugh on a regular basis and keeping a positive and joyful spirit will be a blessing to our bodies. Keeping our bodies well-nourished and active will be a blessing to our emotions as well.

Need a reason to smile? Here’s a joke from Reader’s Digest:

A fellow walked into a drugstore and headed to the back to speak to the pharmacist. Do you have anything for hiccups?” he asked.
Without warning, the pharmacist reached over and gave the man a sharp smack on the shoulder. “Did that help?” he inquired.
“I don’t know,” the startled man replied. “I’ll have to ask my wife. She’s waiting in the car.”

Hope your joy is on the rise! and your health follows along!

-Chaplain Brian