When was the last time you laughed so hard you cried? You know, the type of laugh that is so deep your sides hurt?

I had an experience this week that just doubled me over in joy. I could not contain myself. The laughter spilled out and I just couldn’t stop!

“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Proverbs 17:12

WebMD reports that Lee Berk, MD, a University of California Irvine medical professor, and his associates have investigated how moods affect immune systems and illness. They’ve found laughter has a role in strengthening your immune system, boosting mood, diminishing pain, and protecting you from the damaging effects of stress. Nothing words faster or more dependably to bring your mind and body back into balance than a good laugh!

But there’s more: Berk now says the mere anticipation of laughing can help. He studied ten men, measured their stress signs, and told them that in about three days they would see a humorous video. In each man, spirits lifted before viewing the video.

Moral of this experiment: Planning humor can benefit your health! As Christ followers we may forget about how important laughter is to our life. Take time to laugh, even if it means planning laughter into your day! Laughter is good medicine – so drink up!