A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. Proverbs 17:22 ESV
There was a man who had been trying to lose weight, although he had been doing more ‘hardly working’ than ‘working hard.’ He went in to weigh himself on the scale and his wife peered in to check on him. As he stepped on the scale he took a deep breathe and sucked his belly in as far as he could. His wife asked “Why are you doing that? It’s not going to help.” He replied “Sure it will, now I will be able to see the numbers!”
Thanks to my oldest son who is a prankster and jokester for this joke.
What does it take to make you laugh? Are you so serious that you get offended and defensive by a tease or find it hard to get the punch line of a joke? Do you complain a lot? Do you find it hard to see the humor is everyday life and take yourself seriously?
If so you may want to lighten up for your health. So far research is showing that laughter is good for your health. Here’s what can happen when you laugh:
- Stress Management: Stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline are reduced and health boosting hormones like endorphines and anti-body producing cells are increased promoting immunity and lessening the physical effects of stress.
- Perspective Shift: When you lighten the mood it is easier to see things in a positive light. The glass becomes half full rather than half empty, the sky is partly sunny rather than partly cloudy.
- Ab Work: If you laugh hard enough those abs get engaged and start contracting. This is good news since physical activity is cumulative even this little bit will count!
- Socially Contagious: When you smile or laugh, it lifts the mood of those around you. Think about it, who would you rather be around the before or after grinch? We are drawn to the happy people in our lives so let’s be one of them.
At times I know I can get into lemon mode and when I hear the kids or my husband calling me the grinch I know I am being a sour puss. The grinch is our cue to each other to lighten up.
My Dad taught me that life is too short to not enjoy it and make the most of it. I was blessed to grow up in a big extended family where smiles and laughter came in generous portions and we didn’t always take ourselves too seriously. We have a few comedians and practical jokers that kept us going and still do. Who knew that studies would start showing that it’s good for our health too!
- Wash collards, remove stalks and stack 4 to 5 leaves. Roll them up and slice into strips, approximately ¼ inch wide.
- Bring 2 to 3 cups of broth to a boil in a sauce pan with a lid. Add collards, cover, and cook over high heat for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- While greens are cooking, in a large skillet or cast-iron pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and sauté for 5-7 minutes, until golden and sweet. Take care not to burn. Add garlic and sauté for another 2 to 3 minutes, until golden
- Check on the greens while onions are cooking. The greens are cooked when they are tender but still Bright green. Drain in colander and set aside.
- Add cooked greens to onions and garlic. Cook for another 1 to 2 minutes to heat through. Serve hot, drizzled with additional olive oil or apple cider vinegar if you dare and seasoned with a little sea salt and pepper to taste.