5 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD LAUGH MORE…

May 1 is attributed as ‘World Laughter Day’ this year, but in the last couple of years we have had more reasons to frown than to laugh.  So really are we going to discuss laughter today?…Yes!!!

Perhaps as you read this you may not be in a mood to laugh. Life looks dull and hopeless right now. You look at the world outside your window at you don’t feel like laughing. So how do you celebrate word laughter day? Is it even relevant anymore? Well my friend, it is vital that we have a laugh every now and then. As it turns out, it’s good for your overall health!

Here are 5 reasons why you should definitely laugh more…

Hopefully by the end of this read you will consider being cheerful today.

1.It’s literally good for your body!

Being happy does have its advantages for example laughing decreases the level of stress hormones in your body. It also increases the level of health-enhancing hormones, like endorphins.

Laughter is good for your immune system too as it increases the number of antibody-producing cells we have working for us and enhances the effectiveness of T cells. All of this just from laughing! Unbelievable!

This seems like a given but a good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after. So don’t tense up just laugh it off. Just be careful about the context of where you’re laughing.

2.Laughter can help burn calories

I know what you’re thinking, do laughing yoga right? Sure you could do that. Nothing wrong in it but also, where’s the fun in that? Besides I don’t know about you but laughing yoga seems to be the butt of joke these days.

That being said laughter is no replacement for going to the gym. Working out is always a good choice. But one study found that laughing for 10 to 15 minutes a day can burn approximately 40 calories—which could be enough to lose three or four pounds over the course of a year. Emphasis on the ‘could.’ But let’s say you’re not willing to commit to a lifestyle of exercise, what then? Just turn on your favorite comedy show, movie or stand-up and watch your 6 pack abs show up in no time! (This was not part of the research)

3. Laughing may help you live longer

Well if you’ve been laughing your whole life by the time you’re old you’ll have six pack abs and gained top notch superhuman immunity. Congratulations, nothing can stop you now plus you’ve just been contacted by Marvel Studios and they want you star in your own superhero movie in phase 12 of the MCU.

But in all seriousness, a study in Norway found that people with a strong sense of humor outlived those who didn’t laugh as much. The difference was particularly notable for those battling cancer. Laugh it off guys. It’ll get better. A friend of mine once said once you’ve hit rock bottom you can’t go any lower than that. The only way out is up. So, you might as well just laugh it off while you’re there.

 Psalm 30:5,”… Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.”

 4. Laughter protects your heart

That’s right when you go through a rough break-up laughing can protect your heart from being ripped to shreds by your, now ex. #sorrynotsorry

If you already haven’t got the clue laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases the flow of blood in the body, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.

Here’s a fun fact I learnt while reading about heart disease online recently! – ‘People of South Asian descent, which includes countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and the Maldives, have four times the risk of heart disease compared to the general population, and they develop the disease up to a decade earlier’ –NY Times ‘Why do South Asians Have Such a High Risk of Heart Disease?’

So what are you waiting for? Start laughing today and save your heart my friend! Not sure about a breakup though you’re on your own about that one. Sorry buddy.

Alright last one if all of the above doesn’t convince you to be joyful despite your situation I hope this one will

5.Laughter is good for your mental health too!

Well Duh! Of course, it’ll be good for my mental health if it’s that good for my physical health. You’re right. However, allow me to explain how exactly.

Laughter can obviously help with reducing stress and anxiety but on the other hand it also helps you relax and recharge. When going through a tough circumstance if you’re humorous enough about it you can begin to shift your perspective on the said situation.

James 1:2
“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials”

Hey maybe now you’ll figure out a solution to your bad breakup situation! You’re welcome, bud.

Speaking of which, laughter draws other people to you. It’s an attractive trait. If you see a group of joyful happy people who are happy no matter what wouldn’t you think – How can they be happy all the time? What hope do they have? What do they see that I missed out? Or what joke did I miss out on? I want to know this inside joke too! Well, why wouldn’t you want to be a part of them? Of course, you would, all of us have that feeling. Unless the group of people you see are an actual bunch of clowns and you want to join the circus to be happy all the time. This is not for you sir/madam.

Romans 12:15
Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.”

Laughter helps you draw closer to others too! It’s a win-win situation.

The Bible reminds us in Ecclesiastes 3:4 “There is a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,”

Choose to  Laugh it off! Celebrate life and live big!

Happy World Laughter Day everyone!

I’LL DIE FOR YOU .OP.

This cliched one liner has been the canticle of many lovers down through the centuries, through which some hearts were won, others deceived or betrayed.
I’m sure most of you are familiar with the term OP. It has been popularized on social media platforms as well as in gaming apps like PUBG.
OP has various connotations. Let’s look at a few of them today.

1. OP stands for “Original Poster”.

The original poster is the person who starts a discussion thread or a forum topic. They often kick-start a conversation or ask a question. If they’re asking for advice about a specific situation, they reply to the comments or messages in that thread. When other people refer to the person who started the thread, they type “OP” instead of their username.

Around 2000 years ago, a simpleton hailed from the town of Nazareth and dared to do something that no human could ever do for mankind. Yes, Jesus Christ laid down His life for mankind that we might have eternal life with Him. In today’s world, Jesus Christ would have been the OP (Original Poster) of this one liner -“I’ll die for you.”

2. OP stands for “Overpowered”.

Among gamers, OP stands for “overpowered.” This means a character, item, or something else in a game is perceived as too powerful.

The person in concern today is not a character or item in a game, rather He is referred to as “Omnipotent” or “El Shaddai”.

Omnipotent” derives from the Latin Omnis meaning “all” and potens or “powerful.”  El Shaddai, a Hebrew name for God, evokes His omnipotence as the Almighty. El Shaddai means God most powerful or God Almighty.

“And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God OMNIPOTENT reigneth.” (Revelation 19:6 KJV)

Needless to say, we serve an omnipotent God who chose to take the human form so that his ultimate sacrifice on the cross would forgive us our sins and grant us everlasting life.

This week, as we reminisce Jesus’s death on the cross, let us be reminded of His love for us. Many have done insane and indescribable actions in the name of love but none can be compared to what Christ did for us at Calvary.

Some of you reading this may be exasperated and inflamed at the thought of “LOVE” since you’ve been hurt or betrayed by someone you loved. Romantic one liners like “I’ll die for you” fill you with disgust. For others, this phrase may seem utopian in nature.

However dear friends, Jesus Christ loves you with an undying love and none of His promises are void . He did die for you because He loves you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. If your soul seems impoverished, run to Him as His word promises-
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7)

Are you struggling to believe someone would die for you? Guess what, someone did- His name is Jesus Christ. The good news however is that Jesus is no longer dead but is Alive and he longs for residence in your heart.

VICTIM OR VICTOR?

I’m sure we have all heard of the name “Joseph”, from Genesis 37. the life of this man still provides lessons relevant to us even to this day. Although there is a lot that can be spoken about his life , here are two practical insights that I believe are extremely practical for us to look at, learn from and implement in our lives

1. Are you a VICTIM or a VICTOR?

The other day I was talking to a friend of mine and one of the things he said really hit me “ Only the worst happens to me and hence I expect only the worst in all situations”.  This is not the attitude of a victor, it is a victim’s attitude. The statement made me realise that often we develop a very negative view on life, even if we are in the best of the best situations we feel like the worst is just around the corner, the best moments seem too good to be true. I have often heard people say “ Why is this happening to me ? What wrong have I done ? I DO NOT DESERVE THIS”. I remember even myself saying in the past, time and time again “I DO NOT DESERVE THIS, I DO NOT DESERVE THIS”. Doesn’t this sound very familiar to you ? Haven’t you at times said this too?

Joseph had a life filled with tragedies. His own brothers conspired against him, they stripped him and threw him into a cistern, they left him to die and then sold him into slavery to the Midianite merchants on their way to Egypt. Did Joseph deserve to be betrayed by his brothers ? NO. When Joseph was taken down to Egypt, Potiphar who was one of the Pharaoh’s officials bought him to be his slave. Did Joseph deserve to be sold into slavery and be bought to serve as a slave ? NO. While Joseph was serving under Potiphar as a slave, Potiphar’s wife developed sexual interests towards Joseph and tried to coax him to sleep with her day after day, yet Joseph did not touch her, Genesis 39:12 records that Joseph “ran out of the house” when Potiphar’s wife tried to force him to bed with her. Yet we all know how Jospeh was thrown into the prison under the false charges of sexually harassing Potiphar’s wife. Did Joseph deserve imprisonment even though not once did he even touch Potiphar’s wife? Again a unanimous NO.

We see time and time again that Joseph faced severe challenges and betrayals in his life, persecutions that he did not deserve. Yet not once do we see Joseph carrying a VICTIM’s mentality. Not once do we see him complain “I do not deserve this, why is this happening to me?”.

You and I go through several challenges in our day to day lives, at times it seems that life is unfair. We at times feel bombarded with criticisms and persecutions that we don’t seem to deserve. Yet how many of us carry the VICTOR’s mentality that Joseph carried? He faced challenges far greater than you and I probably have ever faced, yet not once did he think negatively or victimise himself.

Are you and I carrying a VICTIM’s attitude or the attitude of a VICTOR ?

 

2. A rough start DOES NOT mean a rough finish

Look at the life of Joseph once again, he was betrayed by his own brothers, sold into slavery, falsely accused of sexual harassment and even imprisoned. However the same man who went through such undeserved challenges and persecution finished the race as the person incharge of the whole land of Egypt, a position so high and powerful that he was second only to the Pharaoh in power and respect. The man who entered the land of Egypt as a slave rose to be the most powerful man in whole of Egypt after the Pharaoh himself. Was it so called luck that turned a slave into such a powerful man ? Was Joseph supernatural or extremely gifted and talented ? Was Joseph a master manipulator who knew his way around influential people ? NOT AT ALL, he was an ORDINARY MAN just like you and I.

How then did such an ordinary man who started the race with such a rough start finish the race with such excellence ? The answer is SIMPLE. Joseph knew who he served. He knew the God he served is the one true God, the all powerful and mighty God. When he was in the cistern thrown by his brothers, his eyes were on GOD. When he was sold as a slave, his eyes were still on GOD. When he was falsely accused and thrown into the prison, his eyes were again only and only on GOD.

Joseph’s FOCUS was NOT ON his CIRCUMSTANCES, his focus was ONLY ON GOD. Joseph knew GOD IS SOVEREIGN.

Can you and I have the same trust and confidence that Joseph had on God ? Can you and I have a victor’s attitude ? Can you and I believe that even though the start may have been rough we will finish the race with flying colours ? YES!!!! We can. If an ORDINARY man like Joseph could, so can we.

LET US LIVE LIFE KNOWING OUR GOD IS SOVEREIGN.

LET US LIVE  LIFE WITH A VICTOR’s MENTALITY.

LET US LIVE LIFE KNOWING THAT A ROUGH START DOES NOT MEAN A ROUGH FINISH.

YOU CAN BE AN INFLUENCER IF YOU DO THIS…

Have you ever walked into a stadium full of cheering fans? Or into a room full of chatter? Or into a restaurant where the customers are waiting for their orders to arrive? Or a bus that is running late and the passengers are getting impatient? We can all agree that there is a certain atmosphere in each of these settings. The anticipation, the wait, and the temperature in these settings reflect the social climate of the their gathering.

Most people that I’ve met are either of the two: a) they’ll either be an Influencer or b) the one being influenced.

Picture with me: A thermometer and a thermostat. One of these measures the temperature, and the other sets the temperature. It’s a very simple idea, but it can go as deep as you let it.

Most of us have difficulty crossing the line from Thermometers to Thermostats. What do I mean by this? We’re just reflecting the climate around us. In fact, nearly all of the seven billion people living on planet earth have been a Thermometer at some point in their lives. They say what others say, buy what others buy, wear what others wear, watch what others watch and do what others do. They don’t even give a thought to being a trendsetter or a pacesetter. They are just reflecting on what’s going on around them. Sometimes, they are not even thinking for themselves and are merely mimicking the culture, instead of creating it.

We’ve all heard the old adage:

“Everyone has influence.”

Every one of us has influence – whether you believe it or not. Sociologists will tell us that: The most introverted people will influence 10,000 others in their lifetime. Thermostat people are influencers. They set the climate or the temperature of their surrounding.

I believe, Jesus was a Thermostat. When the mob brought a woman accused of wrong and was at the verge of stoning her to death (John 8:1-11). Jesus sets the temperature like a thermostat. Jesus calmly set the tone and temperature and everyone walked away.

I believe that the people who decide on being a Thermostat are making two very important decisions.

1) They Decided to Live by a Set of Values

In other words, not reflecting what everyone else is doing around them, they don’t even care. But what they do care about is coming out with a set of standards.

It’s a set of core values that they are living by. They raise the bar for everyone else by living by those standards. What’s amazing to me is that companies have core values, teams have core values, so why not people?

Thermostat people live by a set of values.

But the second decision they make is…

2) They Add Value to Other People.

Through every interaction that they have, they’re always saying something or doing something that adds value to the people around them. Maybe it’s an encouraging word, maybe a gift, they’re offering help and assistance, going beyond the call of duty to add value to others. The other person walks away being glad to have met that thermostat personality.

What would happen if you choose to live by these two decisions?

Every one of us is a thermostat, we rub off on others whether we like it or not.

Leverage your influence for a cause greater than yourself. Identify yourself as an influencer. Don’t be a thermometer, be a thermostat instead.

Action Steps:

  • Make a list of your core values and picture the person you would like to become by reaching up for these core values.
  • In every interaction you have, even if it is for a moment or two, do or say something that adds value to another person. It can be your friends, your co-workers, your family or even people you meet at public places.

YOUR RESPONSE IS YOUR SUPERPOWER

When Bruce Wayne lost his parents, he succumbed to loneliness- finding his space in solace. So much so, that he couldn’t even retain his only friend, Rachel (we all know Alfred was there for him no matter what). Now, the question is, what did Wayne really gain in these isolated times? He prepared himself, for the worst of situations, learned to face his past and come to terms with it. With every passing day, Batman was in the becoming. So, what is it that makes him stand out among the others? Response. What we see in him is his response to the criminal world: to make it a better place than what it was when the Wayne couple was murdered.

Heard someone recently say,

“You can’t control a situation, but you can control your response to it.”

We’re always stuck in a dilemma, trying to sort and work out predicaments in life that are beyond our reach. Honestly, how is it that we can respond to something that isn’t falling within our discretion?

Acceptance

 In the book of Job, we see Job’s sufferings. He loses his wealth, family, all that he had ever acquired- or rather- was blessed with. But the moment his world starts to crumble, we don’t see him complain. His exacts words are,Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble? (Job 2:10). To be able to experience disorder and still stand firm is not a trivial thing to do. It exhibits courage and resilience. Job even sings praises: “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” (Job 1:21). So, we don’t just witness Job’s calamities but also his restoration in the due process of responding with acceptance: “The Lord restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before” (Job 42:10).

Prayer

There is so much to see beyond a circumstance by seeking prayer. Hannah, Jacob, David, Jonah, Moses, I could go on and the list wouldn’t end too soon. Each one of them prayed. That was how they acknowledged their moments of crisis. Praying to question God ‘why’ is equally a response as praising God through prayer and looking forward to what greater things are awaiting.

Hope

 Paul’s trials, as we read in the Scriptures, wasn’t anywhere close to comfortable or untroubled. He makes a comparison of his hardships with the glory to come with God. II Corinthians 4:17 states, For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.What he implies by these words is that the miserable times we undergo prepare our character, leading us to be full of hope and not despair. It is this very hope of glory that keeps Paul carrying forward the mission he was appointed for. Our response determines the intensity of our adversities and that’s where our superpower lies.

Victor E. Frank said, Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

Job’s wife suggested him with a response, that is, to “curse God and die,” but he chose a response that demonstrated his deep-rooted faith in God (Job 2:10). That is the growth we need, that’s the superpower we need to use. Let us have a response like that of Job- one full of hope and not just appealing words; one that challenges our faith and also strengthens it. We may not have control over our situations but we do have faith in God.