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The Courage to Laugh

WRITTEN BY Gail Rodgers 

“A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit drains one's strength.” Proverbs 17:22 (ISV)

Life challenges preoccupy and often drain us. God tells us that a joyful heart is as good as medicine! It takes courage to laugh amidst challenges. Here are five simple steps to help keep your heart light.

L - Leisure

Schedule leisure time for yourself. In the midst of life changes it’s important to look away from the pressures and find refreshing. Get creative. Go for a hike. Plan a meal with someone. Have friends over for a game. Build something. Give yourself permission. It may seem trivial, but it can become a lifeline during stressful times. It also helps rekindle relationships that may feel strained with the daily challenges. Plan mini breaks.

A - Affirm

Look around you and intentionally find good. Affirm the positive things you see and hear. Negativity is easy to slip into and it permeates your life like smoke permeates a forest. It clouds your thinking. When pressure mounts we tend to take it out on those we love the most. Affirm the relationships you treasure. Guard them in changing times. Look for the positive.

U - U-turns

Allow yourself the freedom of turning around. If the direction you are going needs changing, then change it. If you want a different job, take a course and begin in that direction. If an important relationship feels tense, plan some positive times together. If your body is discouraging you determine to find steps that lead to wellness. Don’t dwell on things you have no control over. Concentrate on the things you have power to change and focus energy there. Change what you can.

G - Give

Find ways to give. When life gets challenging our tendency is to hoard our resources. Give of your time to help someone: coach a kid’s team, have someone over. Give a listening ear and hear the feelings behind the words. Give encouragement and kindness. When you are feeling depleted, intentionally choose to give and you will be surprised at the refreshing it will bring to you. Be generous without using money.

H - Hope

Dare to hope in tomorrow. Fan the flames of hope in your heart. We all need hope in something beyond ourselves. God can provide that hope and help when we invite Him to walk with us on the road of life. He is the ultimate source of hope for tomorrow. Reach for hope.

Intentionally put laughter back into your life. Step out and lead others to higher ground as you focus on these simple but powerful steps to a more joy-filled you.

Heavenly Father, thank you that your word is so practical even down to reminding me that a joyful heart is as good as medicine. Please help me to put these steps into action to bring more joy and lightheartedness to my own heart and also to encourage others. I praise you and thank you in Jesus’ name, Amen.

TAKE ACTION

Share these steps with a friend or family member and make some actual plans to implement some of them now.

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