Proverb for the Day 17:22 — Good Medicine!

A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

The contrasting lines of this verse address a reoccurring theme in Proverbs as well as a scientific truth. How we feel on the inside really does make a difference in our health and overall well-being.
On the positive side, “a cheerful heart is good medicine.” The issue is attitude and how it can impact a person’s life for good — “medicine” or a “cure” for body and soul.
But, on the negative side, “a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” “Spirit” involves our feelings, emotions.

To be “crushed” is to be “beaten down.” This beat down is on the inside — in our spirit — and it can have a seriously negative impact on our body (“bones”).

We all know how true the second part of this verse is, but many of us have also experienced the reality of the first part. Modern medical science certainly knows!

Dr. William Fry, Stanford University Medical School, made a career studying the benefits of “mirthful laughter.” He pointed out that it can change moods which impacts blood pressure, respiration and even tolerance for pain.

Journalist Norman Cousins, also adjunct professor for the School of Medicine at the University of California (Los Angeles), incorporated a positive attitude, love, faith, hope and laughter (from old Marx Brothers movies!) in his battle again heart disease and severe arthritis.

In his 1979 book Anatomy of an Illness as Perceived by the Patience, Cousins spoke of the real and extended relief which laughter gave him.

Dr. Lee Berk, Loma Linda University School of Medicine, also an expert on the therapeutic value of humor noted — if he could come up with a medicine that accomplished all the positive things laughter can produce in the body, he’d earn a Nobel Prize!

How about that — laughter’s better than medicine!!