April 30, 2020

Did you ever notice how you suddenly start seeing something everywhere that you’d never paid attention to before? Perhaps the best example is when you decide it is time to purchase a new car. You decide you want a particular make and model. All of a sudden, you see that car everywhere! Welcome to the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon, also known as Frequency Bias (or Illusion). It is the phenomenon where something you recently learned suddenly appears ‘everywhere’. 

I can now safely apply that term to toilet paper. TP has been on my mind for the obvious reason that it has become a precious commodity. Because I’ve entered toilet paper in my search engine (to find an image of toilet paper to include in a daily meditation – not that those two ideas would ever be used in the same sentence), related things keep popping up, and catching my eye.  Either that or Google is way ahead of me!

On Tuesday, I was searching YouTube for appropriate songs for worship for this coming Sunday (another example of two ideas I’d never imagine using in the same sentence – worship music and YouTube). Up popped a teaser for a Carol Burnett Show skit about toilet paper. 

It was impossible to not view it. And it is hysterical, especially at this time in our world.  Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XMTSbSrvcRg.

Although we don’t have a description of Jesus laughing in the Bible, I find it hard to believe that, he, the fullness of divinity and humanity, didn’t laugh often and hard. The surprising and unexpected child of Sarah and Abraham, conceived well beyond childbearing years, was named Isaac, which means “he laughs”. The book of Proverbs includes the following advice about being cheerful: A glad heart makes a cheerful countenance. A cheerful heart has a continual feast. And a cheerful heart is good medicine. 

According to Help Guide: Your Trusted Guide to Mental Health and Wellness*  “laughter:

  1. Relaxes the whole body. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.
  2. Boosts the immune system. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.
  3. Triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.
  4. Protects the heart. Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.
  5. Burns calories. OK, so it’s no replacement for going to the gym, 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.
  6. Lightens anger’s heavy load. Nothing diffuses anger and conflict faster than a shared laugh. Looking at the funny side can put problems into perspective and enable you to move on from confrontations without holding onto bitterness or resentment.
  7. May even help you to live longer. A study in Norway found that people with a strong sense of humor outlived those who don’t laugh as much. The difference was particularly notable for those battling cancer.”

Have a hearty laugh today! ~ Anne

* https://www.helpguide.org/articles/mental-health/laughter-is-the-best-medicine.htm

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