As I began to smile and laugh, the tension from my bungee-tight shoulders started to release and lighten my heavy heart.

Goodness knows as single mom’s it feels like there is enough stress to cID-100211592log just about every possible artery in the heart. Despite not being able to solve all the issues, you can learn to laugh out loud while on your journey. Laughter is good medicine.

Get this! Dr. David Song from the  University of Chicago Medical Center has done a  study on how many muscles it takes to smile and how many to frown. His findings reveal that the average frown requires 11 muscles while an average smile requires 12. He says that humans are born with the ability to smile and not something we are taught. He said that blind babies are able to smile.

Research lists some benefits to laughing. It increases blood flow through the blood vessels, it can increase our immune system, positively change our blood sugar levels and helps us relax and sleep better. I like that!

God created laughter and wants us to benefit from it.  He wants us to LOL!!!

Proverbs 17:22 (CEV), “If you are cheerful, you will feel good; if you are sad, you hurt all over”.

Psalm 126:2 (CEV), “We celebrated with laughter and joyful songs”

With all the benefits of smiling and laughing, why not choose to make it a priority. I know there are days you would rather use the 11 muscles to frown, but if you add one more muscle it will do you the world of good.

You are saying to yourself, “Yah right Linda how am I to do that?” Don’t stand in the middle of a mall parking lot by yourself and just roar with laughter or people will think you have lost your marbles. LOL!

Why not release the stress by walking to the library and signing out a comedy movie? Borrow one from a friend. In my grocery store I have found whole season comedy sitcoms for a reasonable price. There are websites that offer clean jokes and funny stories. Search the church library too.

During dark times of World War II, the Powell brothers wrote and published a tune called “Pack up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit-Bag, and Smile, Smile, Smile”. It became the soldiers marching song. They certainly needed their spirits lifted! Here are some of the words:

Smile, boys, that’s the style.

What’s the use of worrying?

It never was worth while, so

Pack up your troubles in your old kit-bag,

And smile, smile, smile.

When I was down and needed to exercise the 12 muscles, I would call a friend. After laughing for a few minutes, my spirit was lifted and I knew that even though my problem wasn’t solved, I could handle life better. Playing a board game always made the three of us laugh and relax. The kids have stress too that need to be released. On Friday nights, my girls and I made homemade pizza and watched a movie. (if they weren’t visiting their dad.) To this day, one of our favourite laughmovies is called The Sandlot. We still howl when we talk about certain parts of the movie or take the time to watch it again. Find one you and your kiddos can do the same. It will do a world of good to lift everyone’s spirit and emotional health.

On the weekends or nights the children are away, choose a comedy movie, a funny book, read some jokes or meet a friend and….



  • Make a point of going to the library to find a resource to help you laugh
  • Laugh with your kids and it will create a wonderful bond between all of you
  • Understand God wants you to enjoy laughter
  • Make a point this week to use those 12 muscles!






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