Laughter Yoga and Laughter Therapy
Mental, Emotional, Spiritual Benefits of Laughter Yoga
 
Laughter makes it easier to cope with life and its challenges.
  • Laughter puts us intensely in the moment. The ability to fully live and experience the “now” is of utmost importance because it is the only moment where we can experience happiness.
  • People who laugh don't worry as much as people who don't laugh, and as such enjoy life more. Laughter makes their circumstances seem less serious and therefore tolerable. A playful approach to everyday things is a key factor in keeping healthy. Daily chores are less burdensome when we laugh while doing them. We aren't always having fun, but we do have a lot more fun with laughter than without.
  • Laughter makes us feel good because it defuses three of the most painful emotions (fear, anger and boredom) by releasing them. That release, in turn, prevents or stops conflicts, eases tension, and helps people to see one another's point of view better.
  • Laughter lifts us up and makes life worth living. You experience that elusive state of being called relaxation. It makes us stress less and enjoy the company of other people more.
  • Laughter Yoga aims to develop joyfulness, not happiness. In contrast to “happiness”, “joyfulness” is the unconditional commitment to have fun despite all of the possible problems that we are faced with in life. Joyfulness is primarily a physical phenomenon. “You fake it until you get it”. The decision may come from the brain, but the process is physical. Because the body and the mind are so closely inter-connected, when you “do good” you “feel good”. “Motion Creates Emotion”. Being joyful / “doing good” actually changes the body chemistry and fosters a healthier state of being.

Link to Sebastian's orginial article

Laughter builds self-confidence

  • Laughter puts us in control of our own emotions. It helps us cope with challenge and conflict better because it gives us a better perspective. It shrinks the hurts of everyday life to a smaller, if not inconsequential size. It allows us to stand above an issue, acknowledge it, and treat it lightly in the awareness that we are touched by the issue but not contained by it. If we are able to laugh about serious things, they simply can't be that huge.
  • Any form of laughter is successful, yours included. The only requisite for you to succeed in Laughter Yoga is to decide to laugh no matter what. You are doing it for yourself, not to impress others. You laugh with them, not at them.
  • Laughter makes us feel safer and eases much of our awkwardness.
  • Laughter puts anxiety on a back burner for everyone. We can't laugh and worry at the same time. When we release anxiety (a product of the mind) through laughter, our love (the nature of our heart) surges to the surface and we are able to fully experience and enjoy it.
  • When we laugh with others, we ourselves are fun, and we provide good company. Regular doses of laughter and play also take the work out of staying in love for a lifetime.
  • Laughing for no reason makes us more likeable because it minimizes our need to gain self-confidence by analyzing and judging other people.
  • When we laugh with others, criticism seems to collapse. We are able to let them be themselves and enjoy them even more for that.

    Laughter is an important social skill that keeps
    communications fun

  • Laughter interrupts the power struggle. It is really hard to lock down in conflict with someone when you are laughing. When people enter a power struggle and let playfulness drop by the wayside, they lose touch with their laughter, their trust in life and others.
  • Laughter allows people to be more open with each other because it creates safety, and issues don't seem as awesome.
  • Laughter breaks down the instinctive barriers between people and allows them to trust each other. The fears most of us have about other people are rooted in the past. We lose them when we laugh and fully experience the present.
  • Laughter Yoga is a pathway to unconditional love. Loving with the mind is a two way street (I love / I hate and everything in between). Loving with the heart is only a one way street: I love, I love, I love. Also, the bonding qualities of laughter allow us to feel such emotional closeness that we want to be physically and spiritually close as well. It is something deeper than just biology. It is a part of the mystery of laughter that we have yet to solve.

In summary:

Laughter changes "who we are" for the better. Humans are creatures of habit. Most of what we consider our identity or "who we are" is really a series of learned behaviors or "what we do". Regular practice of Laughter Yoga helps reprogram negative responses into positive ones (e.g. we argue laughing; we laugh at an imaginary high credit card bill.) Nothing is taken away from the importance of the event except our reaction to it. People who saw themselves as “shy” discover themselves assertive public speakers; short-tempered individuals learn to control their moods and defuse their anger by “laughing it out”, etc. Laughter Yoga does not change your life. It changes you- Sebastien Gendry




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