Did you know that when we were younger, we used to laugh 300 times per day for no reason but just for pleasure? However, as we grow up, the demands of every day life prompt us to become more serious and lose the capacity of laughing spontaneously. Laughter is something we do voluntarily and effortlessly and it is contagious. It has nothing to do with the language as we laugh even before we learn to speak.
Psychologically, laughter decreases stress, makes us feel more relaxed and people with sadness and depression have the same benefits as if they had exercise therapy. At the same time, physiologically, we become more tolerant to pain and it improves the function of our immune and cardiovascular system.
Thus, in the mid- 1990s, Madan Kataria, an Indian physician, introduced Laughter Yoga. Laughter Yoga requires voluntary and spontaneous laughter, practiced in groups. Laughter for no reason provides us with energy, develops our positive thinking and awakens our inner well-being.
‘Fake it ’til you make it’ they say and it really works!
Laughter Yoga sessions combine laughter with eye contact with others in the group and ‘childlike playfulness’ without needing to be based on jokes or sense of humor. Breathing exercises are part of this method as they prepare the lungs for laughter and provide physiological benefits.
Laughter, changes our life, arouses the joy of life and boosts our dynamism and confidence.
‘Remember men need laughter sometimes more than food’ – Anna Fellows-Johnston
So, why not laughing?