Scientific research has proven that you can increase your health with laughter, but what does that mean? And how do you do it? How do you increase health with laughter?
Hi! I’m a qualified Laughter Yoga Leader. I attended a certified Laughter Yoga Workshop certified by Dr. Kataria and the Laughter Yoga University a few years ago and have had oodles of experiences in applying the techniques to my own life as well as in groups. Visit my LAUGHTER YOGA IN THE WORKPLACE page here to book your session on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia.
Founded by Dr. Kataria in India, Laughter Yoga has been proven to have many health and well-being benefits activating JOY and AMUSEMENT – forms of POSITIVITY.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF LAUGHTER
Laughter releases happy chemicals
When you laugh heartily for extended periods it releases happy chemicals in your body: endorphins, dopamine and serotonin. These neurotransmitters help your body stay calm, focused, improve your mood and health. Without them science has proven you can experience mood disorders such as depression and anxiety.
Low levels of dopamine have been proven to cause procrastination, lack of enthusiasm, self-doubt, and Parkinson’s disease. With serotonin flowing in your system you feel worthy and important, whereas when it’s lacking you feel depression, anxiety and loneliness.
Doctor Bellace, a clinical neuropsychologist says that:
Laughter releases the neurotransmitter dopamine, which serves as a reward for the brain, creates a sense of euphoria, and plays a pivotal role in our motivation to continue the behavior.
Benefits of laughter include improved immune functioning, stress relief, increased tolerance for pain, improved cardiovascular health, reduced anxiety, and improved mood.
I’m sure you’re aware that your whole body feels the detrimental effects of depression, anxiety, anger and chronic stress. When a negative mood sits in your body – when you carry it around – it has a negative affect on your health: weakened immune system functioning, cardiovascular disorders, high blood pressure, sleep disorders, headaches and migraines, poor bowel functioning, tense muscles, and so on.
When you choose to activate positivity to a higher ratio than negativity you reap the rewards. Laughter is an awesome and easy way to activate amusement and joy on a regular basis to improve health.
How do you increase health with laughter?
There are 5 important rules I share in Laughter Yoga in the Workplace:
- In Laughter Yoga we have a saying, FAKE IT, UNTIL YOU MAKE IT. Your body doesn’t know the difference between a fake laughter or a real one – you still get the health benefits.
- We also say that YOU DON’T NEED A REASON TO LAUGH. Many people believe that you need to watch a comedy or listen to a joke to laugh, but this isn’t true. In fact, this one belief is stopping people from the ACTIVITY OF LAUGHTER. Laughter is simply an activity you can do to increase your health. Nothing needs to be humorous to get laughing rolling.
- LAUGHTER IS JUST ANOTHER FORM OF EXERCISE. If you make rules, beliefs or excuses to exercise then it’s less likely you’ll do it and you won’t gain any benefits. So, no more excuses – get laughing!
- NO JUDGES ALLOWED. Shoo away the judges sitting on your shoulders. When you engage in Laughter Yoga you do childlike playful things that seem silly. Let yourself flow with the Laughter Yoga session and engage in the activity of laughter – you know it’s good for you.
- KNOW THAT LAUGHTER IS YOUR APPLE A DAY. It’s becoming a well known fact that negative thinking as bad for your body as junk food. Choose to feed your body with Positivity for Better Living and laugh at least once a day to keep the doctor away.
“Since I became a Laughter Yoga leader I PURPOSELY use laughter to:
- Broaden my mind to get new ideas.
- Increase confidence and feelings of self worth.
- Give myself a boost for new projects.
- Change my mood to being happy and joyful.
- Prepare for public speaking and workshops.
- Attract positive friends and connections.
- Positively change my life.”
How to Laugh
Step 1: Start by smiling. Sometimes I smile at myself in the mirror. If you need to you can use your fingers to push up the sides of your mouth into a smile. Keep the smile happening for at least 1 minute.
Step 2: Next, think of something funny. Read a joke, recall something funny a friend said or did, watch a laughter yoga video or your favourite comedy.
Step 3: Laugh. The best way to start laughing is by saying these sounds repeatedly, “HA HA, HO HO, HA HA, HO HO”. Do this for at least one minute slowly and then start saying it faster and faster. Repeat until you feel a natural giggle coming from your belly.
Step 4: Once laughter is happening keep it going for 5-20 minutes. Notice the different types of laughter styles you have. Everyone has a different type of laugh. Notice yours. And then try out different types of laughter. (It helps to listen to laughter sounds on YouTube for ideas).
So, that’s how to laugh. How to get the laughter ball rolling for no reason. Once you get the hang of laughing every day it becomes easier and you might not need the first 3 steps.