I love nothing more than a deep belly laugh and I realise that I am very lucky that laughter and humour comes naturally to me, well most of the time although Laughter Yoga has helped me to learn to laugh more freely in the face of adversity.
So why laughter yoga or a laughter workshop ? That is a good question and interestingly enough, initially I did not get it at all. As someone who laughs a lot I found it rather strange that people would need to force laughter when they could laugh freely but laughter is infectious so let it out, forced or real and it soon becomes hearty and real 🙂
Without a doubt laughter yoga is fun, social and a great way to meet people and make new friends. Not everyone can laugh freely and we often do not have enough opportunities for spontaneous laughter in our busy lives. I have just today received an email from a guy who came along to laughter club asking when the next one is, he enjoyed it so much and he realised that he needs more laughter in his life. Sometimes we just take life too seriously and forget to laugh, or even how to laugh. This is why Laughter Clubs are so important and the reason why many Laughter Leaders offer community laughter clubs.
Laughter Clubs provide an opportunity to bring laughter in to your life without leaving it to chance.
The other amazing thing about laughter is how quickly it bonds a group together, a great team building tool and of course the social element. Some amazing bonds and friendships have formed in my own laughter club.
A Laughter workshop provides a safe environment where it is okay to laugh without judgement so it provides a safe space to laugh away, a total release for many.
So what is the difference between spontaneous laughter and the sort of laughter you will get in one of our workshops. There is a big difference in the fact that in an average laughter session you will most likely laugh for around 10-15 minutes where as general day to day spontaneous laughter, tends to be for a fraction of that, at around 5 seconds. You are also leaving laughter to chance, you may or may not come across something funny.
The laughter that really benefits our health is the extended deep belly laughter and this is something we practice in our laughter workshops. We do need that extended 10-15 minutes of laughter to really reap the health benefits. A typical one hour laughter workshop does just that.
Laughter for Depression
I recently had someone come along to my laughter club who suffers from bipolar disorder (aka manic depression). She contacted me the next day to tell me how much the laughter yoga had helped her to “release the demons”, as she put it. Laughter Yoga and Laughter Workshops are very effective for helping people with depression, anxiety and so much more, simple yet effective and a wonderful way to release and re-energise. On that note, I should add that there are some contraindications as with any form of exercise. People suffering from minor and major psychiatric disorders can participate in a laughter session except those who are not in touch with reality e.g. schizophrenia, Hyper mania (manic part of bipolar depression) sometimes known as bipolar II. Even a short Laughter Yoga session can make so much difference, in particular in the workplace where stress is a huge issue causing illness and absenteeism.
I work with a several holistic tools in my Stressbusting Laughter Workshops. A combination of all or some of them, Natural Laughter Skills, Laughter Yoga, Gibberish and Sound Meditation.