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In our busy and stressful lives today, many of us have forgotten how to laugh and have fun. We can become consumed by the many things we have to do and we can end up taking ourselves and our lives too seriously. We all have worries, concerns and stresses however if we allow these things to control our lives we can potentially result in being unhappy and lack a sense of joy and peace within.
Laughing is essentially a practice where anyone can laugh for no reason without using humor, jokes or comedy. Laughter can be practiced in a group with eye contact and childlike playfulness as well as combining laughter exercises with yoga breathing. I just returned from India recently and while I was there I completed a Laughter Yoga Teacher training. Initially I was a little sceptical of the benefits of this intriguing and funny yoga practice however having completed the training, I am convinced of its many benefits.The concept of Laughter Yoga is based on scientific evidence that the body cannot differentiate between fake and real laughter, if done with willingness.
This training involved many funny and creative ways to laugh. At times I felt resistance to practicing some of these ridiculous exercises however when I fully embraced them and just went with them, I felt a deep sense of joy and peace within. A lot of the training involved dancing, singing, playing, laughing and yoga exercises. It felt great to have the opportunity to engage with the childlike and playful part of myself with others.
Here a few ways that laughing could benefit your life;
Improves your mood
Laughter can change your mood within minutes as it releases feel good hormones into your brain and allows you to rapildly shift our emotianal state of mind.
Benefits your health
Laughter has been proven to reduce stress and strengthen people's immune systems.
Gives you strength in adversity
Anyone can laugh when times are good however laughing unconditionally even when times are hard can help you to maintain a positive mental attitude regardless of your circumstances.
Enhances your creativity
The playfulness frees right brain thinking, the basis of all creativity. When we are creative we can think of new ideas and solutions about our current situation.
Improves your social connection and communication skills
Laughing is a great connector of people and builds team spirit.
5 tips to bring more laughter into your life by
1. Joining a laughter club
There are thousands of Laughter Clubs that you can attend on a weekly or a daily basis in over 70 countries in the world. It is much easier to laugh with others rather than by yourself.
2. Look for ways to be silly
This could involve dressing up, singing or creating a funny song or just doing a silly dance :)
3. Ask yourself
What is keeping me from laughing freely in my life? What is holding me back from truly being happy?
4. Reframe your situation
If you are not happy in the situation you are currently in, maybe look at ways that you could change your view of it and just laugh about it. It may not change it, but it will make you feel better about it.
5. Don't take yourself too seriously.
I heard a quote recently which said: "Don't take yourself too seriously because nobody else does".
I think this is very true :)