Stress, Suggestions and Using Laughter Yoga

Stress, Suggestions and Using Laughter Yoga

What does the word stress bring up for you? Very likely it will be negative because the media influences us that stress is ‘bad’ and we are directed to find relief from it with buying, eating, drinking, holidaying etc. Many people are so accustomed to living in a stressful manner and may not realise that there are ways to combat it. It can be that when we our time is restricted, it is beneficial to feel under pressure and we can achieve that without sending our bodies into a stressed mode. In fact it can be uplifting and energising, rather like self-testing or facing a challenge. Laughter and other things like mindfulness and meditation can help a lot, here’s my take on incorporating Laughter Yoga into your daily routine – Read More

John Mitchell & Vicki at Ferntree Gully Laughter Club

I have this much limitation laugh (which is very little) and this much potential (which is huge), at Ferntree Gully Laughter Club.

John Mitchell and Vicki sharing a favorite laugh, a tiny space between thumb
and finger indicating that little limitation
and next the arms go wide showing how much potential.

Laughter is the Best Medicine – Getting Back to Basics

I  Googled these words ‘laughter is the best medicine’ and was pleasantly surprised that two full pages of images came up, with all sorts of interesting quotes. At times I forget that some of the general public are relatively unfamiliar with the concept of community laughter clubs and how we get together and have fun, laughing, singing, dancing about. We feel very connected with ourselves and each other also physically, emotionally and mentally uplifted following a laughter session. It is lots of fun and I am thankful to be involved with the laughter movement which started ‘by accident’ by an Indian Physician, Dr Madan Kataria twenty years ago in March 1995. Read all about it and the basics of why we get together and ‘laugh for no reason’ on my Blogger.

Laughter Member’s Take on Humour, Jokes & Laughter.

Ross Normand is our ‘elder’ laughter club member, who was 80 on the 22nd August 2014. Ross wrote this essay on humour sometime ago and since joining the Ferntree Gully Laughter Club, his appreciation of humour, jokes and laughter has become enhanced. Consequently he made some changes to the essay and felt to share it with me and has granted permission to share it with you. Thank you Ross. We appreciate your written contribution and yourself for being a valuable, regular member to our Ferntree Gully Laughter Club.

HUMOUR, JOKES AND LAUGHTER
by Ross Normand

“A serious and good philosophic work could be written entirely of jokes.” Ludwig Wittgenstein, (1889-1951 A.D.) Austrian-British philosopher. Humour is an amusing and creative activity that makes its presence felt in many situations. When used in an enlightening or playful way humour can be wonderfully uplifting, but it can also be quite destructive, particularly if employed in a vulgar way or used in such a manner as to embarrass and/or ridicule people. Most people of all ages and cultures respond favourably to good humour; its spiritual nature makes us laugh and expands our philosophic outlook on Life.
Humour takes many forms such as wit, satire, sarcasm, slapstick, cartoons, mimicry, etc. Here is a trilogy of jokes which may, or may not, appeal to your own particular sense of humour —
George Bernard Shaw, the famous playwright, once invited Winston Churchill to the opening night of one of his plays and ended the note by saying, “Bring a friend, if you have one.” Churchill replied, expressing regret that he could not attend on the first night but said he would come on another night. “If there is one!”.
Ben Jonson, a colleague of William Shakespeare, was once asked to explain the pun, a form of wit. Ben replied, “Pun, what subject?” The friend laughed at this pun, but said, “Oh, the King.” Ben then said, “But the King is not a subject. He is the King”.
Mulla Nasrudin was born in Eskishehr, Turkey, in the l3t Century A.D. Sufi mystics still recount many of his quaint stories; here is one of them. – Nasrudin entered a teahouse one day and declaimed, “The moon is more useful than the sun.” Someone asked him why. “Because at night we need the light more,” said Nasrudin.
Laughter Yoga is a world-wide practice that originated in India; it helps man to better integrate the workings of his mind, body and soul. Nobody knows exactly why we laugh or why anything causes us to make a strange noise, but it happens from an early age. Babies smile, then coo, and finally chuckle when they are amused. Jokes often occur when an ordinary idea is twisted by somebody in an unusual, but pleasingly unexpected way. Here’s an example —
A man speaks to his doctor after an operation. He says, “Doc, now that the surgery is done, will I be able to play the piano?” The doctor replies, “Of course!”  The man then says, “Good, because I couldn’t before!”.
Humorous events were often brought to my notice when, as a small boy, I lived near the Mont Albert Railway Station. Standing at our front gate one day, I noticed an Army Officer, who must have been coming home on leave from the Second World War, for he wildly embraced a girl coming to meet him in the opposite direction and swept her off her feet. Not only did I witness this stirling deed, but so too did a couple of teenage girls who stood on the footpath near me. One of them said to the other, “I wish that was me !“ I smiled and had a bit of a laugh, because I was quite sure the Army Officer and the girls involved in this little episode were completely oblivious of me — one small boy playing nearby on his three-wheeled trike.
Humour, according to some experts, cannot or should not be explained. But the vast majority of people who do theorise about it conclude that humour is a very healthy activity, or that it is a gift from God, or that it is an unexplainable event very much akin to a mystical experience. Humour seems to give us, above all, a great opportunity to have a good laugh about happenings in Life!

HUMOUR, JOKES & LAUGHTER
by Ross Normand

Bibliography

The World Book Encyclopaedia, U.S.A. 1974 Edition
– Volume 9 Article on Humour

Wikipedia Encyclopaedia, Wikipedia Foundation, Inc. U.S.A.
– Article on Humour

R.M.I.T. University Lecture on “Humour” (2009)
– at The Melbourne Theosophical Society Ltd.

The Melbourne “Herald” Newspaper, 1965.
– Article “Churchill Said It”.

The Sufis by Idries Shah.
– Doubleday Anchor Book, U.S.A.

Laughter Yoga With School Children – Live For Live

Live4Life is a project run by the Macedon Ranges Council, promoting rural students’ mental health. As part of this project Laughter Clubs Victoria Inc was approached, because of the importance for school children to be given the opportunity to experience laughter yoga. In March, Merv Neal presented a laughter session for Live4Life.

Here is an except from the Live4Life e-newsletter:
“What an awesome day to kick off the Live4Life program for 2014! Over 550 young people from across the Macedon Ranges Shire gathered at host school Sacred Heart College in Kyneton to Launch the program, and enjoyed enterainment from Issac & Jimmy, Flaxxon and Mumblr, as well as a Laughter Yoga Session with Merv Neal.”

And the YouTube video of excerpts from that session.

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And for those of you who want to know more about the program, here is some information from the Live4Life home page, which says it all!
“Live4Life is a youth mental health primary prevention initiative targeting young people in the Macedon Ranges, Victoria, Australia
The Live4Life initiative is a community-wide response to a reported increase in 2009 from schools, police, community health and medical services to depression, anxiety, self-harm and suicide in the Macedon Ranges Shire, particularly at Year 8 level (13-14years). The Youth Development Unit of the Macedon Ranges Shire Council, along with schools and community leaders, identified a need for a coordinated, collaborative response with a focus on seeking solutions prior to the need for crisis intervention Live4Life is an innovative, evidence-based, local community driven response to youth mental illness. The initiative aims to provide a local solution to a global problem by adopting a whole of community approach to increase knowledge, reduce stigma and improve mental health service pathways that are appropriate for young people.”

How wonderful to hear about such amazing work being done with school children and I welcome any comments or sharing of other programs which help look after the mental health of our future citizens, who will lead the way forward into all of our futures. They need all the help they can get.