How Does Mindfulness Compliment Laughter Club Activities?

Hello Everyone

What two wonderful topics, Mindfulness and Laughter Yoga! Today I will share about mindfulness, which is a huge topic. Essentially, when you attend a laughter club session, you are way more present and, in the moment, practicing mindfulness without even knowing it! When we laugh, we have eye contact and simultaneously, have heart connections with each other. It is very uplifting and energising. There are huge health and social benefits that come naturally when we laugh together.

You will very likely agree that our lives are richer when we are conscious, feeling ourselves present, fully connected with life and our activities. The alternative to this is racing ahead or living in the past, going unconscious, operating our bodies on auto pilot. Our minds may be racing and our emotions in upheaval, as we live stressful, busy lives.

When our awareness of the present moment is lessened, problems arise through our unconscious and automatic programming, that is when we are not consciously choosing what we are up to in our lives. Problems may increase if we aren’t aware of them, which is like going down a slippery slope, as they increase and become larger problems. We may lose self-confidence and doubt ourselves, others and the purpose of life and do not embrace living our life to its utmost fullness.

I believe a lot of what we do is to learn to live our life in a mindful way, without even realising it. It is about being in the present, learning to live with less anxiety, being aware of our surroundings, meditation, breathing. In fact, many things we do are about working to improve our quality of life in a holistic way. I do not mean to be free to indulge our egos in eating, drinking, entertainment, although that all does have a place within reason. It is not meant to be our driving force.

There are several aspects of mindfulness, which you can practice anywhere, at any time, making it a promising habit. This roots you more strongly into the present moment, which gives a grounded connection into Mother Earth. The alternative to mindfulness is forgetfulness, when our mind is caught up in worry, fear, anger, and regrets. It is definitely not helpful to be reliving the past, as it is unwise to be living out of the present moment or imagining the future. This creates anxiety, depression, fear of survival and ill health.

Mindful Meditation

There are many ways that you can practice mindfulness. There is mindful meditation, which involves focusing on your breath so as to become calm and slow your whole body down to be nice and still. This relaxes the mind and emotions, releasing stress and worry about things that may never happen. It allows you to be proactive in your life, to be solution focused, taking steps to resolve things, which is empowering. Many of us are fearful of making the wrong decision. I encourage you to make one and experience the consequences, when you are stuck to the point which is harmful to your wellbeing and future.

To do a mindful meditation, here are two slightly different methods. One way is to say to yourself ‘I am breathing in, I am breathing out’ and let go of thoughts as they arise, keep bringing your mind back to the awareness of the breath. A second way is to breathe in to a count of what is comfortable, say between 4 to 8, pause for a count of 2, then breathe out for the same length of the in breath, followed by a slight pause. You may find the count becoming longer as you become more relaxed. If you prefer you may breathe out through the mouth, which gives you a different, nice experience.

Walking Meditation

Another way of practicing mindfulness is walking meditation, to walk being totally aware of your body. To do so, find a quiet space where you can be focused and undisturbed. Choose a comfortable distance or time that you will do it, say between 4 metres and 10 metres, or for 5 or 10 minutes. Walk slowly, focusing on the experience of walking, being aware of every step, the way your foot connects to the ground, all of the sensations in your body, your breath, expanding your awareness further out, feeling your body to be connected to earth, life and nature. After you practice it for the allotted time, continue walking, still holding the awareness of walking with awareness of your bodily sensations. It is a radically different experience to what we tend to do, which is also not appreciating every moment that we have available to us.

Body Scan

Another recognised way to be mindful is to sit or lay down and do a full body scan. Become aware of all of your body, focusing slowly and deliberately on every part of your body, from toe to head or head to toe. You may become aware of emotions or feelings associated with various parts or organs of the body. At the end you may like to allow yourself to experience savasana, the yogic corpse pose, for a deep relaxation. I find it highly beneficial to do this before hopping into bed and have done so for most of my life, as it helps to unwind and allows me to sleep deeper. It is simple, from feet to the crown, as you think of each part of the body, which may also be on the in breath, say or feel to yourself as you draw your attention to each part of the body ‘relax the toes, relax the toes’ etc.

Just Breathe

I am gradually reprogramming myself to live each day mindfully, becoming more aware and in the present moment. I will share the simplest tip which I do, which is to say to myself ‘just breathe’. This is simply to be still, like in between moments, or waiting for an appointment or other thing, and focus on your breath. If you are anything like me, an alternative is to fill up your day with activities, with no time or space between them. Once it seemed to be a waste of time not to be busy doing something. Now I enjoy space in between activities which allows me to be in the moment, aware of my body and what is around me. Such as nature, the breeze, especially sunsets, clouds and trees. Mindfulness is such a simple exercise which allows us to appreciate life and all that it brings to us.

How Laughter Yoga becomes a Mindful Exercise

My husband John jointly leads the laughter club sessions, and he often says to new people, “You get out of it what you put into it”. This is one way what we do becomes a mindful exercise, people come together and although at times may be distracted, the accepted intention is to throw themselves wholeheartedly into every session. That means being right there in the moment, going along with all the silly antics that we do, thrown in with a lot of deep breathing and singing. The breathing is inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth. Laughing is a wholehearted way of embracing life, bringing oneself to life and the living!

Get in Touch?

Cheerio for now from John and myself and we look forward to meeting with you soon. If you wish to receive an email to receive my newsletter or a reminder when we are laughing, then let me know.
Daily Mindfulness Tips
If you would like me to you a document Daily Mindfulness Tips, then get in touch with me by email or phone and I will send it out to you. There are many things we can do to continually bring ourselves into being fully present, aware and feeling connected with life. Ideally aim to live this way and never, ever, ever give up! Thank you.
Lots of Love and Laughter. Lynette Mitchell.

We meet as follows each month:

Ferntree Gully Laughter Club  11am 2nd & 4th Sunday

Boronia Library  11am 1st Saturday

Rowville Library  11am 3rd Saturday

Ferntree Gully Library  2pm 4th Tuesday

First timers, please contact Lynette to confirm, in case of a meeting change.

Phone:         0425 799 258