How Laughter Affects our Judgment and Self-Acceptance

Release the Judgment with Laughter Yoga

Did you know that Laughter Yoga can help us feel better about ourselves? Gently, gradually, with regular connecting at laughter club, we can become more self accepting and a less judgment person. We develop a tolerance as we accept other people, situations and things in our life and at the same time, lose self-judgment.

Many of us humans are full of crippling self-judgment, lacking in self-love and self-acceptance and the great news is that laughter helps lose that pattern. Our habits are developed from a very young age as a survival mechanism, even from a baby, we instinctively and unconsciously develop ways to have our needs fulfilled, even when so tiny and unable to express ourselves clearly.

Habits develop as we grow and for those like me who believe in reincarnation, habits are on board when we are born, where we pick up where we left off in our previous life. Our habits, strengths, tendencies and abilities make up our self-expression and it is a humungous subject.

As we learn, we are drawn to having pleasure and avoiding pain. In fact, it is said we learn best through painful times, which by far motivates us towards growth, rather than when things are going well. Most of us can attest to that.

Parents generally judge their kids, some lucky kids have kind, loving parents, but parents are frequently judgmental, although they want the best for their children. Parents often toughen us up with cryptic remarks, thinking it is in our best interest. However, it can also create the system where we learn to judge ourselves which can develop into us being quite judgmental. To cope, children develop the attitude of being self-judgmental.

Words can hurt and we cope the best we can, which may be to have a warped sense of humour as it may help us get through life. Of course, we may also learn to supress our feelings. Life coaching teaches us that we do things in order to feel free of painful memories or situations and can feel safer when we are not criticised. We can learn the habit of self-criticism, because subconsciously, we feel criticism outside ourself cannot then hurt us.

When we are moulded by feelings of being judged, we can feel that we are wrong and others are right, they are ok and we are not ok, and feel lost. It can be felt like a background whisper and we can feel isolated. We have taken it on board and our lives are filled with the taste of criticising ourselves and others and somehow, we do not feel okay within. We experience a harmful stress, (beneficial stress can actually be necessary at times, in order to fulfil a goal) a need to please, the list goes on.

The good news is that once we become aware of something not being ‘right’, we can begin to do something about it. Ideally we will work towards living in harmony with ourself and others once we do become aware that there is a better way. As we realise unhealthy habits, we can work on them and live a happier, more purposeful, fulfilling life.

How Laughter Can Help Us

Being in a group of laughter club people can make a huge difference in our life and how we feel about ourself. We can let go of anxiety tied in with self-judgment as we practice accepting each other and they of us. We acknowledge and honour everyone’s uniqueness, contributions and belonging in the group. We listen, we care and have drawn to us lovely people, who appreciate one another. Gradually, coming from feelings of being ‘not quite right’, needing to change to feel loved and fit in, we discover that we are, in fact, very ok!

Self-consciousness certainly effects our sense of purpose, our wellbeing, of feeling okay within ourself and laughing out loud can be a hurdle to overcome when experienced for the first time, especially in a group, to the full extent. When people first attend laughter club, they feel uncomfortable to some extent. Even I remember feeling self-conscious, despite embracing the new experience wholeheartedly.

My husband John frequently suggests to people new to the concept of laughing together as a healthy practice, “It will get you out of your comfort zone”. Which it does, gradually and gracefully. What happens is that at first most people will feel uncomfortable and choose to join in and experience it firsthand. Over time, people settle into the pattern and how the session is run, which is spontaneous and interactive with one another. Self-limiting inhibitions are removed and in its place is generally a self-acceptance from all the frivolity and role playing that we do.

Laughter Club is very social, we are a small number of people, about six or eight as a rule and like many other social clubs, there develops a sense of camaraderie and total acceptance of each other. I believe this helps us to accept ourself, to feel safe, nurtured and to feel we belong.

I am not saying that we will radically change into a completely different, non-judgemental person, full of self-love. I am saying it all helps in that right direction and being involved in laughter yoga provides the ability to let go of some things and feel greater inner peace and purpose. Some of us do not have connections with people other than one’s immediate family, neither go out for lunch or see a show or movie. In this way our club serves a purpose, after we meet, we generally have a cuppa at a café. Most of us come together in a social environment, which may be to see a non-professional theatre show, or go to Morning Melodies and have lunch. There is great friendship and some even meet up for a coffee at random times. These may include past members who are always welcome, held close in our hearts as we stay in touch.

Overall belonging to a laughter club enhances our lives, as we bear in mind the founder’s motto of ‘World Peace Through Laughter’. We would love to see you at a meeting and you are very welcome to join us and try it for yourself.

Summing Up

The Ferntree Gully Laughter Club is having its 18th Birthday in April and if you were to come along on a regular basis, I am confident to say that you could expect judgmental and low self-esteem issues to radically improve. Give it a try this 2023. What a momentous year it will be in many ways, if you embrace, flow and run with it.