Health Benefits of Laughter Yoga
Laughter is a highly effective therapy, which works on the physical body, the emotions, the mind and spirit. Listed below are important points and more information.
- Improved creativity, as natural inspirations will flow
- Increased light heartedness, smiling and laughing
- Reduces stress and releases endorphins into bloodstream
- Reduces depression. Laughter is cathartic, releasing negative emotions
- Strengthens the immune system
- Lowers blood pressure
- Improved breathing and blood circulation from aerobic exercise
- Heart connection with other people happening naturally
- Endorphins released into bloodstream
- Muscles – stimulates and releases muscle tension
- Laughter promotes and enriches brain function
- A good massage for the internal organs – it’s called internal jogging
- Greater sense of well being
Laughter is free, anyone can do it and the more you do, the better you will feel. Have you noticed how freely our children laugh? Statistically, children laugh between 300 and 400 times a day, as compared with adults 15 – 17 times a day. Laughter has never been more important than it is now because as we grow older, we become serious and lose the beneficial habit of frequent laughter. Laughter gives an immediate release of tension and uplifts the spirits. With regular laughter comes the ability to renew one’s sense of humour and be back in touch with the playfulness of your inner child.
Laughter Yoga brings with increased feelings of joy and we need to be prepared to get out of our comfort zone, to give ourselves permission to be silly and embrace child-like play again. Forget our issues and challenges, allow it to flow, the being silly and spontaneous once again. Come out of that straight jacket and discover a part of you that may have been absent a long while. Learn to laugh again, let go those inhibitions.
What it is, what it does
Laughter is an aerobic exercise and research shows that 100 laughs equals 10 minutes on a rowing machine, which also provides your internal organs with a massage. Deeper breathing oxygenates the blood. Laughter strengthens the immune system, releases feel good endorphins, lowers blood pressure and it also brings people together. Laughter helps to open our hearts and we feel connected firstly with each other, then with our own beingness.
The subconscious can not differentiate between fake laughter and real laughter. It follows then that in a laughter session, especially with new participants, we begin with pretend laughter. Generally this quickly becomes real, genuine laughter, leading to deep belly laughter. How it is perceived depends a lot on people’s background and conditioning, as to whether it is easy to let go and become involved fairly easily, or whether it takes time and a few laughter sessions. We encourage participants to embrace it as fully as is possible, because the more they do that, the greater the health benefits that are received. This is ongoing, because over time people find it easy to laugh and they take the spirit of laughter with them each day.