In today’s modern and stressful world, the dissolution of social networking, and breakdown of two way dialogues between people have taken its toll on various relationships within the social fabric. Be it parental, marital or professional, every relationship is exposed to negative strains that wear away the emotional bonding. Young children, teenagers and seniors are most vulnerable to family and emotional breakdown which leads to many physical and mental problems.
Laughter Yoga - Helps strengthens ties
This is a new revolutionary exercise routine that combines laughter with yogic breathing to alleviate stress and anxiety arising due to crisis in relationships. It has the ability to elevate mood states and create a joyful environment. Besides the enormous physical health benefits, Laughter Yoga lifts the spirits and brings a sense of calmness to the mind – all of which are essentials for a healthy, happy relationship.
Breakdown of family systems: The increase in broken homes and the lack of emotional bonding with parents or responsible adults combine to cause a host of emotional problems that were seldom part of a traditional human childhood. The breakdown of the extended family and the reduction in family size means that many children are alone and can hardly develop healthy relationships with peer groups and adults.
Laughter Yoga helps in the release of emotions through painless catharsis. Laughter promotes positive emotions and coping skills. The group dynamics establishes a caring –sharing network of relationships and emotional bonding. It helps children to cope with daily pressure of studies and authoritative demands of both parents and teachers. Both parents and children are able understand each other and learn to deal with their problems in a better manner and become more considerate and accepting. The attitude towards peer group and elders also undergoes a positive change.
Relationships with teachers: Children faced with a competitive academic environment from early age are being pressured by their parents and teachers to attain excellent grades. Schoolwork results in many symptoms of stress and high social anxiety.
As they learn to laugh unconditionally, they become adept at handling pressure. Laughter Yoga builds self confidence and the ability to handle stress by boosting the immune system and releasing endorphins in the brain which ‘kick start’ good feelings and reduce stress. The hostility towards all type authority is dissipated and children develop the art of expressing their emotions freely.
Parental inconsistency: During the transitional phase of teens parents raise their expectations and become quite inconsistent in their behavior. They sometimes want their children to behave like kids and sometimes like adults. These instructions send confusing signals to children and they become self protective and draw back into their shell.
Laughter helps to dispel thoughts of distrust and hostility arising out of continuous confrontations with parents. It helps to promote patience, tolerance and acceptance.
Peer competitiveness: Growing sense of competition among peer group at times leads to feelings of jealousy and antagonism. Relationships suffer as a result of this rivalry and unfriendliness.
Laughter helps to boost the self-confidence and encourages a great network of healthy relationships. It encourages team building and eliminates feelings of aggression, contention and animosity.
A hearty laughter helps to develop a sense of independence and self-reliance. It boosts self esteem and helps them to connect with people in a much better manner. It leads to strong bonding and creates a network of caring and sharing relationships.
Marital breakdown – Laughter Yoga can improve relationship
The basic requirement for marital harmony and success is communication and expression of emotions, the lack of which can lead to a breakdown of relationship and emotional stress. It is important that feelings of anger, resentment and hurt do not accumulate.
Laughter Yoga is a physical exercise that works on the body and mind simultaneously. It provides tools to deal with stressful situations in new ways, providing an alternative to anger/aggression and resulting fear. The goal of Laughter Yoga is to connect people with one another at heart level without judgment. It improves communication as it is hard to remain in conflict with someone when you are laughing. Power struggles cause us to focus on our own needs and ignore the needs of others. Laughter interrupts the power struggle.
Laughter Yoga allows one to be more open and creates a feeling of safety where issues seem less important. It allows one to express more clearly and creatively. It allays feelings of criticism and sarcasm and is a pathway to unconditional love. Loving with the mind is conditional. Loving with the heart is unconditional. The bonding qualities of Laughter Yoga allow us to feel such emotional closeness that we want to be physically and spiritually close as well. Laughter with all its powerful mechanisms of communication and feel good factor would definitely nurture a marriage better than a counselor!
Inner Spirit of Laughter
Laughter Yoga goes beyond just laughter. Dr. Kataria has developed techniques to stimulate childlike playfulness, to adjust the aerobic and stretching component, and to promote emotional flow and release. It improves physical health and releases negative thoughts and emotions. It helps us to develop an attitude of forgiveness, generosity, compassion, and helpfulness while actively seeking the happiness of others.
It produces a change from an ‘I want’/taking/selfish state of mind to a loving/caring/giving state of mind with increased empathy and compassion towards the members of the laughter group and towards others as well, thus improving all relationships.
The practice of Laughter Yoga causes the body to release into the bloodstream high concentrations of communication substances related to feelings of happiness, warmth, unconditional love, bonding, tolerance, forgiveness, generosity, and compassion. Let’s call this a joy cocktail.
The presence of this ‘JOY COCKTAIL’ of hormones and neuro-peptides precludes the production of other hormones and neuro-peptides that correspond with hatred, fear, violence, jealousy, aggression and the emotions associated with war and oppression.
Laughter puts us intensely in the moment. The ability to live life fully and experience the ‘now’ is so important because it is only in the ‘now’ that we can experience joy. It helps us cope with challenges and conflict better because it gives us a better perspective. It shrinks the hurts and upsets of everyday life to a smaller, if not inconsequential size. Issues appear less overwhelming. Even annoying traits of people we interact with suddenly seem less important and become bearable (or even endearing) when we laugh about them.
Laughter makes us feel good because it defuses painful emotions like fear, anger and resentment by releasing them. This cathartic release is a preventive for conflict. It eases tension and help one to see and understand others people’s point of view, thus nurturing better relationships.