Laughter Yoga has already proven to be a great stress buster which helps boost our mood, improve the immune system and alleviate pain. Jeannette Sanger, a Laughter Yoga instructor from New York, reported how laughter helped her cope with the excruciating pain she experienced when she spilled a pot of boiling water on her thigh while cooking. She laughed her way to the hospital as it distracted her from the pain she was feeling. This method of induced laughter is fast becoming a growing trend in the world of health and wellness.
Even forced laughter has a profound healing effect on the body and is extremely therapeutic. For Sanger, laughing was a spiritual, as well as a physical experience. Laughter keeps one in the moment, because when youre laughing youre not thinking about yesterday or tomorrow.
"Youre just totally joyful, the way children are,said Sanger. Letting loose and having fun is something many adults need to be reminded how to do, she added. Laughing is a way of removing inhibitions and learning how to play again. It is cathartic and helps one to release negativity and introduces more joy throughout the day.
Sanger teaches Laughter Yoga in a range of settings: from elderly homes to veterans' organizations to a school, and by and large her students report feeling lighter, happier, more energetic and more relaxed after the class. And as a side effect, just 10 to 15 minutes of laughter also helps to keep weight in check by burning 10 to 40 calories!
Like meditating and taking walks in nature, laughter should be part of our daily mindfulness routine, Sanger suggested. Learn to "laugh at little annoyances, she said, and you may just find yourself waking up each day feeling a little lighter and more prepared to face the day.
Picture Courtesy: Jeannette Sanger