Laughter Yoga Improved Emotional & Personal Health
Sam Rehan, Laughter professional, Sussex, England: Living as a single mother with two children, I was suddenly confronted with a series of challenges in 2015, when my son suffered a serious medical condition and I lost my job as well as a close family member. All of this left me completely overwhelmed and distraught. I tried several methods to manage my emotional state, till I finally discovered laughter.
I was astonished to see how much better I felt by laughing. My mental tension melted and I felt less stressed and more relaxed. I learned more about the enormous benefits of laughter and the fact that even simulated laughter can be just as good for wellbeing as the real thing left me totally hooked on it. Once I began to laugh more and more; laughter came easier and easier. Even thinking about laughing improved my mood. I knew that if laughter could have this impact on me, then it could on others.
I turned to Laughter Yoga, and felt I needed to proactively put it in front of more people who could really benefit from it. So, I trained to become a Laughter Yoga facilitator. I facilitated laughter sessions with people with dementia, disabilities, teenagers with autism, seniors, school children and in workplaces. I’ve even held a laughter session in an operating theatre with 11 theatre nurses!
I choose to laugh daily, as I feel fully present when I laugh. It is like meditation in motion. Laughter has supported me during difficult times, enhanced personal and work relationships and supported my physical and emotional health. Aged 48, I have tons of energy and as laughter stimulates facial muscles, I enjoy free, natural anti-ageing.
Laughter has led to a successful career, and today I have the best job in the world – to spread the word of laughter and bring more happiness and joy into people’s lives.
Here is what some participants have to say about their experiences during my sessions:
- A man said that when he was 14, a group of older girls at school had laughed at his laugh and told him it was awful. Since that moment, he laughed quietly behind his hands but now, 36 years later, he felt he could embrace his laugh fully. It was a powerful moment to watch and he glowed as he roared with laughter.
- A lady said that her father had slapped her, when she laughed loudly as a young girl. She vowed to laugh as much as possible as an adult and she continued to do so with her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
- Another lady, who’d had a mastectomy eight days earlier said she felt better emotionally and physically.
- Another lady had spent three years grieving after a family bereavement but, after laughing with me, said she felt she could laugh without feeling guilty and felt the best she had in three years.