Join A Laughter Club

Today I wish to offer something a bit different in our consideration of laughter as tool for stress relief. Beginning in 1995, laughter yoga has begun to make an impression worldwide. It is a form of exercise developed by Dr. Madan Kataria, a Physician from Mumbai, India designed to promote spiritual healing and a sense of childlike playfulness. As a therapeutic tool, laughter yoga, and laughter clubs, have proven remarkably successful in helping people overcome introversion, depression, and stress related mental imbalances.

Isn’t it amazing what people can come up with when they look for alternative means of helping others?

World peace through laughter

Closeup portrait of a group of business people laughingAlthough the ultimate goal of laughter yoga is a large one – no less than world peace through laughter, I would like to narrow the focus, just a bit, to a more practical, immediate benefit of joining a laughter club. As I see it, the immediate benefit of joining a laughter club would be to add structure to the pursuit of humor as a tool for stress reduction. This seems critical for anyone struggling to use or develop a sense of humour to help them deal with the constant stress of daily living.

As explained by the proponents of laughter therapy,

“Laughter Wellness supports and significantly develops Laughter Yoga by transforming this simple free-flow form of exercise into a comprehensive, clear and structured, no-nonsense healing methodology that’s grounded in science and produces immediate results. It’s lots of fun and filled with laughter, but unlike Laughter Yoga there’s nothing funny about it. This is alternative complementary medicine and personal development at its very best that helps people heal and thrive in body, heart, mind and spirit.” ~ American School of Laughter Yoga

Since laughter promotes deep breathing, it can have similar benefits to meditation and yoga, with all of the physical, emotional, and spiritual benefits enjoyed by the practice of either. In the group setting of a laughter club however, it also promotes a sense of community and sharing; of joy and happiness. I believe that sharing joy and happiness has powerful positive effects on virtually everyone and should be promoted in every way possible.

As explained at the website, the benefits of sharing this experience are manifest:

  • Communication skills improve.
  • Self-confidence improves. Introverts lose their fear of speaking in public.
  • You develop more connections and make new friends.
  • Your capacity to laugh goes up significantly, adding more laughter into your life.
  • Your ability to cope with challenges improves.
  • Your health improves.
  • You forget your worries.
  • You go home with a refreshed mind.
  • You contribute to making the world a better place.

Frankly, such positive effects are nothing to – laugh at. A list of laughter clubs in Canada may be found here, while a larger list of laughter clubs worldwide is available here.

If you’re having trouble integrating humour and laughter into your life, a laughter club may be just what you need. For more on changing from a negative to a positive mindset and dealing with stress, you might want to read my book, “Just Give your Head a Shake.”

If you are struggling with your own journey of happiness and stress relief, and would like help finding or staying on the road you would like to follow, get in touch with me today.

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