I Love To Laugh!

Most people who know me today would say I’m a positive person. Sure, I have the usual ups and downs and challenges that we all face in our daily lives, but over the past few years, I have learned to rebound fairly quickly and look for the absolute most positive position on any personal circumstance. Sometimes it takes more time to get to my happy place, but I do get there eventually. I call it channeling my Pollyanna. At first, I truly had to use the mantra “fake it ’til you make it,” and indeed still fall back on it from time to time. It has served me well and has helped me maintain a positive outlook on life.

I won’t say that I’ve gotten into a happiness rut, but when the opportunity to ‘up the ante’ presented itself recently by my friend Anne, how could I refuse? Laughing Anne, as she calls herself, is a certified Laughter Yoga Leader and she just started the very first Laughter Club in Idaho – how lucky am I that it is in my very own town? Check out her awesome website (Click here) and have a giggle with her – I dare you to watch her video and NOT laugh!!!

Just what is Laughter Yoga? It was birthed by a doctor in India while he was writing an article titled, “Laughter – The Best Medicine” for a  journal. His research astounded him in such a way, that he was inspired to field test the effects of laughter on himself and others. He convinced 4 others to join him, and now, 15 years later, there are over 6000 laughter clubs in over 60 countries. As of yesterday, there is now at least 1 laughter club in every state here in the USA. Yay! For more information and to see if there is a club near you, check out their official website (Click here). The most basic explanation is that groups of people get together to laugh. The yoga aspect is deep breathing exercises to help counteract the effects of the typical shallow breathing that most of us use throughout our days, so no strenuous poses to master at all. Scientific research has shown that the effects of laughing – whether it be forced or for real – have the same widespread benefits on your health. These benefits border on amazing and a partial list follows:

Positive healing effects on asthma and allergies.
Alleviates depression.
Regulates blood sugar for diabetics.
Improves blood pressure.
Boosts the immune system.
Reduces pain through release of endorphins.
Positive mental attitude.
Relief from stress-related illnesses.

So, comfort zones be dashed, I arrived at a corner of the greenbelt that is flanked by 2 fairly busy roads and a pedestrian walk that travels along the river to laugh for no reason whatsoever with 7 other participants. A couple of us were periodically on the look out for vans pulling up with men in white suits, ha-ha, ho-ho! I admit that there were times when it was truly an effort to force laughter, but by the end of the session, not only were there many times that the laughter was not forced at all, but I felt positively jubilant! I felt an extra little bounce in my step, sang along to the radio all the way home, and laughed and laughed all over again as I demonstrated some of the exercises to Bob and my mom (who had just arrived for a visit). My smile was just barely concealed under the surface of my face – ready to jump out at the slightest provocation. What a way to be!

Schedule me in for laughter any day of the week, but you can be sure I’ll be laughing around noon each Tuesday by the Falls! Na-ha-ha-ha-maste!!!

When’s the last time you laughed for an hour? Would you love to try?


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: When Life Happens, Laugh! « Elizabeth Said So
  2. Trackback: A Fall From Pollyanna’s Wagon « Elizabeth Said So

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