For this week’s blog I have a guest contributor, Sara Kay of Serious Laughter.
Sara had depression in January 2016 and life was a bit grim.
A chance Laughter workshop at a wellbeing day changed all that.
She discovered that laughter was definitely missing – little did she know all the benefits which would unfold.
Since training as a Wellbeing Accredited Laughter Yoga Teacher, Sara has gained extensive experience with a huge range of clients – from schools to nursing homes, from corporate clients to conferences.
A competent speaker, Sara has been on the stage of many conferences and festivals.
She enjoys and specialises in bringing mental strength through laughter to anxious and overwhelmed business women and those in care roles. Sara is a Mental Health First Aider and is a Laughter Ambassador, and delivers Wellbeing Laughter workshops with great empathy, understanding and confidence, making you feel really positive, calm and stress-free.
This is the fifth of my monthly guest contributor blogs focusing on different aspects of maintaining our mental health. You can read the previous posts here:
Amanda Manson – Clearing away the distractions
Kimmy Drain – 5 Self Care Rituals in 5 Minutes
Sarah Steinhofel – Your Mental Health – Enjoy the Ride!
Kate Brown – How is Massage Beneficial to Mental Health?
Now you’ll probably be very aware of the saying “Laughter is the Best Medicine” and perhaps also “A day without laughter is a day wasted” Charlie Chaplin…
It’s not commonly known that our brains can’t tell the difference between intentional (pretend) laughter and real genuine laughter.
Hence we can easily practice Laughter Yoga and create feel-good chemicals inside us in this unique exercise routine. It takes some getting used to, it’s a little out of the comfort zone too, though the ability to do this unique exercise is an excellent way of increasing the positive chemicals into our brains such as serotonin and dopamine, even when we are not happy.
Simply giggling at a joke isn’t long enough to release these endorphins, but using Yoga Pranayama breathing in between at least 10 minutes of hearty belly laughter does the job.
Endorphins help us deal with stress, lowering our cortisol levels with a good laugh. Less stress, less depression, less illness too.
How can we laugh for a long time? In groups it is much easier – laughter is after all contagious. There are many exercises from really simple to more physical – making a milkshake or answering a phone or sports. But the amazing thing is most can be adapted to be totally accessible for sitting or standing. From young to older generations we can all do Laughter Yoga exercises together, bring bonding, bring positivity, happiness and joy.
Practiced daily, like Charlie Chaplin says, all the benefits we receive from laughing stay inside us, and the results are compounded, and it gets easier the more we practice.
Laughter Yoga has changed many thousands of lives (including mine! – from depression to a happy life). If you feel it’s time to give Laughter Yoga a try, contact me at email@example.com