Christmas is around the corner and this merry season is associated with Santa Claus and his cheerful ho ho’s . It is a jolly season full of laughter and joy. Perhaps this is the best way to live life, considering how stressful things can get. I recently came across the concept of “Laughter Yoga ” and I was truly impressed with it. Laughter Yoga works on the concept of fake laughter having the same effects as real laughter. As per Dr Madan Kataria(the founder of Laughter Yoga), our brains cannot distinguish between real laughter and fake laughter. Hence it can be practiced mindfully, without the aid of humor. You can read more about Laughter Yoga here.
Laughter has emotional, physical and spiritual benefits. It may seem silly, but trust me, once you try it, you’ll be laughing your way to a healthier and happier you. Below are some of the benefits which laughter provides us with.
1. Cheerfulness: If you start your day with laughter, you are blessed with a great mood all day. The stresses of the day don’t seem to creep in that easily and small worries tend to seem almost miniscule. Instead of starting your day with a heavy heart and dreading the worst, start with ha has to see a mammoth difference.
2. Better bonding with people: If you have a smiling face, people will be drawn to you and will want to spend more time with you. You will end up making more friends because of your cheerful attitude. As the saying beautifully sums it up “Laugh and the world laughs with you, smile and some smile with you, weep and you weep alone”. Nobody wants to spend time around complainers. Spread cheer everywhere and you’ll see more of it crawl into your life.
1. Release of endorphins: Laughter releases endorphins,the “feel good” hormones. These help with the feeling of well being and can even reduce pain in the body.
2. Reduces the release cortisol: Levels of cortisol, better known as the “stress hormone” is reduced after a hearty laughter session.
For more on the physical benefits of laughter, click here
1. Reduces ego: Ego is the biggest blocking factor when it comes to spiritual growth. It makes us believe that it is us against the world and we have to keep fighting with others to make a mark in our lives. Laughter is a great way to dissolve this ego and move towards unconditional love. We all are manifestations of life and we are not separate. Laughter dissolves the boundaries between us and others. Laugh in the company of others and you’ll truly find yourself as an expression of others.Also, the easiest way to reduce ego is to develop the knack of laughing at yourself. If you’re able to laugh at the tiny mistakes you make, it becomes easier to let things go and to relax into life. And life is much easier when you stop taking it so seriously.
2. Brings back focus to the present moment: When you are laughing and having a good time, you don’t feel the need to think about the past and the present. The focus is on the present moment; the moment when you are having fun. This powerful exercise of laughter teaches you to live life in the present which in turn helps you to be in control of your life . Read more about living life in the present moment here.