The healing power of laughter

Dalai Lama Laughing

We know we’re living in a modern world when the seriousness, fuss and bother manages to sneak up on the lightest of moods. When before we know it we’re wearing a stern frown and and hushing children at play … not good! That’s the sort of grown up behaviour that’ll get you kicked out of Never-never Land!

And we do, each of us, have our own inner Never-never Land (otherwise known as our ‘happy place’). If we take ourselves too seriously we lose our way there … we forget how to fly!

 

Shamans know the way

It’s not just Peter Pan and co. who endorse the magic of fun. In many shamanic traditions laughter is a celebration of social connection and to not join in can be considered rude. As well as this, it is regarded as a powerful expression to be embraced rather than restricted.

 It’s funny how ‘proper behaviour’ is often considered an act of maturity in the Western world whereas a shaman might tell us that we’ve a lot yet to learn if we aren’t comfortable with, or accepting of, such a basic human emotion as humour. Indeed our made up modern etiquettes could be doing us out of a great deal of personal growth and even physical and mental health benefits.

 

Come on get happy

Norman Cousins, one of the veterans of mind-body medicine, introduced the idea that laughter can improve our health. He himself was the case study in his research when he used laughter therapy to treat his autoimmune disease into remission. Further scientific research over the years have uncovered the many benefits of laughter including:

 

Boosting the immune system

Lowering blood pressure

Improving cardiac health

Reducing stress

Treating depression

Triggers endorphins

 

‘Laugh Your Way to Happiness’ outlines the inspirational benefits of Laughter Yoga and helps introduce more humour to your every day showing you that there are always opportunities for laughter, sometimes in the most unexpected places!

 Laughter Yoga might seem a bit bonkers to some but it is actually a potent and life changing practice that can awaken a confidence and joi de vivre even in those suffering with depression, stress and grief. Here’s a fascinating report from the BBC on the power of laughter including laughter clubs and laughter yoga.

 

Even the Dalai Lama’s at it!

The Dalai Lama is known to get the crowd laughing with his jokes and funny stories. His Holiness has a contagious laugh that brightens you right up, just a minute or so of watching him joking and laughing out loud should get you going and so I leave you, this time, with a funny clip from ‘Dalai Lama Renaissance’.

With love and laughter,

 

Louisa and the Cygnus Books Team