Monday, October 3, 2011

Laughing With Yourself

Most of us tend to take ourselves very seriously. Have you ever found yourself walking down the street, peering into a shop window only to be startled by the stern face that you see reflected back at you? Just what did happen to that little laugh box of a person I was as a child? When was it that the thought of the day ahead ceased to conjure up smiles, excitement and an insatiable desire to play?

Well, yes, evidently we grew into adults, but did that require us to shed our giggling apparatus? And did we intentionally become such accomplished Frowners? Quite alarmingly so, recent research has indicated that children laugh about 300 times a day and most adults fewer than 15! We all know that laughing feels great, but did you realize that your frequency of laughing significantly contributes to the releasing of endorphins (happy hormones) into your blood stream? It really is rather comical when we think of the lengths we go to in pursuit of happiness when a good ol' chuckle can quite literally open us up to being so right here, right now!

So let's give a go. It will take just one minute and, please, if you need to, do take yourself off to a quiet, secluded corner so as not to taint your perhaps sensible reputation.

Place yourself in front of a mirror. Begin by looking into your eyes and widening your face with the biggest cheesy grin you can muster! After about 30 seconds, please continue by repeating

Ha ha ha, ho ho ho, hee hee hee 

- slowly at first and then picking up speed, moving into rapid repetition - for a further 30 seconds.

So you may well not have broken out into wild hilarity, but I'm sure that even the most straight-laced of us finished with a smile at our perceived absurdity of what we've just been doing - and that is: laughing for no reason! So despite our lives generally being quite a serious affair there is every reason to laugh, for the crux of the matter is that we all want to be happy. Laughing without need of justification, reasoning or motive is a great method of connecting us with the innate joy at our heart. We see this very readily in small children and babies who will chuckle away to their heart's content for no apparent reason, simply for the fact that being alive prompts laughter and elation in little ones!

The wonderful thing is that we can return to this place of spontaneous jubilation through practicing laughing. And a great bonus in doing so is that our bodies don't know the difference between so-called real laughter and its pretend counterpart; so it really is a case of fake it until you make it! Either way you'll still receive that laughing happy high as well as all the other numerous health benefits that regular intervals of laughter offer.

Laughing for no reason is really such a boon. So give the above exercise a go and maybe even try it out daily for a week - or more!

With chuckles aplenty,

Sadhu is a Laughing Yoga Leader and offers Laugh-shops to groups and businesses and at parties (for children and adults). Contact Healium if you would like to organize one!

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