“Here’s some advice: At a job interview, tell them you’re willing to give 110 percent. Unless the job is a statistician.” -Comedian Adam Gropman
Did you get a chuckle out of that? If so, then you’re working your way towards better health. Laughter has been humanity’s way of shrugging off the stresses of the day, and scientific studies have more recently nailed down the real health benefits of laughter. Indeed, laughter has been found to decrease stress hormones while increasing our body’s immune responses.
Article: Laughter is the best medicine
And you’ve probably heard of the phrase ‘humour is contagious’ or ‘laughter is infectious’ before too. There’s something to these sayings, and those who teach Laughter Yoga have learned to capitalise on the correlation. Created by Indian doctor Madan Kataria in early 1995, Laughter Yoga is a way for instructors to incorporate simulated laughing into Yogic breathing exercises, in order to harness the benefits that lie therein.
You’re probably saying to yourself, ‘but simulated laughing isn’t the same as the real thing,’ and you’re partially correct. It may feel a bit silly at first to participate in simulated laughing exercises, but the fact of the matter is that our body’s response to laughter doesn’t rely on the authenticity of the laugh itself.
Dr. Lee Berk, an associate professor at Loma Linda University in California, explains more about the benefits of having a good laugh. He says laughter shuts down the release of stress hormones like cortisol, and also triggers the production of feel-good neurochemicals like dopamine, which have all kinds of calming, anti-anxiety benefits. Think of laughter as the yin to stress’s yang.
David Cronin is a Laughter Yoga teacher in Adelaide. “Our brain doesn’t know the difference between simulated laughter and the real thing,” Mr Cronin said. “You get the real benefits of the actual chemicals like the endorphins, serotonin and dopamine.”
Laughter Yoga can start off as awkward, especially for onlookers, but it quickly becomes funny and there are real health benefits to be had. Cronin recommends at least 15 minutes of simulated laughter in a day. And we’re not just talking about a light chuckle – Cronin says that one needs 10-15 minutes of full belly laughing to get the job done.
Interested in bringing Laughter Yoga to your workplace?
David Cronin is a HSG facilitator, and he’s available for all of our clients in Adelaide. He can facilitate workshops at your workplace, which are designed to promote team-building and stress management. Holding a Laughter Yoga workshop is a unique team building exercise that dissolves stress, tension and pressure in minutes.
Find out more about laughter yoga workshops, to have your team laughing their way to better health, energy and mood.