A few years ago I was walking through my local park and I noticed a small group gathered in a circle. The people were all standing close to one another and they were — of all things – laughing. All sorts of laughter was happening actually. I didn’t want to stop and stare at this circle of laughter, but, as I kept walking, I would hear their roars of laughter and I — all of a sudden – felt clear headed with a spring in my step.
How can it be? Well, come to find out there is a whole science around Laughter Yoga. As you can tell, if you happened to follow that link, laughter can be pretty prescribed. Who is there? How far do people stand apart from one another? What types of laughter? How to open and close the session of laughter? I suppose it is like any yoga practice — even laughter takes discipline.
How about laughter for laughter’s sake? Plain old simple laughing aloud when the spirit moves you.
Now this can’t always be possible, but it is amazing how often laughing can be employed with it adding something positive to the interaction rather than taking away from it. One of the most common engagements like this would be an argument. Imagine! You are right there in the heat of the argument and the other party laughs. Now, one can think to himself, “Is this person mocking me or not taking me seriously?” and the laughing gets a bad rap. How about the other person simply wanted to break the tension?
Laughter, whether experienced on one’s own, in community, or only with one other, changes the dynamic of how we feel and how we are interacting. It is a reminder to not take anything that seriously, as well as a way to connect to many who may be vastly different from you.
Have you ever laughed and someone replied, “What? Do you think that’s funny?” And the person is fuming mad. What to do? Perhaps laugh some more.
Laughter is a way to creatively let off steam, break up a harsh argument, join someone in their feelings, or simply look at the sunny side of life. Full bodied laughter often involves movement, which then spurs creativity. We find ourselves laughing with others or on our own.
Feeling sluggish? Laugh! Go to your favorite funny YouTube video, play it, and laugh. Join in a laughing yoga session if you can. Beak up seriousness with a laugh. Find creative ways to interject laughter into your daily life and watch your creativity unfold.