In recent years a technique called laughing yoga has started to become more and more popular. Laughter has been long been considered a great form of stress relief, so what are the health benefits of laughter and how can laughter help you to de-stress?
Laughter seems to be making a comeback at the moment. If you have been watching the news recently you will have noticed the subject of laughter is getting more and more coverage.
Oprah Winfrey is talking about it, CNN are covering it and in particular a new phenomena called Laughter Yoga is taking hold.
Laughter yoga is a form of exercise which can be done on your own or in groups and incorporates movement with laughing.
What are the health benefits of laughter?
According to the American School of Laughter Yoga the health benefits are as follows:
• Reduces blood pressure
• Increased energy levels
• An increase in performance, concentration and motivation
• A decrease in levels of stress and an increased ability to deal with stress
• Decreases levels of stress hormones like: cortisol, beta-endorphin, and corticotrophin
• Substantial increase of oxygen supply to the body
• Helps to lift depression, even chronic depression is often cured
• Creates high endorphin levels to put you in a great mood and reduce any aches & pains.
• Immune, digestive & sexual systems that are switched off by stress are switched on again
• Self confidence is boosted, communication skills and creativity are boosted
• Your lymphatic system is massaged and your immune systems boosted.
How To Use Laughter As A Stress Relief
Okay, so you can see that it helps the health and that everybody is talking about laughter but how do you do it?
What do you need to do to get all the health benefits from giggling to your heart’s delight?
1. You can join a Laughter Yoga group. To find your local group please go to this Laughter Yoga website.
2.Technique 1: You can do it on your own: Start by clapping your hands in front of your chest with all parts of your hands touching each other – fingers, palms. This helps to stimulate acupressure points and improves blood circulation.
3. Chant Ho-Ho, Ha-Ha-Ha in rhythm as you clap( slow slow, fast fast fast)
4. Smile while you are chanting ho ho, ha ha ha. Do for a minute or until you feel warmed up and happy.
5. Technique 2: Breathe in deeply and raise your arms up high above your head. Look up and then as you breathe out start laughing. Laugh for a minute or so.
6. It doesn’t matter if you are not feeling happy – you can still laugh. Force the laughter if needs be – you will still get all the health benefits.
7. Technique 3: This is called Gradient Laughter and was devised by Dr Kataria who founded the laughing yoga school.
8. Start with bringing a smile to your face. Then slowly add giggles and start to increase the intensity of your laughter. It builds until you burst into a huge hearty laugh. Then slowly and gradually let it slow down, quieten and stop.
See how you feel afterwards? Do you feel warm inside, happy and contented inside? Even if you are not feeling great before trying this out it doesn’t matter. It will shift your mood. It will lift you.
Try it out. It is great fun and great for the health.
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