Tag Archives: laughter yoga

Laugh! It’s Good for You.

Mirth is God’s medicine. Everybody ought to bathe in it. ~Henry Ward Beecher

(Note: This is the second installment in a series about how to really live life and live it well.)

Want to really live life? If you do, then make sure you laugh on a daily basis. Not only will you feel better and experience life as more positive, you may actually help your health.

A study at the University of Maryland Medical Center, led by Dr. Michael Miller, studied the humor responses of 300 subjects and found that indeed, there may be a real connection between frequent laughter and reduced risk of heart attack. Click here to read more about the study. Miller and his colleagues suggest looking at incorporating laughter into one’s life in the same way one would include a healthy diet and exercise.

What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul. ~Yiddish Proverb

How about combining exercise and laughter into one healthy activity? Check out laughter yoga as a possibility. This practice combines unconditional laughter with yogic breathing (pranayama). It was the brainchild of an Indian physician, Dr. Madan Kataria and has grown to more than 8.000 laughter clubs in 65 countries. Click here and here for more information. Laughter yoga combines exercise, breathing, joy, and community into one healthy and affirming activity. According to the American School of Laughter Yoga, not only will practitioners see health benefits, but work productivity may increase by up to 31% Clearly, research shows we need to infuse our schools, our workplaces, our homes, and our faith communities with more laughter and joy.

Seven days without laughter makes one weak. ~Mort Walker

The photo above is a close-up of the artist Yue Minjun’s wonderful installation “Amazing Laughter” in Vancouver, British Columbia. You can read more about the artist and the sculpture here. Seeing these laughing figures, all of whom bear the artist’s face, makes one want to smile–or laugh. Look for art, for music, for theatre, film, and television that make you laugh, and incorporate some healthy laughter into every day of your life. Commit to trying it for at least 40 days, and keep a record of your progress and experience. I am certain you’ll find yourself stronger, more centered, and possessing a much more positive outlook on life. Go ahead…try it! What do you have to lose?

Now just why did the chicken cross the road? Maybe it was to listen to some fowl jokes.

Photos by Jeff Halllululemonathletica, and Matthew Grapengieser. Thanks!

In Praise of Laughter and Silliness

What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul.  — Yiddish Proverb

Here’s a question for you: how much did you laugh today? If you said none at all, or that there’s nothing worth laughing about, then you need to find a way to tickle your funny bone, my friend. Laughter is good medicine; in fact, it might just help you stay healthier longer.

A recent study conducted by cardiologists at the University of Maryland Medical Center found that laughter, combined with a good sense of humor, may help to prevent heart disease. Click here to read the entire article. There’s even a type of yoga called, appropriately, laughter yoga, that uses breathing and laughter to promote good health. A variety of physiological benefits result from laughter, including a reduction in blood pressure and reduction in the stress hormones epinephrine and cortisol. Laughter also helps boost the immune system by raising levels of immunoglobulin A and cytokine. For more information about the health benefits of laughter, click here.

If you find life is getting you down in the dumps, try a little laughter. Click here for a Youtube video that’s sure to give you a chuckle. Now, don’t you feel better? I know I do. We got a huge kick out of our Springer modeling a fuzzy purple hat. He’s a pretty good sport about humoring our silliness. If you don’t have a canine to provide much needed humor, consider these options: watch a good comedy, get together with friends who enjoy a good laugh, be silly with your children, or even make faces in the mirror. Don’t risk a diagnosis of “terminal seriousness” when a dose of “silliness” and a little laughter each day will lead you to better health.

PS: Don’t miss Krista Tippett’s interview with Kevin Kling about “The Losses and Laughter We Grow Into” this week on the American Public Media radio show On Being. Click here for more information.

Photos by AugieSchwer  and Elspeth Lucas used under Creative Commons License. Thanks!

Lent 40/40/40 Update

More than halfway to Easter and still going strong! Here’s the latest…

Honoring Relationships

My cousin, Melanie, is bright, articulate, compassionate, and FUNNY. Whenever I’m around her I laugh and laugh and laugh. She can take any story and give it a humorous twist, and she can find a silver lining in every cloud. Thanks, Mel, for being just who you are, and for sharing joy and laughter with so many people.

Giving Possessions

In praise of laughter, I’m giving away my copy of the hilarious book Angry Conversations with God: A Snarky but Authentic Spiritual Memoir by Susan E. Isaacs. Isaacs writes with great honesty, passion, and humor about her quest to take God to couples therapy and reclaim a relationship with her creator. All you have to do is leave a comment telling something you find funny, or share a link to a funny video, or tell a joke. Laugh on! I’ll draw a random winner from responders on Saturday.

Thanksgiving

Today I am thankful for the gift of laughter and silliness. It’s good to laugh until your belly hurts. It’s fun to be silly. Thank you, God, for the gift of laughter!