Small Talk

Laughter yoga

October 20th, 2010

Here's one to really LOL about: laughter yoga. It's a new kind of therapy that promises to have people feeling good by just laughing out loud, for a long time. I have heard about it before in passing conversation, but when I read about it in Time magazine recently, it got me thinking about the topic all over.

The article links laughter yoga to mind-body therapy, saying that if we go through the motions of having fun, it'll eventually become real. One person interviewed says she was able to give up medications for depression after eight months of laughing. Impressive, though I am not rushing out to join one of the few laughter yoga clubs in this state.

I do believe laughter is great medicine. I love to be around people who make me laugh: among those, my husband and my best friends. I like to find humor in mundane situations, because life is too short to be serious constantly. Gotta have fun.

Along a similar note, I noticed years ago that if I'm in a bad mood but I force myself to smile, my mood eventually will lighten. That's probably the same concept of mind-body therapy. Or as the Time article says, "Fake it till you make it."

Do you notice a link between acting positive and eventually thinking positive? Have you tried laughter yoga? Would you?

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14 Responses to “Laughter yoga”

  1. works for me !:

    I have been doing this for everal years now and it works !

    Live Aloha


  2. Ken Conklin:

    Diane, I think your analysis was spot on when you described laughter yoga as an example of "fake it till you make it." There's no moral judgment being made here -- it's simply a fact about how human behavior works. In fact, I've heard that some women actually ... hmmm ... better stop right there!

    For several decades psychologists have been exploring the phenomenon of "labeling" in relation to positive reinforcement. If a parent repeatedly tells a child "You're a good girl" or "You're a smart girl" even when she has been behaving bad or stupid, then the child will in fact change her behavior to become good or smart, simply because she has been labeled that way. People live up (or down) to the expectations placed upon them.

    Placebos work the same way. If a doctor prescribes "medicine" that is really nothing more than a sugar pill, many patients will get better simply because they believe the "medicine" will help them.

    A best-selling book was published in 1952 by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale entitled "The Power of Positive Thinking." It's still in the library and bookstores. It not only feels good to think positive, it might actually bring positive results! Also, we've all heard the saying "Laughter is the best medicine." So: LOL LOL LOL LOL ...

  3. galekaminari:

    Diane, the reason that you feel better when you smile is that the physical act of smiling releases those feel good brain chemicals. I think they are endorphins. Not sure what laughter does, but there are cancer therapies around laughter. Maybe it couples endorphins and oxygenation, plus core workout. Whatever it is, and I don't mean to make something as wonderful as laughter sound so par-boiled, laughter is great!

  4. sally:

    Diane, you should come out with us... laughing is all we do! Just ask Rod! At work, we crack up all day long! And my daughter moved back in with me this year... she cracks me up too!

    Laughing is guud! I should live forever!

  5. RedZone:

    i have seen those that choose to live the negative life and found that it is not for me.

    I can't help it
    It is me

  6. M:

    Hello Diane!

    You make me laugh all the time! Thank you! 🙂

  7. Rosette:

    well what I do is I allow myself a self pity time...self pity for a day ... then I go get my fresh air plus food ....get moving then I am fine..I think if you feel upset then allow time to be upset...then bring yourself up..I cheer myself up...then I am is okay to be sad once awhile but learn to cheer youself and get going..... when you cheer yourself up make sure you don't hang out with depress person cause you want to kick them in the butt!

  8. Rosette:

    what would happen if you always laugh then big calamity! do you deal with that.... so I think self pity is good for a day...this way you let your feelings out....

  9. Eric:

    I definitely believe that there is a link between acting positive and then subsequently feeling/thinking positive. As mentioned by @galekaminari, there has been some scientific research conducted on this topic. The hard thing though is to remember to act positive during tough times.

    Like you, I can't see myself signing up for laughter yoga.... My wife and I took her Mom to a laughter session held at a local senior center.... When we picked her up, following the meeting, her Mom (who is 89) promptly informed us that the group was a "bunch of crazy people" and has refused to return..LOL.... My Mother-in-law does have a good sense of humor though.

  10. Rosette:

    here try this..when you watch a kid they cry then next they are happy over little thing..that is what I do I cry then be happy like a kid..funny huh!

  11. Rosette:

    if you are grouchy you want to kick a happy person...funny! omg make sure you go happy in the group or you might want to kick them all..omg!

  12. Eric:

    @Rosette, Good point.... holding feelings in is not good either.

  13. Kage:

    I believe that positive thinking and laughter are good things. I was miserable at my previous job. It was constant yelling and complaining. I figured I could not continue with it. Learned about positive thinking and the laws of attraction. That lead to my current job that I really, really like.

  14. jessica:

    awesome! thanks!

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