That playful spark

That playful spark

That playful spark

Play is serious stuff: it teaches us about freedom, fairness and fantasy, about boundaries and honour, rules and ruthlessness, about each other and everything else.

Friedrich Schiller once said that man “is only completely a man [or woman] when he [or she] plays”.

And yet as we grow up we move away from playfulness. We become too serious, too self-conscious, too busy to play. The challenge isn’t to become playful. It is to remain playful.

We were all born with that playful spark, that wonder, that capacity for spontaneity and delight. We are still able to become playful, at the drop of a hat, given the permission, the opportunity, and the hat. One of these hats is of course laughter yoga.

So get in touch with your inborn ability to be playful.

 

Laughter and mental health

 

Laughter and mental health

 

Research has shown that Laughter Yoga is a great exercise for both body and mind. It reduces mental tension and increases energy, enabling us to stay focused. Both sides of the brain are stimulated during laughing, which helps to increase clarity, creativity and problem solving ability.

Laughter Yoga has been recommended for people experiencing depression and other mental health disorders because of the mood lifting effect of laughter due to the release of endorphins. “I feel better.” This is the most common answer we get when we ask how people feel when they laugh. The reason is because there’s magic in laughter. Psychologically, it builds our resilience and helps us deal better with life’s challenges. It improves mental health and gives a more positive and optimistic outlook.

Another major cause for mental ill-health is loneliness. Laughter Yoga is a great way to connect. It fosters feelings of sharing and caring and establishes lifelong relationships. Group activities in a Laughter Yoga club not only keep us energised and playful; they also keep the mind away from negative thoughts, thereby promoting our mental wellbeing.

 

 

Smile. Laugh. Enjoy.

Smile. Laugh. Enjoy.

 

Smile. Laugh. Enjoy.

 

Let’s look at the next ingredient in our happy, healthy life recipe.

Laughter is a magical way of connecting with people – even total strangers. We all feel better after a good hearty laugh, which is why laughter is the best medicine. We adults don’t laugh very much. Do we take ourselves too seriously? Try this little experiment. For the next few days try to smile as often as you can. Make a smile the default position on your face. You don’t have to share it if you don’t want to but you may find it impossible not to. Let the smile spread and explode into a laugh if you want to. But smile just for the sheer joy of being alive. Smile. Laugh. Enjoy.