Start Laughing Now; It Is No Joke
"The Mind is Everything.....
What You Think, You Become"... Buddha
The difference between 'I cannot' and 'I can' is not just a few letters, but the state of mind.
Often, when I think about what constitutes my mind, I feel it resembles arena--an arena of positive pitted against the not-so-positive thoughts, determination vs. confusion and a continuous movement of these thoughts and emotions. It did not come as a surprise when I learnt that the average human mind can have as many as 70,000 thoughts a day!
So how do we rest and relax this constantly engaged mind?
The age-old solution is silence and meditation. But, does it really come easily to everyone? How about trying it right now? Just close your eyes, and stay in the darkness with absolute nothingness in the mind. Not so easy!
A simpler way to relaxing and calming the mind could be treating it to the ‘Unconditional Laughter Therapy’. If you are already smiling, then congratulations--you are ready to undergo this therapy!
So, how do we laugh without a reason?
Contrary to popular belief, that one must have a sense of humour to laugh, one can actually condition the mind to laugh without the aid of jokes or comedy. No one is born with a sense of humour, which is “the brain's capacity to perceive, relate, and experience a situation and judge if the situation is funny or not”. We acquire this judgmental skill as our mental abilities develop, during mid- and late-childhood. To develop the ability to laugh joyfully, adults must remove layers of inhibition, programming and mental roadblocks created by themselves, their families, and the society. Beneath these layers lies the infinite ability to laugh for no reason--unconditionally!
Laughter Yoga, or the technique to laugh for no reason, combined with Yogic Pranayama is sweeping the world across age groups in Laughter Clubs. Isn't it just great? Exercise, breathe, laugh, have fun, boost relationships, stay healthy and keep stress away--all with one therapy! No, it is no joke. It is now time to start taking LAUGHTER seriously for the wellness of mind and body.
Psychologist William James in 1884 found that “the state of mind, whether positive or negative, is mirrored in a matching bodily expression. In his research he found that each emotion in the mind has a corresponding behaviour in the body. He discovered that bodily enacting any emotional behaviour triggers corresponding changes in the state of mind. The connection is both ways: from mind to body and body to mind.”
Often, in the Laughter Yoga sessions, it is suggested to participants, who are initially hesitant, to just bring their bodies to laughter; the mind will follow.
The therapeutic benefits of unconditional laughter on the mind are more than just relieving stress. A regular practice of this anytime-anywhere therapy can improve focus, sharpen the alertness of the mind while carrying out daily activities, provide deep relaxation to nerves, release endorphins or happy cells in the body and boost the immune system.
Laughter meditation or ‘becoming laughter yourself’ enables stillness of thoughts as the mind is only focused on laughing. Now, isn't that an easier way to meditate?
So how much do you need to laugh to benefit from this therapy?
A combination of sustained laughter in group exercises with frequent deep breathing intervals for a minimum of 15-20 minutes, followed by relaxation on the floor/mat/chair is essential to reap the full benefits of this therapy. It should be practised at least two-three times a week.
Still thinking whether you will be able to get your mind to laugh?
Think no more, as scientific researches prove that even faking a laugh can give the same benefit to the body and mind like the real laugh, if done with willingness. Try it to believe it, and move from 'I cannot' to 'I can'!