When it comes to your health, a good giggle goes a long way!
We’ve all heard the saying, ‘Laughter is the best medicine’, but did you know that smiling and laughing actually sets off a chain reaction throughout your entire body that boosts your physical and mental health?
One of the best feelings in the world is a good belly laugh, but as we move through life we tend to lose the habit of indulging in frequent laughter the way we did as kids. There’s so much to love about laughing – from the way it brings people together to the wonderful hit of endorphins it delivers – and there’s even more to love about Laughter Yoga!
The concept of Laughter Yoga is based on a scientific fact that the body cannot differentiate between fake and real laughter. In other words, forcing a laugh almost always turns into a real one, and you’ll enjoy all the same physical and mental health benefits.
Silver Chain Care Aide, Irene, has been leading Laughter Yoga with clients at the Fremantle Social Centre for two years and says there are countless health benefits of the exercise, especially for older adults.
“Laughing releases a lot of pent up energy and stress. Often we try to release that tension through medication, but when the body starts to recognise that it’s able to let go, you can let the body do the work,” Irene says.
“Some clients are a bit wary about participating and many feel embarrassed about the idea of expressing themselves, especially through laughter. Once they hear someone else laugh and their bodies become tuned in to the sound, they start to respond. They lose the awkwardness and are able to continue on with the laugh, then it becomes more natural to them, and then they let go.”
Joanna, a Silver Chain client who attends the Fremantle Social Centre every Friday, says she looks forward to Laughter Yoga with Irene and her friends at the Social Centre.
“You feel happy, you feel relaxed, you feel wonderful. It’s really lovely. You don’t think about anything else, you just laugh!” Joanna explains.
Irene says the energy in the room is relaxed and peaceful when the Laughter Yoga class has finished.
“Even though there’s been a lot of noise from laughter, there’s a calm feeling afterwards. I think the clients feel connected in themselves. They’re in their own place, they feel safe and that it’s ok to be who they are.”
As Charlie Chaplin once said – “A day without laughter is a day wasted!’
If you know someone who may be interested in Laughter Yoga, or who may benefit from attending our Social Centres, give us a call at any time on (08) 9242 0242.