It is a well-known fact that laughter is the best medicine. It can melt away tension and alleviate stress-related ailments. Many studies have confirmed the health benefits of laughter. Despite the overwhelming proof about the therapeutic use of laughter, it is rarely used in conventional medicine. Why is that so?
Forget the utilization of laughter in the medical field, we are not even exploiting this simple activity as a stress-buster in our daily lives. And that too when we are very much aware of the after-effects of stress on our health. Why are we so reluctant to use laughter to keep a host of lifestyle diseases at bay?
The answer may be too simple – to the point of sounding ridiculous. Laughter is just not part of our habit. In this modern world, we take our lives too seriously and fail to see the lighter side of things. This means, to derive the benefits of laughter, we have to include it deliberately in our lives. This is exactly the goal of laughter therapy.
Who said all good things are difficult to practice? Or only bitter pills do you any good? With laughter, you get to enjoy it and reap benefits from it. So, why not give laughter therapy a try?
In addition to relieving muscular tension, laughter affords a good workout for muscles in the face, abdomen, and diaphragm. When we enjoy a good laugh, our abdominal muscles go through a full set of expansions and contractions, similar to that of an abdominal workout.
Here are some simple laughter exercises to loosen up those funny muscles.
1. Talking gibberish to your mirror image
Look at yourself in the mirror and start talking nonsense. You can either opt for simple something like “blah de blah de blah blah” or more complex gibberish talk by inserting sounds like ‘idig’ between syllables. See how you crack up in no time.
2. Use your body to express the feeling
When you come across something funny, do not just laugh. Use your body to bring out the feeling in a better way. Such as clapping hands, jumping up and down.
3. Frame your stress scene
Go back into your past and retrieve that moment when you were stressed out. Capture that entire scene with all those present in it in an art gallery picture frame with all its fancy embellishments. Notice how this simple exercise changes your perception of that incident.
4. Play the best laughter you have heard in your mind
It may be one of your friends or siblings or colleagues who has that infectious laughter. Someone who can help you forget your worries with their laughter. Someone who can help you laugh at your sorrows. Remember that special laughter and play it in your mind. Now, retrieve that scene from your past that stressed you out. Play the same laughter simultaneously. Repeat this exercise a few times until you feel the tension melt away.
5. Create your own blow-up clown
Breathe air into an imaginary inflatable clown. Watch the clown as it gets bigger and bigger. When it gets blown up full size, you can ask questions like “What can I do to be happier?”, “How can I have more fun?” or “How can I become more cheerful?”. Remember you can summon this clown any time you want.
These exercises may seem silly and trivial in the beginning. Believe in them and practice them earnestly, you will be surprised at the results.