Our Dublin Workshop
The fun and laughs started on Friday when Sharyn and Niall picked me up at the train station, I recall searching through my bag for my money to pay for food, what sprung to mind was the exercise “No Money Laughter” we had a few giggles about that and then the roars of laughter when the missing purse showed up it was like winning the lottery.
The real fun began on Saturday morning when people began to arrive to the class, Sharyn and Nialls group Maya, David and Lulu were in top laughter form and were well seasoned laughers who were ready to immerse themselves in two full days of child like silliness in order to become laughter leaders. Then came Roisín, Iwona, Marianne, Sheila, Nora, Fionn, Marian and Eoin. The Laughter group were now ready to begin to take laughter seriously.
There was a lot of giggling smiling and laughing sharing and fun for the whole week end, some louder than others and the saying ” fake it until you make it” turned into howls of real belly laughter.
All these wonderful Laughter Leaders were successfully Certified by Sunday and headed off on their merry way to spread the laughter and joy.
Laughter can keep the weight off
Giggling for just 15 minutes a day burns enough calories to shed up to 5lbs of fat over a year, work shows.
Laughter burns calories
A big belly laugh uses about the same energy as walking more than half a mile, the US study in the International Journal of Obesity suggests.
Laughing makes the heart beat faster and works many different muscles.
The researchers measured the number of calories expended by 45 adults as they watched different TV programmes, including nature and comedy shows.
“ 15 minutes of laughter over one year may translate into annual weight loss of 4.5lbs ”
Lead researcher Dr Maciej Buchowski
Bouts of laughter when watching the funny film used up to 20% more energy than at rest.
This would mean that 10 to15 minutes of laughter a day could increase total energy expenditure by 40 to 170 kJ or burn off between 10 and 40 calories, the researchers estimate.
Lead author Dr Maciej Buchowski, from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, explained: “Participants had 10 to 20 percent higher energy expenditure during episodes of laughter than during rest.
“We have calculated that the energy cost of 15 minutes of laughter over one year may translate into annual weight loss of 4.5lbs.”
Work already suggests that laughter is good for the heart and immune system, and appears to help ease pain.
Dr Shevach Friedler at the Assaf Harofeh Medical Centre in Zerifin even found humour increased the chance that fertility treatment would be a success in patients seeking IVF.
- “Laughter has a physiological effect as well as a psychological one.
- “It is an intuitive human trait. We do not learn it. It’s in our genes.
- “If we retain this in our genes then probably it has beneficial effects.”
He said it was likely that more research would uncover many more health benefits linked to laughter.
Story from BBC NEWS: http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/health/6274119.stm
Laughter can keep the weight off
Happy – Genuine Happiness Comes from Within
Life isn’t the sweetest candy. Sometimes, when I feel like the world is just too heavy, I look around and find people who continued to live fascinating and wonderful lives. And then thoughts come popping into my mind like bubbles from nowhere – “How did their life become so adorably sweet? How come they still can manage to laugh and play around despite a busy stressful life?” Then I pause and observed for awhile… I figured out that maybe, they start to work on a place called ‘self’.
So, how does one become genuinely happy?
Step 1 is to love yourself.
My theology professor once said that “loving means accepting.” To love oneself means to accept that you are not a perfect being, but behind the imperfections must lie a great ounce of courage to be able to discover ways on how to improve your repertoire to recover from our mistakes.
Genuine happiness also pertains to contentment. When you are contented with the job you have, the way you look, with your family, your friends, the place you live in, your car, and all the things you now have – truly, you know the answer to the question “how to be genuinely happy.”
When we discover a small start somewhere from within, that small start will eventually lead to something else, and to something else. But if you keep questioning life lit it has never done you any good, you will never be able to find genuine happiness.
I believe that life is about finding out about right and wrong, trying and failing, wining and losing. These are things that happen as often as you inhale and exhale. Failure, in a person’s life has become as abundant and necessary as air. But this should not hinder us from becoming happy.
How to be genuinely happy in spite all these? I tell you… every time you exert effort to improve the quality of life and your being, whether it is cleaning up your room, helping a friend, taking care of your sick dog, fail on board exams and trying again, life gives you equivalent points for that.
Imagine life as a big score board like those which are used in the NFLs. Every time you take a step forward, you make scoring points. Wouldn’t it be nice to look at that board at the end of each game and think to yourself “Whew! I got a point today. I’m glad I gave it a shot.”, instead of looking at it all blank and murmur “Geez, I didn’t even hit a score today. I wish I had the guts to try out. We could have won!” and then walk away.
Genuine happiness isn’t about driving the hottest Formula 1 car, nor getting the employee of the year award, earning the highest 13th month pay, or beating the sales quota. Sometimes, the most sought after prizes in life doesn’t always go to the fastest, the strongest, the bravest or not even the best. So, how do you become genuinely happy? Every one has his own definition of ‘happiness’. Happiness for a writer may mean launching as much best selling books as possible. Happiness for a basketball rookie may mean getting the rookie of the year award. Happiness for a beggar may mean a lot of money. Happiness for a business man may mean success. So, really now, how do we become genuinely happy? Simple. You don’t have to have the best things in this world. Its about doing and making the best out of every single thing. When you find yourself smiling at your own mistake and telling your self “Oh, I’ll do better next time”, you carry with you a flame of strong will power to persevere that may spread out like a brush fire. You possess a willingness to stand up again and try – that will make you a genuinely happy person.
When you learn to accept yourself and your own faults. You pass step 1 in the project “how to become genuinely happy”. For as long as you know how to accept others, you will also be accepted. For as long as you love and know how to love, you will receive love ten folds back.
Again, throw me that same question “how to become genuinely happy?”. I’ll refer you to a friend of mine who strongly quoted- “Most of us know that laughter is the best medicine to life’s aches and pain. But most of us don’t know that the best kind of laughter is laughter over self. Coz then you don’t just become happy… you become free.”
It’s No Joke, Laughter is Awesome Medicine!
You go right ahead! Laugh and cackle to the point of losing your breath! Laughter has enormous amounts of health benefits ranging from affecting diabetes to lowering risks of heart attacks and everything in between!
In this modern world that we live in, full of medicinal remedies and medical breakthroughs, who would ever dream that something as simple as laughter could induce such amazing benefits to your health that could rival highly scientific compounds found in drugs of today?
The idea that laughter may have some serious benefits to our health may have been what spurned on many scientific research projects pertaining to the benefits of laughter on our bodies. Over the years, countless experiments have concluded with scientific data that laughter has one of the most astounding benefits for your health. We have heard about the positive impact animals and clowns have had on nursing home and terminally ill children. Scientists have taken that idea a step further. Experiments have been conducted on such things as type II Diabetes which is an increasing problem for many Americans today. A study done in Japan at the Foundation for Advancement of International Science, Bio-Laboratory, found that laughter helps regulate gene expression to help control type II Diabetes. This is a huge discovery. This means that laughter has such a homeopathic effect on even the gene expression on our DNA that perhaps if we were a happier sort the gene that causes type II Diabetes may possibly never be expressed. Granted, it will likely not take the place of insulin therapy, but it may be key in helping to prevent the disease.
Studies also suggest that laughter positively affects rheumatoid arthritis by affecting the level of the condition as well as psychological benefits in controlling stress and stress related conditions. Perhaps the biggest discovery, published by S. Karger AG, Basel, is that laughter is now being proven to alleviate some of the lasting effects of heart attacks such as less medication and fewer repeat attacks with humor therapy of just thirty minutes per day. Can you imagine the impact?
Go ahead and laugh. Point and giggle, do it with pride and do it for your health. You may be preventing Diabetes when you cackle aloud. You could be keeping yourself from having a heart attack or stroke when you belly laugh to the point of tears. It’s ok! It will be contagious and soon everyone around you will be laughing too. Life can sometimes be serious and tiring, but if you look around and can draw some laughter out of what may seem mundane you could possibly be helping your health. Learn a new joke and tell it to everyone you know no matter if you are a good joke teller or not! Join a Laughter Yoga class at your local ‘Y’ even! Go ahead, laugh! Your health can truly depend on it!
Laughter has enormous amounts of health benefits
The Importance of Laughter and Tears
Ron grew up in a household where laughter and tears were never expressed. Anger was the main feeling expressed by his mother, while his father was mostly withdrawn. By the time Ron was eight years old, he had managed to shut off both his laughter and his tears to avoid feeling rejected by his parents and controlled by his mother. Shutting down was his way of protecting against being invaded by his very controlling mother. He became a serious child – a controlled and controlling child.
Ron grew up, went to college, became a successful lawyer, married and had three children. Yet nothing, not even his deep love for his children, managed to break through his rigid, controlling way of being.
Ron reached out for my help because he was not only very unhappy, but was often in physical pain. All he could say about the physical pain was that he hurt. “My body hurts. My chest hurt, my stomach hurts, and my back hurts.” He had been thoroughly checked out by a physician and learned that nothing was physically wrong. The doctor told him it was stress.
Ron told me that he spent much of his non-working time daydreaming because when he was present with himself in the moment, all he felt was pain. He had learned to daydream to avoid the pain.
However, Ron was now 48 years old, and the daydreaming was no longer working well. The pain was breaking through, especially in the form of debilitating back pain, so Ron decided he needed some help.
The issue behind Ron’s pain was that his primary intention in his life was to control. He wanted to control how others felt about him. He wanted to control how well his employees worked. He wanted to control how his wife treated him, as well as how well his children did in school. He particularly wanted to have control over not feeling the pain of rejection and the fear of engulfnment that he had felt so much in his family.
Ron’s control had worked for him to a certain extent. He was financially successful. He had all the material things a person could want – a beautiful home, a vacation home, a boat, and all the electronics a person could ever use. He had a wonderful family, and he had good health, other than his pain. Yet he was often miserable.
The problem Ron was facing was that having control was far more important to him than being a loving person with himself and with others. As a result, Ron felt empty inside and was constantly looking to others to fill him up. He had no interest in taking responsibility for his own feelings – his own pain and joy. He wanted others or things to make him happy.
Imagine how a child would feel if you put him into a box and told him he could never laugh or cry. This is what was happening with Ron. His Inner Child – his feeling self – was in a box, not allowed to laugh or cry. Laughter and tears are our natural ways of releasing feelings. Without the God-given gifts of laughter and tears, our feelings get blocked up inside, eventually causing our muscles to go into painful spasms. This is what was causing Ron’s pain. He could no longer put a lid on his feelings without feeling physical pain.
It was a tough battle for Ron. At those moments when he let go of control and opened his heart to love, the pain went away. But his terror of being rejected or controlled was generally more powerful than his desire to be loving with himself and others, and he would close up in the face of his fears. He feared that if he opened to his feelings, he would be weak and would be seen as weak, which he feared would lead to both rejection and engulfment.
Ron wanted something he could not have – the illusion of safety that being so controlling gave to him, while not suffering from the physical pain of being so controlling.
After much hard work, Ron finally saw that being loving to himself by letting himself experience his laughter and tears did not cause weakness, nor the rejection and engulfment he feared. In fact, by being more aware of his feelings and allowing himself to express them, Ron learned that he actually felt safer and more powerful than when trying to control everything.
Laughter and tears are great gifts that allow us to release our feelings in healthy ways.
Did you realise that laughter can heal?
The experience of laughing has been proven to be an extremely potent tool for self healing. If you have watched the DVD “The Secret” then you will have seen a very good example of this. A woman who was diagnosed with breast cancer laughed herself back to health. She watched funny shows and wouldn’t allow any stress into her life. At the end of three months the cancer had totally disappeared!
Why and how did this happen? Is it really possible to laugh your way back from sickness to health?
Well it has been observed by the medical profession that when you laugh, there are certain chemicals released in your body that relax you and allow your body to do what it does best – repair itself!
However, when you allow stress to take over and live your life from a very serious standpoint your body does not release these highly beneficial chemicals, your muscles tense and even natural bodily functions like digestion become harder for your body to regulate. As your body has to try that much harder to regulate your normal functions it takes its toil and aging can occur.
So if you try to see the funny side of things in life (and there always is one) you are actually helping yourself stay healthy and young. Using humour is not just great for your physical health; it can also keep you healthy emotionally and mentally. The best way top stay happy and humorous is to redirect your focus and thus change your perception of things.
If you constantly dwell on feelings of negativity you are not allowing yourself to see the humorous side of life and are robbing your body of much needed chemicals and a state of relaxation.
Here are some hints if you want to take advantage of the positive effects of humour.
1. Do things that you really enjoy and find funny.
2. Watch comedies that make you laugh.
3. Read a magazine or funny book.
4. Repeat the jokes you like to friends and family. Their laughter will have you laughing again.
5. Share funny stories that have happened to you.
7. Seek out the company of people you find funny.
8. Ask friends and family to tell you about their funny experiences.
You should to have a good belly laugh at least once a day. Why not laugh your way to a healthy youthful body?
Laughing has tremendous power. Not only can it make you feel joyous and put others at ease but did you know that it can also heal?