I was recently going through my archives and came across the following list of over 150 laughter exercises that I put together in 2005. What I now practice has greatly evolved and is much easier to use (see www.laughteronlineuniversity.com/planner), but this is still interesting and may give you some ideas. Enjoy!
- 1 cm. Laugh: only one short “ha”. People usually laugh because this is unexpected.
- 1 meter laugh
- Age Laughter: Imagine how your laugh would sound when you are double your current age; half of your current age; 10/20/30 years older; ten years younger; as a child; as an infant; 95 / 5.
- Airline Safety Instruction Laugh: first in English, then in French
- Airplane laughter
- Alphabet Laughter: letter off from A to Z; vowels come forth and sound; consonants sound.
- Animal Laughter: donkey; pig snorts; dog woofs; Cheshire cat caterwauls; hoot owls; chimpanzees; gorillas
- Ants in Your Pants
- Apology Laughter: see Forgiveness Laughter
- Appreciation Laughter: look at others as you laugh and appreciate each other. This is a value-based laughter, reminding the participants how important it is to appreciate others. The tip of the index finger is joined with the tip of the thumb, making a small circle. The hand is moved forward and backwards in jerks while looking at
Source: AMERICAN SCHOOL OF LAUGHTER YOGA
The recent suicide of famed actor and comedian Robin Williams surprised many people. How is it possible that a man with a heart of gold, the king of comedy who could make anybody laugh, one who had what so many aspire to, fell into depression and drug abuse and eventually killed himself?
This reminds me of the story of Frank Ferrante, an overweight guy with deep spiritual wounds and an enormous sense of humor who laughed lots, made others laugh, but still felt like dying. The jokes were on him, all self-deprecating. Truth is, Frank hated himself.
Unlike that of Robin Williams, his story has a happy ending though. Watch this:
Here is the full story (By Robert C. Koehler)
Frank Ferrante, an overweight guy with deep spiritual wounds and an enormous sense of humor, thought he was signing onto a sort of vegan life fix: 42 days of raw foods, a shot of liquefied wheatgrass every morning, exercise, weigh-ins, holistic medical exams, weekly colonics, daily affirmations. And then all of a sudden he’d be thin and happy.
But transformation isn’t a technical fix. What Frank learned — and what we learn as well as we travel the journey with him in
Source: AMERICAN SCHOOL OF LAUGHTER YOGA
Take bread away from me, if you wish,
take air away, but
do not take from me your laughter.
Do not take away the rose,
the lance flower that you pluck,
the water that suddenly
bursts forth in joy,
the sudden wave
of silver born in you.
My struggle is harsh and I come back
with eyes tired
at times from having seen
the unchanging earth,
but when your laughter enters
it rises to the sky seeking me
and it opens for me all
the doors of life.
My love, in the darkest
hour your laughter
opens, and if suddenly
you see my blood staining
the stones of the street,
laugh, because your laughter
will be for my hands
like a fresh sword.
Next to the sea in the autumn,
your laughter must raise
its foamy cascade,
and in the spring, love,
I want your laughter like
the flower I was waiting for,
the blue flower, the rose
of my echoing country.
Laugh at the night,
at the day, at the moon,
laugh at the twisted
streets of the island,
laugh at this clumsy
boy who loves you,
but when I open
my eyes and close them,
when my steps go,
when my steps return,<br
Source: AMERICAN SCHOOL OF LAUGHTER YOGA
- [Humanity] has unquestionably one really effective weapon—laughter. Power, money, persuasion, supplication, persecution—these can lift at a colossal humbug—push it a little—weaken it a little, century by century, but only laughter can blow it to rags and atoms at a blast. Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand. — Mark Twain
- A good laugh heals a lot of hurts. — Madeleine L’Engle
- A good laugh is a mighty good thing, a rather too scarce a good thing. — Herman Melville
- A good laugh is sunshine in the house. — William Thackeray
- A smile is a curve that sets everything straight. — Phyllis Diller
- A smile starts on the lips, a grin spreads to the eyes, a chuckle comes from the belly; but a good laugh bursts forth from the soul, overflows, and bubbles all around. — Carolyn Birmingham
- A well-balanced person is one who finds both sides of an issue laughable. — Herbert Procknow
- Against the assault of laughter, nothing can stand. — Mark Twain
- Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine. — Lord Byron
- Among those whom I like or admire, I can find no common denominator, but among those whom I
Source: AMERICAN SCHOOL OF LAUGHTER YOGA
Happy as You Want to Be
Almost everyone have heard the hit single ‘Don’t Worry, Be Happy’ by Bobby McFerrin. The song has a very catchy way of conveying its message of being happy to everyone. Bobby Mcferiin’s simple message surely made a lot of people by telling them not to worry.
Living a happy, resilient and optimistic life is wonderful, and is also good for your health. Being happy actually protects you from the stresses of life. Stress is linked to top causes of death such as heart disease, cancer and stroke.
One of the better things ever said is – ‘The only thing in life that will always remain the same is change’, and in our life we have the power to make the necessary changes if we want to. Even if we find ourselves in an unbearable situation we can always find solace in the knowledge that it too would change.
Social networks or relationships are essential to happiness. People are different, accept people for who or what they are, avoid clashes, constant arguments, and let go of all kinds of resentments. If arguments seem unavoidable still try and make an effort to understand the situation and you might just get along with well with
To be happy is relatively easy:
Happiness is actually found in everyone, increasing it is a way to make a life more wonderful and also more healthy.
To be happy is relatively easy, just decide to be a happy person. Abraham Lincoln observed that most people for most of the time can choose how happy or stressed, how relaxed or troubled, how bright or dull their outlook to be. The choice is simple really, choose to be happy.
There are several ways by which you can do this.
Being grateful is a great attitude. We have so much to be thankful for. Thank the taxi driver for bringing you home safely, thank the cook for a wonderful dinner and thank the guy who cleans your windows. Also thank the mailman for bringing you your mails, thank the policeman for making your place safe and thank God for being alive.
News is stressful. Get less of it. Some people just can’t start their day without their daily dose of news. Try and think about it, 99% of the news we hear or read is bad news. Starting the day with bad news does not seem to be a sensible thing to do.
A religious connection is also recommended. Being part of a religious group with its singing, sacraments, chanting, prayers and meditations foster inner peace.
Manage your time. Time is invaluable and too important to waste. Time management can be viewed as a list of rules that involves scheduling, setting goals, planning, creating lists of things to do and prioritizing. These are the core basics of time management that should be understood to develop an efficient personal time management skill. These basic skills can be fine tuned further to include the finer points of each skill that can give you that extra reserve to make the results you desire.
Laugh and laugh heartily everyday. Heard a good joke? Tell your friends or family about it. As they also say -’Laughter is the best medicine’.
Express your feelings, affections, friendship and passion to people around you. They will most likely reciprocate your actions. Try not to keep pent up anger of frustrations, this is bad for your health. Instead find ways of expressing them in a way that will not cause more injury or hurt to anyone.
Working hard brings tremendous personal satisfaction. It gives a feeling of being competent in finishing our tasks. Accomplishments are necessary for all of us, they give us a sense of value. Work on things that you feel worthy of your time.
Learning is a joyful exercise. Try and learn something new everyday. Learning also makes us expand and broaden our horizons. And could also give us more opportunities in the future.
Run, jog, walk and do other things that your body was made for. Feel alive.
Avoid exposure to negative elements like loud noises, toxins and hazardous places.
These are the few simple things you can do everyday to be happy.
And always remember the quote from Abraham Lincoln, he says that:
“Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”
‘Don’t Worry, Be Happy’
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
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?
Can you imagine working in a place surrounded by friends where you eat delicious food, you are treated as royalty, and all you have to do in the day is laugh, play, sing and dance? I came to find this in Bangalore, India. I have been a little more than a week at the Laughter Yoga International University and it has been one of the best experiences of my life. I start laughing the moment I open my
Source: Laughter Yoga International