For part 2 of our stress series, we’re talking Laughter Yoga with Sebastien Gendry – the C.E.O. of the American School Of Laughter Yoga and a leading Laughter Yoga expert in the world. I’m sure you’ll agree that just reading his words will make you feel more positive, more energetic and less stressed!
So what is Laughter Yoga, and what can it do for your stress levels?
The concept is simple: you can laugh for nor reason, anytime, anywhere, just because you want to. It’s about emotional resilience, learning to maintain a positive and cheerful attitude even in the face of adversity. It is a form of exercise that allows anybody to laugh, alone or in a group, for an extended period of time, for absolutely no reason at all! The thing to remember is that you do not have to be happy or have a sense of humor to laugh.
“But why?” I hear you ask! Well, according to Sebastien, numerous scientific studies suggest that laughter is a powerful form of complementary medicine that can help people even in the most critical conditions. Laughter releases stress, strengthens the immune system, improves sleep and boosts “happy chemistry”. So even if you fake it, just having a good old laugh will make you feel better.
I caught up with Sebastien to ask him how Laughter Yoga can help brides de-stress before the wedding!
If brides can’t find laughter yoga groups in their area, are there any resources online to enable people to practice from home?
Laughter Yoga as Stress Management: Some Ideas!
- 1. Become a smile millionaire, just because;
2. Play with laughter cues (finish all your sentences with “Ha Ha Ha” or “Tee Hee Hee”);
3. Get Some Perspective: see small annoyances for what they really are – just small annoyances;
4. Write about the stressful situation with a funny slant;
5. Express Yourself: state your frustration out loud while doing something silly (e.g. jump on one foot 3 times and then twirl around. Adding a playful element to any charged situation helps counteract stress.);
6. Shout a positive motto during your most stress-filled moments (this may work best when you’re alone.) For instance, you’re in your car, stuck in traffic, and you have an appointment in 10 minutes. Rather than blame the drivers around you for everything wrong in your day, shout “I’m so happy” or “I’m really in love with life”;
7. Pull out the props: breathe your stress out into a balloon, write it on a piece of paper and burn it, wear a clown nose…