Laughter is a physiological response that activates a plethora of beneficial reactions in the body. The elation you feel when you laugh and your body relaxes and releases endorphins is a great way of offsetting the physical effects of stress. The aim of the laughter healing techniques in this book is to help you to laugh more easily through a series of warm-up exercises that are then followed by a range of activities designed to get you giggling.
Laughter does not come easily to everyone, but luckily the body cannot distinguish between real and fake laughter – faking it has the same beneficial effect as forced laughter. The practice of laughter is suitable for everyone, including elderly groups: just 20 seconds of laughter can be as good for the lungs as three minutes spent on a rowing machine.
There are many different types of laughs – light chuckles, hearty chortles, full-on belly laughs – and when starting with a fake laugh it often quickly becomes a genuine laugh. When we laugh, we are present in the moment. Paying attention to the here and now is much needed in today's frenetic society. It helps us to notice the small details as well as the bigger picture. By learning to pause in our daily swirl of activities and become fully present to whatever is happening at that moment, then we will be able to pause and laugh easily too. Laughter is mindfulness in motion.
We all need to laugh more. This book shows you how.