How To Laugh And Improve Your Health
Have you ever heard of Laughter Yoga or laughter exercises? The theory behind this type of exercise is that laughter produces endorphins, which control pain and reduce stress. I am not going to pretend that I know that much about endorphins, and thus, I found a very good explanation on endorphins. The medical field has now embraced this type of exercise. My relative who is a college professor is a certified laughter instructor in San Francisco, and at the University of California at San Francisco, they teach laughter and breathing exercises.
The philosophy behind laughter yoga is that the brain does not know the difference between fake laughter and natural laughter. Fake laughter is the intentional laughter without something to trigger the laughter. This is distinguished from natural laughter that comes from watching funny videos, hearing funny jokes, reading comic strips, and watching Stephen Colbert and John Stewart on Comedy Central. However, the body will react positively whether the laughter is fake or natural. In addition to the endorphins produced, laughing increases the intake of oxygen, and after a short period of time, it feels like you have been running or doing aerobic exercise.You can actually feel the increase in heart rate.
In Laughing Clubs, oftentimes the fake laughter turns into real laughter because it is not difficult to start laughing upon seeing someone else laughing. Like yawning, laughter is contagious. Nobody is uptight, and since different people laugh differently, you are bound to find somebody's laughter funny.
1. HO HO HA HA HA
Whether you stand or sit, while you are saying "Ho Ho Ha Ha Ha," gesture with your hands. With the first "Ho," count by touching the thumb to the index finger. Then, with the second "Ho," have the thumb touch the middle finger. Then, with first "Ha," the thumb touches the ring finger. Then, with the second "Ha," the thumb should touch the pinkie. Finally, show and open all ten fingers while you are saying "Ha." The clap your hand while you say, "Very Good, Very Good" and then gesture two thumbs up with a final expression of "YEAH."
2. Cellular Phone HO HO HE HE HA HA
Pretend that some insults you and you heard this on a cellular phone by pretending to hold a cellular phone up to your ear. You are not going to let the person insult you. So, then you look at your fake cellular phone and say "Ho Ho He He Ha Ha" and repeat a few other time.
3. Clapping "HO HO HE HE HA HA"
Whether you are sitting down or standing up, as you are saying "Ho Ho He He Ha Ha," you clap each sound and you are moving your clap from left to right. Do this a total of three times, and then clap your hand while you say, "Very Good, Very Good" and then gesture two thumbs up with a final expression of "YEAH."
4. Making A Smoothie
Say that you are putting your favorite ingredients in a blender such as a strawberry. Then, mix it and then repeat with #3's "Ho Ho He He Ha Ha" clapping from left to right several times, and then add a different ingredient, and then stir. You then end with "Very Good, Very Good" and then gesture two thumbs up with a final expression of "YEAH."
The suggested amount of exercise is 20 minutes twice a day. Just recently, we tried it in the car when one child says something negative, we all broke into a "Ho Ho Ha Ha Ha" (#1). With each negative statement, we repeated the exercise and within no time, we were rolling in real laughter until our bellies were aching. In fact, there was no negative retort and bickering. And, we all ended up with our laughing exercises. We could feel the same increase in heart rate. So, the next time you are thinking about doing something to improve your health, think no further than laughter yoga.
Have You Ever Tried Laughing Exercises?
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