We all know that laughing is good for us. It lowers the levels of stress hormones in our blood, reduces anxiety, relaxes our bodies and improves our mood.
But what if you can’t find much to laugh about as you go about your daily life? The answer is: Laughter Therapy.
Laughter Therapy coach, Heinrich Visser, recently visited Ocean View and Lucas Gardens to introduce our elders to the concept, which is based on the scientifically proven fact that our bodies cannot differentiate between fake and real laughter. The benefits are the same.
Starting with a session of fake laughter, the exercises enable participants to master the art of laughing – loudly and heartily – for 10-15 minutes, in an environment without any social implication. Laughter Therapy makes you happy, and the people around you happy. Follow these guidelines to try it for yourself.
Teach yourself Laughter Therapy
Begin with some deep breathing exercises. Lift your arms up as you breathe in and bring them back down as you breathe out. Repeat three times. Repeat after each laughter exercise.
Bend your knees, push your hands out to the front and say, Ho Ho. Push your hands to the left and say, Ha Ha. Then to the front again (Ho Ho). Then to the right (Ha Ha). Repeat three times.
Clap your hands to the rhythm: one, two . . . one, two, three. Laugh along with the three claps. Stretch your left arm out, put your right hand in the left and pull back as if you are measuring material. Go “eeeehhh” with each movement and then laugh out loud.
Pretend you are threading a length of cotton in one ear and out the other. Pull it from left to right while you laugh out loud to clean your brain.
Pretend to climb into a car and sit down. Put your right foot on the accelerator and make the sound of the car starting. Laugh.