How Laughter Yoga can help men live healthier happier lives

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A few years back, a woman turned up at New Farm Park for a  community laughter club session, openly admitting she was hopeful of meeting a cheerful man (with view to permanent relationship).

She lucked out on that score although she did leave with a lighter brighter mood.

The reality is fewer men than women in Australia do laughter yoga. It’s something LY practitioners have pondered for months in an online FB forum. And we haven’t had the answers…

Findings just released from the Harvard Study of Adult Development, tracking the lives of 724 men from teens into old age, could hold the key.

It’s found 5 big lessons contribute to a good life:

  1. A happy childhood
  2. Failing #1, mentor the next generation, at home or work
  3. Cope effectively with stress
  4. Break bad habits early
  5. Spend time with others, day to day.

How can Laughter Yoga make a difference?

Sure, I can’t give you back a happy childhood if you didn’t have one – but we all have a playful inner child just waiting to be released.

Laughter yoga is a proven stress buster. A study of 200 Indian IT call centre workers found 20-minute laughter yoga sessions were associated with significant reductions in blood pressure and the stress hormone cortisol, along with subjective improved mood and reduced stress. Similar findings were revealed in an Australian workplace study: feelings of stress, depression and anxiety all decreased, some by up to 10%, after just one session.

Laughter yoga practices help us view life challenges in a different light. We can laugh even when we’re not in the mood, just as we can get off the couch and go for a walk when we don’t really feel like it.

BONUS: in moving and laughing as an exercise, the deep breaths and exhalations of laughter exercises boost our immune system and keep the brain sharp.

While laughter yoga can be done alone, it is as a group exercise that its impact is truly felt. In part because laughter is infectious but more so, I believe, because of what I term its ‘social glue’ factor. As we look into one another’s eyes and smile, chuckle and gradually laugh out loud, we make connections. Loneliness dissolves. Camaraderie is created. Barriers break down. All within minutes. And when the laughter dies down and a session ends, social connections continue.

Fellas, for the happier healthier life you deserve, find a laughter club near you and give laughter yoga a try. Or bring it into your workplace or men’s shed.

Read Harvard Health’s 5 research-backed lessons on what makes a happy life.

(c) 2017 Heather Joy Campbell, Certified Laughter Yoga Teacher, The Happydemic

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January 2018
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It has been scientifically proven that 20 minutes of laughter reaps real physiological benefits.


“Our laughter leader training course was so well customised to the needs of our organisation and we received fabulous feedback from participants. Laughter yoga sessions are now on the calendar each week at our villages.”

— Jennie Hewitt, Positive Living Coordinator, Feros Care

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