Right now, this second, how are you feeling…?

Do you need to think about it?  Or do you know straight away how you are feeling…

Perhaps you are feeling angry, thinking what I am reading here, who’s this person asking how I’m feeling?  Or are you feeling stressed, with the millions of things on your to do list, and not actioning any of them.  Or are you feeling happy, with a big smile on your face.  Or are you numb to your feelings?

Something I did for 40 plus years was not to acknowledge my feelings.  Instead, I’d bury them inside.  Inside my imaginary box.  Occasionally, the feelings would explode, it felt like I had no control over them.  It was like trying to hold a beach ball under water constantly!  Never knowing where or when it would explode.

Events would happen in my life and I would bury the feelings, whatever they were…a divorce, or being cheated on by a business partner, workplace bullying.  Anything from major to minor events…all buried neatly away.  Then in 2013, I found my box was full.  I couldn’t push anymore in…it was time to empty my box.

In 2013, box full, feeling broken hearted. I searched Google on how to get over losing a loved one (to put it plainly, I was dumped by my boyfriend).  Google suggested laughter!  I went on YouTube, trying to find videos that would make me laugh…I couldn’t find anything… I was depressed.  What I did find was this Indian guy talking about Laughter Yoga.  Curious, I went along to my nearest Laughter Yoga group and laughed so much in 30 minutes that my cheeks hurt and I felt much better.   From then on I was hooked and knew there and then, that I wanted to be a Laughter Yoga facilitator and to share that joy and happiness with others.  Had I not found Laughter Yoga, I do not know where I would be now… Laughter Yoga is a combination of intentional laughing and deep breathing, no jokes or comedy involved. 

I later found that laughing on average for 10 minutes can change your physiology, whereby your body releases chemicals that help you to feel better.  I like to call it a DOSE, dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin and endorphins, all feel good chemicals.   It’s been scientifically proven that the body does not know the difference between real laughter and fake laughter, the same chemicals are released.

Usually we laugh at jokes, funny stories, or videos on YouTube.  Here we get to laugh for a few seconds here and there.  To get the physiological change, we need to be laughing for extened periods of time, 10, 15, 20 minutes…When was the last time you laughed for 10 minutes solid laughing at jokes?  For me, I can’t remember.  With Laughter Yoga it’s every day! 

Laughter Yoga helped me to empty my buried feelings.  I am now aware of my feelings and acknowledge them, both the beneficial ones and the not so beneficial ones. 

Laughter Yoga changed my life, it also saved my life…but that’s another story.  I now laugh most days.  My name at work is Giggles.

If you would like to learn how Laughter Yoga can help you and your organisation, please visit my website on www.traceysteddy.com.au or mobile 0400107286.