Laughter Meditation – Laugh Your Way to Good Health, Fitness and Well Being

There are various laughter therapies used across the world to treat various ailments. Some of the prominent few are listed below.

Laughter Therapy: The idea behind this therapy is a healthy and cheerful laugh that can make a person feel better, to relieve stress, combat diseases and strengthen the immune system. It is said that even one minute of laughter can give the body up to 45 minutes of therapeutic relaxation. It stimulates appetite and digestion and also expands the blood vessels and sends more blood racing to the extremities. This process sends more oxygen to every cell in the body, it also serves to speed tissue healing and stabilize many body functions. Laughter even produces a feeling of well being.

Laughter Yoga & Laughter Clubs: Somewhat similar to traditional yoga, laughter yoga is an exercise which incorporates breathing, yoga, stretching techniques along with laughter. The structured format includes several laughter exercises for a period of 30 to 45 minutes facilitated by a trained individual. It is practiced as a supplemental or preventative therapy. Laughter yoga can be performed in a group or a club. Therapeutic laughter clubs are extension of Laughter Yoga, but in a formalized club format. This form of laughter from the Laughter Clubs is about self generated laughing – not telling jokes or apparently about anything except laughing. Laughing till it hurts your belly, until tears are streaming down your face. We very often spot a large group of people standing in a circle and laughing hysterically in a park in your locality. Many people have formed such laughter clubs across the globe and practice this task of laughing religiously.

Laughter Meditation: In laughter meditation there are some similarities to usual meditation. However, it is the laughter that focuses the person to concentrate on the moment. There is a three stage process of stretching, laughing and or crying, and a period of meditative silence. In the first stage, the person places all energy into the stretching every muscle without laughter. In the second stage, the person starts with a gradual smile, and then slowly begins to purposely belly laugh or cry, whichever occurs. In the final stage, the person abruptly stops laughing or crying, then with their eyes now closed they breathe without a sound and focus their concentration on the moment. The process is approximately a 15 minute exercise. This may be awkward for some people as the laughter is not necessarily spontaneous. This is generally practiced on an individual basis.

Clown Therapy: Somebody once said, “A clown is like an aspirin, only he works twice as fast.” In some hospitals “clown rounds” are made. The clowns perform various fun acts, share jokes etc that make the patients (usually children) laugh. For hospitalized children, clown therapy can increase patient cooperation and decrease parental & patient anxiety. In some children the need for sedation is reduced. Other benefits include pain reduction and the increased stimulation of immune function in children. This use of clown therapy is not limited hospitals. They can transform other places such as nursing homes, orphanages, refugee camps, war zones, and even prisons. The presence of clowns tends to have a positive effect. It was noted that 10 minutes of belly laughter can help the patients with two hours of pain-free sleep.

Humor Therapy: It is also known as therapeutic humor. Using humorous materials such as books, shows, movies, or stories to encourage spontaneous discussion of the patients own humorous experiences. This can be provided individually or in a group setting. The process is facilitated by clinician. There can be a disadvantage to humor therapy in a group format, as it can be difficult to provide materials that all participants find humorous. It is extremely important the clinician is sensitive to laugh “with” clients rather than “at” the clients.

Go ahead and laugh. Do it with pride, do it for your health!

Tips For Staying Fit and Having Fun at 40+

Exercise is excellent for maintaining optimum health and a healthy weight. It is even more effective when used in conjunction with proper nutrition. If you are exercising regularly, you may be sabotaging its positive effects by not eating properly. Your body needs fuel and food is your fuel. Failure to eat properly hurts you in two ways. First of all, if you’re not fueling your body properly, you may not have energy for longer, more intense workouts. Secondly, if you are eating too much, you may not be burning enough calories during the day to lose weight or maintain your healthy weight.

Let me explain the following tips for staying fit, having fun at 40+. What concerns individuals I meet who are aging is how do you lose that excess weight in order to arrive at your healthy weight. The easiest and simplest way to lose weight is to burn off more calories than you consume. You can do this two ways:

  1. Reduce the number of calories you eat each day
  2. Increase the number of calories you burn each day through physical activity

It sounds pretty simple but, the reality is that it is difficult for most people to do. With today’s busy lifestyles and schedules that include, business, work, family, friends, meals, health, exercise, etc… it can be anything but simple.

The term “ideal weight” is an outdated concept. The goal here is to aim for your “healthy weight”. Your healthy weight is all about feeling good and being healthy. Your healthy weight is in a range that helps lower your risk of health problems. Health is really what counts here. When you are over your healthy weight, your well-being is threatened as you grow older. When you are under your healthy weight, under-eating over time causes nutrient deficiencies that can affect the health of your bones, immune system, energy levels, work performance and general well-being. That is why it is important for you to stay fit and have fun at 40+.

If you carry excess weight, losing some of it can be very good for your health on the condition that you lose it slowly and sensibly. You won’t achieve the lasting results you want from any fad diet. Your goal should be your health by making better food choices and being more physically active each day. Weight loss usually follows so be patient.

If you are at your healthy weight, recognize and appreciate it. Don’t obsess with losing more. Your body has a particular weight that it will strive to maintain and will seek to stabilize at this set weight. This is the natural weight your body attains when you strictly eat according to your hunger, no more, no less.

Combine a healthy lifestyle, a well-balanced diet and a daily dose of physical activity and you will maintain a healthy weight within a healthy range over the years. I hope you have enjoyed my tips for staying fit, having fun at 40+ and can put them to healthful use.