Cracking up: laughter yoga participants have a giggle. Cracking up: laughter yoga participants have a giggle.

Tomorrow’s the day for guffaws and giggles: it’s World Laughter Day

'We should take laughter very seriously,' says laughter yoga coordinator

It’s time to get serious tomorrow — about laughter.

Tomorrow is the day to take laughing seriously and do some serious laughing, according to an organization that will hold an event in the state of México as part of World Laughter Day.

Official statistics show that 29.9% of residents in that state have suffered or are currently suffering from depression.

But a bit of laughter might help, says the coordinator of Yojaja México, which will run a free laughter yoga session in Metepec tomorrow.

Angélica Villareal told the newspaper Milenio that laughing may just be the best medicine for some people. Taking that medicine through laughter yoga, she explained, involves prolonged voluntary laughter and is an easy and healthy depression treatment alternative.

“We should take laughter very seriously; those [depression] statistics are high. One way to give back a little bit to society is through laughter [and] by making its benefits known so that people understand this dynamic,” she said.

People in 106 countries take part in laughter yoga sessions, whose aim is to enhance participants’ physical, social and psychological well-being though the stimulation of dopamine, serotonin and adrenaline.

The practice is based on participants’ willingness to have a good giggle rather than any humorous stimuli but the ultimate aim is to turn simulated laughter into the real thing.

“. . . It leaves a feeling of well-being and also helps to reduce cortisol,” Villareal said.

“When we’re stressed we secrete this substance. Then by laughing it’s reduced. An unstressed body is a relaxed one. It oxygenates better and has better circulation, bringing benefits at the physical level,” she added.

Villareal explained that the Pranayama breathing technique, along with clapping exercises and simple games, are used in the laughter yoga sessions to help remove residual oxygen from participants’ lungs, which in turn helps to stabilize emotions.

The special day for laughing was started in India in 1998.
The special day devoted to laughing was started in India in 1998.

In addition, the practice is also said to improve posture, digestion, social relations, creativity and empathy with other people.

World Laughter Day was started in Mumbai, India, in 1998 by the founder of the worldwide laughter yoga movement, Dr. Madan Kataria.

So whether it’s guffaws or giggles, chuckles or chortles, tomorrow’s the day to yuck it up so the happy hormones kick in and turn gloom to gladness. Happy Laughter Day.

Source: Milenio (sp)

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