The power of Smile and Laughter
In Yellow Factor (formerly Yellow Goldfish) – which covers nine ways increasing H.A.P.P.I.N.E.S.S. in business can drive G.R.O.W.T.H., productivity, and prosperity for customers, employees, and society overall – Stan Phelps and I make quite few references to the power of Laughter:
- We dedicate an entire chapter to SMILE (the final S in Happiness) because when we smile we activate hundreds of facial muscles and we send a message to our body to rebalance, to cultivate health and vitality, we feel inner joy and connection to others
- When we smile and laugh, especially with other people, we trigger all of the chemicals of happiness: Dopamine, Oxytocin, Serotonin, Endorphin, GABA.
- We talk about Laughter in our chapters about Health and Play: laughter allows us to reduce stress and anxiety, and allows our body to rest and recharge by activating the parasympathetic nervous system (which slows the heart and lowers the blood pressure, allowing recovery after a stressful event).
- We propose various ways in which companies can stimulate laughter for their customers and employees, through funny announcements like Southwest, or Comedy Training like Peppercom.
At the time of writing Yellow Goldfish, I thought that joke, comedy, or some other type of stimulus was needed in order to laugh.
I first heard about Laughter Yoga in 2019, while I was looking for a laughter-provoking exercise to do during a Design Thinking Conference workshop. I found a great exercise on YouTube and I kept proposing it in my future sessions or workshops, but without further investigating what Laughter Yoga actually was (as I was actually set back by the word Yoga).
It was only in 2021 that thanks to Lara Lucaccioni I learned that it is called Laughter “Yoga” simply because it combines unconditional laughter with yogic breathing, but there are no physical yoga positions involved (even though I also practiced and liked Yoga Flow, I had imagined that I wouldn’t like a laughing version of Yoga).
As I deepened my knowledge of Laughter Yoga with Dr. Kataria & Lara Lucaccioni, I started practicing it daily since 13 April 2021.
What is Laughter Yoga?
Laughter Yoga is a wonderful practice & discipline based on the revolutionary idea – simple and profound – that anyone can laugh unconditionally, without relying on humor, jokes or comedy. Laughter is simulated as a body exercise in a group: with eye contact and childlike playfulness, it soon turns into real and contagious laughter.
It is based on the scientific fact that the body cannot differentiate between fake and real laughter. One gets the same physiological and psychological benefits, which are many.
The Benefits of Laughter Yoga
Here are just a few:
✅ stronger respiratory system and increased oxygenation, hence more concentration and better performances
✅ reduced stress & related illnesses, because Laughter activates our parasympathetic system & reduces cortisol production
✅ better mood and less anxiety & depression, because of the production of serotonin & endorphins
✅ better digestion, because the movement of abdominal muscles & diaphragm provides a gentle massage to all digestive organs, functioning as internal jogging
✅ healthy heart and better circulatory system
✅ stronger immune system and less sickness because of the increased number of natural killer (NK) cells and interferon-gamma (IFN)
World Laughter Day
World Laughter Day was created in 1998 by Dr. Kataria, founder of the worldwide Laughter Yoga movement. The celebration of World Laughter Day is a positive manifestation of world peace and is intended to build up a global consciousness of brotherhood and friendship through laughter. On this day the laughter club members get together to laugh together to send out positive vibrations of unconditional love, laughter, kindness, and compassion, in alignment with the Mission of Laughter Yoga International which is “Health, happiness and world peace through laughter”
How can we bring World Peace through Laughter?
The formula is very simple: “When you laugh, you change, and when you change the world changes around you.” Inner change is the key to seeing the change in the outer world. The war in the external world is the reflection of the inner war going on in the minds of people. Unconditional laughter has the power to change the inner chemistry and make us feel good inside. When you feel good inside, it changes your perception of the outer world. Laughter is the easiest and most cost-effective solution for physical, mental, social, and spiritual well-being.
How can I help you bring more Laughter in your life and work?
Do you want to get a glimpse of what it means to laugh unconditionally or learn more about it? Here few options for you:
- Join my FREE 15-20 minutes monthly LaugherZoom session
- Listen to Episode #4: Happiness Contribution™ Show: – Shot 1: Benefits of Laughter in the business world” on Spotify
- Check out my “Just Laugh” YouTube Playlist.
Do you want to bring more laughter to your team or organization? I have a few options for you:
- Keynote: The Power of Laughter
- Happiness Booster Sessions: Laughter Yoga Intro (75 to 90 minutes) or in-depth (3 hours)
- Training: 6 weeks “Stress Buster Joy Blaster”
Stay healthy, happy, and yellow!
Keep Smiling! Start Laughing!
💛 🌻 ☀️
Yours truly, Rosaria
* If you would like to know more about how to pursue Happiness Driven Growth in your company or would like us to deliver an engaging talk or masterclass about it at your event, get in touch or simply follow Rosaria Cirillo on LinkedIn & Instagram to receive her inspirational DOSE of Happiness.
** Customer experience is the perception customers have of the interactions with your company along every touchpoint and communication. It’s their truth. Great customer experiences don’t happen by chance. Instead, they require the orchestration of six disciplines across different teams and the mastering of six competencies. Would you like to learn more and grow your Customer Experience competencies? Get in touch to find out more about our newest HCX Online Academy, our in-company HCX Masterclasses, and HCX (Human-Centred and Happiness-Contributing Experiences) approach.
*** Yellow Factor is available for sales on Amazon/Kindle. Find links to your local Amazon store here. Did you already enjoy reading Yellow Factor and want to help us inspire more people? Helps us spread the word by sharing the quote that most resonated with you and by posting a picture of you with our book on social media using hashtags: #YFITW #YellowFactorInTheWorld #YellowFactorQuote #choosehappiness