Category Archives: laughteryogawithjoe

Joy Conference: “things that sustain your desire to be alive”. Bristol 26th October 2019.

Joy energises life. It sustains your desire to be alive.

According to the Glasgow University study of 2014, joy (‘happiness’) is one of our 4 basic facial expressions and primary emotions. It is no surprise, therefore, that it is such an effective approach to mental health, even when life its at its darkest..

Kate Hull Rodgers talks about her own journey from a mental hospital to award-winning comedienne in her presentation at the Joy Conference in Bristol on 26th October 2019.

In her own words: ‘Award winning comedienne, Kate Hull Rodgers, first became mentally ill 30 years ago. She was given a multitude of diagnosis, a cocktail of medication and was even chained to a bed, spread-eagle, as part of her treatment. Eventually she was institutionalized and sent to the notorious long term mental hospital. Her prognosis to get out was “hopefully”. Until one day the occupational therapist suggest Kate write a list of things that brought her Joy. Kate scoffed at the ridiculous idea…. But then she tried it. It was transformational, a turning point and the beginning of Kate’s long road to Recovery. Come and hear Kate’s astounding story of how she has lived with being Bipolar. You will laugh and cry and you will be inspired.’
Not to be missed.

Read her latest blog here. It is one of the most lovely pieces of writing I have ever read:
Joy List: “things that sustain your desire to be alive.”

Joy is also fundamental in laughter yoga. It is one of the 4 key steps, along with simple breathing & stretching exercise, playfulness and connection. When approached like this, it is easy to activate and benefits everyone. Let’s all be more joyful?

Do you prioritise joy in your own life?

If not, is it time to start now?

Joy Conference

Laughter yoga

‘Awakening the Laughing Buddha within’

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7 days of laughteryogawithjoe, day 3: ‘Spread joy – even by email’

Joy is at the heart of #laughteryogawithjoe.

I spend a lot of my time on email, as many of us do. I have sent many unwise emails in my time, as I expect we all have.

However, I send fewer and fewer of them as I use my laughter yoga more and more.

How?

By ‘use my laughter yoga more and more’ I do not mean get up and do lots of laughter yoga exercises while writing each email. I mean stay in touch with the joyfulness at the heart of laughter yoga, and make writing the email itself a laughter yoga exercise.

The way I ‘use my laughter yoga’ here is a 3-step process. It is simple and, I feel, worth experiencing yourself.

  1. Breathe. Breathe deeply for a few breaths until you feel calm and ready.
  2. Smile, always smile. Smile until you feel your smile connecting with your sense of calm and readiness, and then start your email.
  3. Chuckle quietly when you’ve finished, and re-read carefully. Imagine you are receiving this email, how can you make it an even better experience for the reader to receive? What adjustments do you need to make for the email to be well received? Keep laughing quietly (to yourself), and ask yourself – ‘Can I add more joy?’

This process helps us stay embodied and not over-think when writing emails. The result is to produce a communication that is as pleasant and easy to receive as possible.
It might even cause joy when it is read.

The more you do this, the more people will enjoy receiving your communications. You will be spreading joy and peacefulness as much as possible – and remember, ‘world peace through laughter’ is one of the 3 main aims of laughter yoga.

Email joy as much as you can?

Joy Conference

#laughteryogawithjoe

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7 days of Laughter Yoga – day 2: Don’t worry – laugh

We all worry?

The homilies like ‘Don’t worry, be happy’ are great aspirations but don’t tell us how.

One simple tip is to laugh.

‘The Best Medicine is an award-winning short documentary – link below

As ever, there is a knack to this but, put simply, just laugh! ‘Just laugh’ means to laugh intentionally. Do this, willingly, on each outbreath for at least 3 consecutive outbreaths. Follow this with another 3.
Various things follow from this:
1. you will immediately start to feel better because you are making a positive choice in your life.
2. you will start to oxygenate your system and so feel more energised
3. the endorphin effect means you will start to change the hormone levels in your blood from ‘stress’ to ‘relaxation’

The Dalai Lama said: “If a problem is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry. If it’s not fixable, then there is no help in worrying. There is no benefit in worrying whatsoever.”

I use this technique today. I woke in the morning and my brain started to go into worrydrive. After letting ideas & thoughts roll around for a bit too long, I realised I was entering my ‘worry’ zone. I had crossed the threshold between fixing the situation and worrying about ‘what if?’, so I started to laugh intentionally. I immediately started to feel better. I felt calmer and better able to prioritise my next steps. This also meant I felt more optimistic about my intended actions, approached them in better heart, and noticed subsequently that they were well focused and effective.

All this came about simply by ‘just laughing’ / laughing intentionally.

This technique is an easily learnable one and one of the simplest and fastest ways of reducing stress.
With more practice, it will even help you access your own joy.

So, breathe in, and as you breathe out, have good-natured chuckle.

#laughteryogawithjoe

Bristol Laughter Club

Joy Conference

‘The Best Medicine’

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