Too busy laughing to talk…

Way back when, during my psychology degree I wrote a thesis on the importance of humor and laughter in coping with occupational stress. I remember wedging a rather lame joke into the abstract and still somehow managed to come away with honors.

I now find humor in the fact that it isn’t until 17 years later when I decide to become a coach and stress management consultant with a borderline obsession about what nourishes people that it becomes relevant for me again. Laughter for me is high on the nourishment list, in fact it was on my top ten list of ‘nourishing things’ on a blog post back in April. When I think of any peak experience in my life I am laughing, my favorite people are those I laugh with, I like products that have an element of humor and if I think of any photograph of myself that I actually like I am laughing in it too.

I am also noticing the need we have to express that we are having fun or are laughing even when the person we are communicating with cannot see or hear us; firstly our texting and email lexicon embraced the smiley face 🙂 and now we freely ‘LOL’ all across the ether.

Now I could probably reprise some of that original thesis or some other physiological detail from my most recent stress management education to explain to you the hormonal effects of laughter but to be honest today is less about the education and more about the call to action to ‘Just do it..’

Now maybe that rather dry instruction has you wondering how?! Well there are the obvious routes; watching something funny on TV, doing something silly with friends, recalling a humorous memory or you could join a club. Yes really, for those of you that watched the Pangea Day celebration you will have seen a bunch of celebrities with Dr. Madan Kataria the founder of ‘Laughter Yoga’ all laughing on set, in fact they orchestrated a live ‘world laugh’ right there and then. Apparently there is a Laughter Yoga saying – ‘Fake it until you make it!’ where your body and mind benefit even if the laughter starts off forced and today there are 8000 Laughter Clubs worldwide, with 300,000 members doing just that, sound funny? You betcha!

Now for those of you that know me well, you could correctly presume that the initial idea of visiting with a group of utter strangers to vulnerably jiggle around with them and laugh heartily is about as appealing to me as a poke in the eye, YET there is something about it that I completely believe in and am intrigued by.

– Laughter clubs on the Discovery Channel
– John Cleese visits laughter clubs in India

My home town even has its very own laughter club, Laguna Beach is proud to say that it has had a seven day per week laughter club since 2005, and is the FIRST Laughter Club in the World (outside India) to meet every single day. They meet at the north end of main beach and I have heard it’s a hoot!

Jeffrey Briar Certified L.Y teacher told me today that “first we must distinguish between “mirthful” laughter – fun, playful, mutual- enjoyment-based – which is distinct from “cruel” laughter (sarcasm, gloating, malevolent; where someone is the “butt’ of the joke.) In mirthful laughter, everyone wins, no one is the loser. Through laughing together, strangers can become friends. Laughter is a valid and viable path towards world peace.” OK, just a little bit of physiology…. “Laughter creates the chemistry of happiness, boosting endorphins, leading to raised levels of dopamine in the brain. Laughter relieves all the negative effects of stress and increases oxygen in the blood and brain. More oxygen = better health. Laughter nourishes every cell in your body.”

I would like to mention that Jeffrey signs his emails with ‘love and hilarity’ which I may obviously have to shamelessly steal…

So go find some friends or think of something that you are doing that is frankly ridiculous and have a giggle, a chuckle or better still a red faced, gasping for breath, tear inducing, side-holding full on belly laugh. It is the only infectious thing that you won’t actually mind catching from your mates and I promise you will feel lighter and less stressed in seconds..

You may even find me hooting on main beach yet…

For more information have a look at Dr Kataria’s site, then there is the World laughter tour (don’t forget to buy the tshirt) and a whole channel on You Tube dedicated to Laughter Yoga, excellent source material to get you going…

Laguna Laughter club – every Morning Sunday thru Friday, 7:45-8:30am; and Saturdays 5:30-6:15pm (Sat. meets 4:30-5:15pm, Nov. thru Feb.). Contact: Jeffrey Briar (949) 376-1939 or

© The Red Barn Cooperative – Working together to nourish lives
A Red Barn Coaching initiative

This ‘nourishing conversation’ was featured in The Eighteenth Edition of the Carnival of Improving Life.

Would you like to read about nourishment in all its guises twice a week? We issue ‘Nourishing Conversations’ to our subscribers every Monday and Thursday, click here to subscribe by email or if you prefer to use an RSS reader you will find the orange chiclet up on the right…


4 Responses to “Too busy laughing to talk…”

  1. 1 Sinatra July 10, 2008 at 2:32 pm

    I just came across this blog, and am very glad that I did! Great advice! I think that everyone would definitely be healthier and happier if we were to laugh more!

  2. 2 Evelyn Lim | Attraction Mind Map July 20, 2008 at 2:14 am

    Oh yes…I’ve heard of the laughter club. There is one that is held in Singapore, where I come from. I should check it out!


  1. 1 Appetizers in the 3rd Soup to Nuts Progressive Dinner Blog Carnival } Group Writing Projects Trackback on July 30, 2008 at 2:07 am
  2. 2 Remmrit Bookmarking Trackback on August 12, 2008 at 6:45 am

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