Laugh now, cry later
If laughter is the best medicine then Denise Gibbons knows a thing or two about a good peptide free side-splitter. Running the Laughter Yoga sessions in Brisbaneâ€™s West End, Gibbons is out to make a difference one smile at a time.
With the catch cry â€œFake it till you make it,â€ Laughter Yoga is an exercise program blending deep breathing, stretching, simulated laughing exercises and child-like playfulness.
â€œLaughter wellness is one of those great things that has kept me sane. All the people in our laughter community cannot believe that everyone in Australia isnâ€™t doing this,â€ she says.
â€œIn our laughter sessions, we laugh at every day frustrating events in a friendly and supportive group and this relieves the tension. Also, we are right in the moment not worrying about the past or the future. This is another technique that relieves stress.â€
The fear in todayâ€™s modern society as our environment moves ahead exponentially is that we continue pressuring ourselves to keep up with change. If meditation is the mind/body connection, laughter is the body/mind connection.
â€œWe think if weâ€™re staying busy weâ€™re going to mask the stress and it will go away, but weâ€™re not actually addressing the issues from the start. Itâ€™s like a mouse on a wheel and if we continue going round and round, things get faster and faster and at some point we fly off.â€
The statistics donâ€™t lie. With more and more people experiencing levels of distress particularly in the younger demographic we are now approaching a stage of using our brains to change our brains and turning anxiety into happiness.
â€œIn the Western World we tend to be a lot more in our boxes than Eastern Communities where theyâ€™re taught to be more about whatâ€™s inside themselves. We tend to look for the external to give us our happiness. It can be a bit confronting for young people to let go of some of the things society say are the norms.â€
Letting go of these norms may not be as difficult as they seem with activities including tantrums, belly laughs, Kookaburra laughs and the hilarious mirthful laugh tailored to tickle every last one of your senses.
With benefits including increased levels of endorphins (the bodyâ€™s natural pain killer), production of serotonin (a natural anti-depressant) and increased stamina through oxygen supply, hilarity has never been healthier.
What: Laughter Yoga sessions
When: Every Saturday 10am at New Farm Park and 11.30am at Jane Street Park, West End near Davies Street Markets
How Much? Gold coin donation