By Robin WeaverWe all know that “laughter is the best medicine,” but did you know laughter is also a form of meditation? Seriously, it’s a thing. In addition to laughter meditation, I discovered several forms of therapy that use laughter when I researched this month’s theme. Heck, there’s even laughter yoga. When I first encountered that term, I assumed it was the response of people who’d seen me do yoga, but I transcend, I mean digress.
Laughter Meditation is similar to traditional meditation but adds some giggling to the process. When I first attempted “regular” meditation, I was skeptical, but over the years I’ve come to truly appreciate the value of deep breathing. Granted, I needed scientific evidence supporting the benefits before I gave mediation a real chance. While I couldn’t find specific studies supporting the merits of laughter meditation, there is abundant research indicating laughter is indeed good for us humans, so I decided to give funny mediation a try (primarily for the sake of this blog).
Here are the specific instructions I attempted to follow:
Start laughing. Just laugh!
Okay, I just felt ridiculous. Have you ever tried to just laugh? For no reason? When all alone? My poor cat ran for cover. One website suggested “shout out “Yahoo” a few times and raise your arms up in the air. I did not try that. Come on—who uses “yahoo” for any but a search engine. Thinking about that did, however, make me smile for a few seconds, so I considered that “good enough” and moved to the next step.
Now I wanted to laugh. Since the “yahoo shouting site” also suggested: if there is still laughter bubbling up, allow it, I kept laughing. Then, at risk of wetting my yoga pants, I had to interrupt my meditation for a potty break.
Obviously, laughter meditation didn’t work for me. I know I come across as irreverent, but I can be truly quite serious—um, maybe I’m just irreverent. Despite my snark, I am truly not belittling Laughter Meditation; the benefits of laughter mediation include presence, lightness, stress reduction, and emotional release, i.e., the same benefits as regular meditation. But hey, potato-poTOTo, give it a try. Here's a link with more detailed instructions: https://chopra.com/articles/laughter-meditation-5-healing-benefits-and-a-10-minute-practice.
If it works for you, do it. And don’t give a crap what us bratty folk think.