I once met a woman at a laughter yoga workshop who bragged that she hadn’t laughed in thirty years. Hearing this initially made me laugh, but then I thought, how sad…
Introductions were made at the beginning of the group as most people were there to have fun. The energy felt light and exciting, but when it was this woman’s turn to introduce herself, everything shifted as she informed everyone that her life wasn’t happy and that she had not laughed in about three decades. The room became silent and still and everyone’s body language changed as discomfort filled the room like a bad stench. How could you have fun and be joyful when there was someone there who refused to laugh? The facilitator was quick to move the group forward and lead us into a laughter exercise where the majority of us had fun and laughed about nothing.
Being a counselor, I could not help but to observe this woman to see if she would crack a smile or even giggle during the workshop, and on several occasions she was very close, but because she had introduced herself in such a negative way, she had to keep her guard up as well as her protective shield. She had basically dared everyone at the beginning of the group to make her laugh but presented as impossible because if she had let go and enjoyed herself, her thirty-year laughter draught would have ended and then she would have to tell a different story. Sometimes we can get stuck on negative or sad life stories, but you can always start a new story and put an end to the old one.
None of us escape life without problems or issues, that is a given fact. Whatever the situation you find yourself in, remember that laughter is a stress reliever that increases your energy and fights off depression. Although at the time you may not feel like laughing remember that this is exactly the time that you probably need it the most. Laughter may not solve the initial problem or issues, but it provides a sense of relief and gives you permission to be in the present moment.
My goal is to laugh each day for the next thirty years! LOL