World Laughter Day 2019: History and Health Benefits
“Life is worth living as long as there's a laugh in it.” ― Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables
“Laughter is a way of really letting out all this pressure that you could face in your daily life in the suffering of your people, and comedy is almost like a medicine to your soul in a way.”- Hiam Abbass
Do you know that there are several community groups around the world known as Laughter Clubs who regularly practice simple international laughter techniques that promote wellness and overall well-being? Let us tell you that it is free and open to all.
As we know that when we laugh we feel good but very few realise that laughing is also a good exercise that improve our every day wellness and wellbeing. No doubt laughing is a way to relieve some stress and pain.
World Laughter Day: History
In 1998, World Laughter Day was created by Dr. Madan Kataria, founder of the world wide Laughter Yoga movement. The first celebration of World Laughter Day was on 10 May, 1998, in Mumbai, India. It was arranged by Dr. Madan Kataria. Several people gather in public places with the sole purpose of laughing.
Dr. Madan started the Laughter Yoga movement with an aim that facial feedback hypothesis, postulates that a person's facial expressions can have an effect on their emotions. It builds global consciousness of brotherhood and friendship through laughter.
Do you know that "HAPPY-DEMIC" was the first World Laughter Day gathering outside India? At Town Hall Square in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 2000, more than 10,000 people were gathered. The gathering was the largest that people together laughed and bonded in such a way that the event went into the Guinness Book of World records.
How World Laughter Day is celebrated?
People went to Laughter club, gather and laugh together. You can see several comedy pictures or can listen to the famous comedians for fun. People also join comedy acts to become a comedian and also take part in the improvisation classes. Some people share funny jokes on social media by keeping hashtag World Laughter Day. Watch movies with friends with full of comedy and entertainment. Even people gather in some park and perform laughing yoga practice.
In India, people carry a peace march with placards on laughter day. Some indulge in producing sounds like "HO, HO, HA, HA", to spread the contagious effects of laughter. Several entertainment programmes like dance and laughter challenges are performed. Laughter club initiates march, ten minutes laughter session etc.
What are the health benefits of Laughter?
As we know that laughter is a best medicine.
- It relaxes the whole body.
- It boosts the immune system. As it decreases the stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies and also improve your resistance to disease.
- Laughing triggers the release of endorphins. It is a natural feel-good chemical and temporarily relieves pain.
- It protects the heart. Laughing improves the functioning of blood vessels and increases the flow of blood.
- Laughter burns calories. According to one study, laughing for 10 to 15 minutes a day can burn around 40 calories.
- It may even help you to live longer.
- It lightens anger.
- Laughter helps you relax and recharge.
- Laughter eases anxiety and tension.
- It strengthens resilience.
- It decreases pain.
- Relaxes your muscles.
- Laughter boosts T-cells. Let us tell you that T-cells are specialised immune system cells just waiting in your body for activation. That is when you laugh you activate T-cells that will immediately begin to help you fight off sickness.
- Laughing is a natural exercise.
- It is a complementary Cancer Therapy. Some studies shows direct positive impact of laughter in cancer treatment.
- Laughter increases blood oxygenation.
- It improves memory.
- Promotes creativity as well.
Some side effects of Laughter are:
- Sore Muscles: It has been seen that when you laugh hard for a long period of time, your abdominal muscles can become sore and might ache for a short time. This effect or pain is not permanent.
- Cardiac Disease and Surgery Recovery: Till now science didn’t proved any such side effect of laughing but when laugh combines with other serious health issues like severe cardiac disease, in which the stimulus of laughter and the temporary increase in blood pressure can be dangerous.
“Laughter is the tonic, the relief, the surcease for pain” and “A day without laughter is a day wasted” - Charlie Chaplin (the famous comic artist)