Saved by Laughter — My Story

I was lucky enough to have found this phenomenon at a time when I was in a very dark place. I had lost custody of my kids to my ex and was in a deep depression. I had a previous experience in my early twenties when I was a professional performer, living the dream life and then losing it all. Laughter was what got me back on my feet.

That was when I was introduced to Laughter Yoga, a movement founded by Indian Physician, Dr. Madan Kataria based on the belief that voluntary laughter provides the same physiological and psychological benefits as spontaneous laughter. I am forever indebted to this wonderful man for giving me the tool that has helped me and so many others to live a happier life. I am blessed to be able to share this around the world and encourage people to choose to be happy.

Now I am not only a motivational speaker on happiness through the power of laughter, but I also am Events Manager for Right Selection, a well-established Speakers Bureau and Events company that bring the world top thought leaders to GCC.

Like many others, I am faced with an onslaught of challenges every day and love it when, on a day of an event, people comment on how I am always happy and laugh off the little things and manage to sort everything out in a fast, fun and effective way. A skill I have acquired thanks to adding laughter to my life.

I would like to share some insights into happiness and laughter, and I hope some will work for you. Remember you need to give them a good try before you say they don’t work. It takes at least 21-90 days to change a habit. Good luck!

Happiness through laughter in life and in the workplace

What do I need to change in order to be happy?

There are many changes you can make towards being happy. The first thing you need to realize is that happiness is a choice!

If you change your reaction to a situation you will change the outcome – like Jack Canfield says, “E + R = O.” Event + Reaction = Outcome. You can get many people experiencing the same event and they all have different outcomes. If you can be in charge of your R’s, then you will certainly have a good O.

Through laughter I help people look at life differently and train themselves into changing the way they deal with many different kinds of situations.

What are the health benefits of Laughter Wellness?

The Science of Laughter: Nothing to Joke About

Numerous scientific studies suggest that laughter is a powerful form of complementary therapeutic medicine – here are a few:

  • Blood flow. Laughter causes the tissue that forms the inner lining of blood vessels to dilate or expand in order to increase blood flow. (University of Maryland School of Medicine)
  • Immune response. Laughter raises the level of infection-fighting antibodies and immune cells. (Robert Provine, Professor of Psychology, author of Laughter: A Scientific Investigation)
  • Blood pressure. Laughter lowers blood pressure just as much as cutting salt. (Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine)
  • Pain relief. Ten minutes of laughing can allow up to two hours of pain relief. In a study of patients in a rehabilitation center, 74% agreed with the statement, “sometimes, laughter works as well as a pain pill.” (New England Journal of Medicine)
  • Aerobic exercise. One minute of laughter is equal to 10-minutes on the rowing machine. (Dr. William Fry, Stanford University)

How does laughter help in the Workplace?

  • Laughter dissolves distressing emotions. You can’t feel anxious, angry, or sad when you’re laughing.
  • Laughter helps you relax and recharge, enabling you to stay focused and accomplish more. It reduces stress and increases energy,
  • Laughter help relationships Humor and playful communication strengthen our relationships by triggering positive feelings and fostering emotional connection. When we laugh with one another, a positive bond is created. This bond acts as a strong buffer against stress, disagreements, and disappointment.
  • Laughter creates a happier work environment: With so many different cultures, religions and languages in one work place it is often easy to be misunderstood. Laughter breaks the ice in a tense moment helping all get along.
  • Laughter improves efficiency, productivity and creativity: When you are in a good mood and you are releasing endorphins ‘happy chemicals’ then you will be more alert and able to work better
  • Laughter helps better teamwork: those who laugh together work well together.
  • Laughter increase in sales: If there is a positive mood it is easier to make clients feel that rapport which is essential in sales.
  • Decrease in absenteeism and in employee turnover: When you are happy at work you will go to work, saving the company a lot of money in replacements.

Some tips for Employers:

  • Make work fun
  • Allow humor and bursts of playfulness
  • Make sure your staff are in the right positions doing what they are good at.
  • Make work engaging
  • Empower your staff
  • Create winning teams
  • Get interested in some of their personal likes and surprise them of give them

time to explore them, they will be grateful and feel appreciated

  • And make sure they feel appreciated

Other things to help you be happy

Make sure you have a good work/life balance. If you are working too hard and not spending enough time exercising, or enjoying free time with friends and family, then you will feel it and you will find it hard to cope and will become unhappy.

Be grateful. So many of us are always spending too much time on what we want and don’t realize just how lucky we are. Count your blessings and see how many more things come into your life.

Take time to BE in the moment. We are always so busy rushing through life that we actually miss what is going on. Slow down, stop and smell the flowers, feel the wind, just bring yourself into the now. This moment is the only one that is there now and that IS – don’t miss it.

Start looking out for the good things in life. Try saying something good to everyone at work and see how your relationships change, and how you will like being at work. The same works at home too.

Make sure you are getting enough YOU time. Do something you really love to do; it will energize you and make the world of difference.

Set goals and take steps towards them every day. Baby steps will get you there as well as giant leaps. Up to you how you want to approach it.

Be positive, happy and kind to yourself. You are human after all and therefore will sometimes make mistakes. That’s a great way to learn so that in itself is positive!

Learn to laugh at yourself. We take ourselves so seriously. Lighten up! Laugh and learn.

Help others in different ways — Nothing can help you feel happier more than lending a hand, ear or laugh. Helping others can have a strong positive affect on how your feel.

Go back to basics. We were born perfect, knowing how to live and then we were educated out of it. Live a simple life filled with love and gratitude and you will see how happy you are. There is no need to complicate life.

Learn from those who have done it. Read about success stories and see if you can use any of the tips they give. Not everything works for everyone, but some things will work if you give them a good shot.

When I do my talks and workshops I take you into how to include laughter in your daily life. It helps you deal with all the ups and downs of life, and it helps you stay happy.

It’s time to have kindergarten for adults and bring out that childlike playfulness back. Be happy!

 

“I am changing the world one laugh at a time.” —Jo-Dee Walmsley

 

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