Feel Better About Yourself With The Power of Laughter Therapy
Your Powerful Tool: Laughter Therapy
When was the last time you enjoyed a really good belly laugh? How about the last time you laughed at yourself? The power of laughter is impressive, but as we grow up we often forget how good it feels to laugh. Too often, we tend to get all caught-up in the regular routine of day to day life, but we can also choose to remember this important tool and take the vital steps in implementing it into our daily routine. Laughter therapy offers you an opportunity to get back in touch with your lighter side of life and it also provides you with numerous unexpected benefits as well!
Laughter Therapy Is Much More Than A Laughing Matter
A common misperception about laughter therapy is that all it means is standing with others in a circle while laughing. It is true that some of the exercises or group sessions do call for people to do exactly that, but there is much more involved. Laughter must be combined with positive self-talk, optimistic thinking, and an affirmative attitude to achieve truly remarkable results. Sure, you can practice this excercise in mnay ways, but the most important thing is to discover what works best for you. It might be that laughter yoga works best for you, or possibly, watching stand-up comedy is a good method. Whatever your method, you will gain tremendous benefits by incorporating this into your regular routine.
The Science Behind the Humor
The effects of humor and a positive attitude have not been lost on the medical community. In fact, a growing number of research studies are being conducted to evaluate the connection between humor, self-esteem and health. One such study, carried out at the University of Indiana, demonstrated a direct correlation between humor and health. The researchers reached the following conclusions:
• Laughter is believed to act as a coping mechanism to relieve stress, improve self-esteem and reduce psychological symptoms related to negative life events.
• Having a sense of humor is often connected to higher levels of self-esteem.
• Sense of humor was also related to higher scores and quality of life in undergraduates.
Does a sense of humor necessarily equal better self-esteem? No. However, the research, which is still in its infancy, indicates that people with an ability to maintain their sense of humor during a challenge fare much better than those who don’t. Furthermore, a sense of humor is vitally important for anyone seeking to improve their self-esteem. If you can laugh at yourself, then you feel less imtimidated by the world around you. In this case, no one is able to laugh at you because you have already set a platform upon which they can only laugh with you. Once you accept laughter therapy as a viable method for improving the quality of your life, you can utilize it for many areas in your life from improving your self-esteem to getting the promotion at work, or any area in your life that you seek to transform.
Laughter Is A Foundation For Healthy Self-Esteem
The first step in having a healthy self-esteem actually involves reducing the amount of negative thinking you’ve had in your daily experiences. Here are a few steps to take that will help you:
• Don’t Filter. Learn to see the whole experience, not just the bad parts. Negative thinkers tend to focus on one mistake in a collection of good choices, which rather obliviates the good choices made.
• Don’t Catastrophize. If one negative experience makes you think that your whole day is ruined, you need to put things back into perspective. Too often we tend to give permanent reality to temporary situations/chaleenges.
• Avoid Black and White Visualization. Few things in life are entirely good or completely bad. This holds true for people, too. Negative thinking forces you to see things in this fashion, either all good or all bad. Look for shades of gray and colors.
Once you start looking for moments where you engage in negative thinking it will be easier to replace those thoughts with positive ones:
• Practice Positive Self-Talk. Learning to speak positively to yourself takes time and practice, especially if it is a new skill. Be kind and gentle with yourself. Look for small things you can start with and build up. A good rule of thumb is that if you wouldn’t say it to someone else, don’t say it to yourself.
• Look for Humor. Once you take a step back from a stressful situation you can often find something funny in it. Just the simple act of laughing will make you feel better and boost your self-esteem.
• Choose One Goal. Changing everything would be overwhelming for anyone. Pick just one aspect of your life you want to work on and stick with it until you feel that you have made some good progress.