Laughing Out Loud (No, Really)
If you've never tried laughter meditation, you might consider giving it a whirl. Laughter has many energizing and healing benefits – lightness, connection, stress reduction and emotional release, to name a few.
In our world today, there is much to be taken seriously, so it's helpful to remember to laugh every now and then. This is not to make light of current events, but to help us keep our perspective, tap into our inner child, and elevate our general mood. It's refreshing.
Laughter Meditation Practice
Disclaimer: this may feel totally weird when you first start, but we encourage you to stick with it...you just might surprise yourself. If you'd like, you could invite a pal, partner, or family member to join you.
1. Find a comfortable position, either sitting on a cushion or chair, or lying on your back.
2. It may be helpful to set a timer on your phone or watch for 5 minutes.
3. Notice how you feel in this moment. Are any emotions present? Perhaps find just one word to describe how you're feeling.
4. Allow your body to relax, softening all of the muscles in your face, shoulders, arms, belly, and legs.
5. Begin to slowly turn the corners of your mouth upward; inviting yourself to smile gently.
6. Without exerting any force, broaden your smile and begin laughing gently.
7. Allow your laughter to deepen; see if you can feel it deep in your belly.
8. If possible, try to laugh with yourself, not about or at something or someone else.
9. Bring your full awareness into each moment of laughter – hearing sounds, feeling any sensations in your body, noticing any judgement – and here, see if it's possible to just laugh with anything you notice.
10. After five minutes, let your laughter fade, and allow your body to come into stillness. Become aware of the silence, taking a few easy deep breaths.
Take one more moment to check in with yourself – notice how you're feeling now.