How great that we have a special day to celebrate jokes and pranks! Apparently as far back as the Romans many different cultures have had days of foolishness around late March or the beginning of April – perhaps there’s something about the time of year, with the turn from winter to spring, that lends itself to light-hearted moments. (Especially so this year when winter has outstayed its welcome – we’re all ready for a bit of spring fever).
Traditionally the laugh is usually at someone else’s expense, and involves tricking the gullible into believing something far-fetched. My favourite was one pulled by the much-missed astronomer Sir Patrick Moore, who on the morning of 1st April 1976 announced on the radio that a once-in-a-lifetime astronomical event was about to take place. He said the planets Pluto and Jupiter were temporarily causing a gravitational alignment and if listeners jumped in the air at exactly the right moment, they would experience a strange sensation. So convincing was Patrick that the BBC received hundreds of phone calls from excited listeners – one woman even reported she and her eleven friends had risen from their chairs and floated around the room!
So good luck if you are indulging in a bit of harmless leg-pulling, but don’t forget that laughter doesn’t need a reason or a special date to happen. And might I suggest that laughing with someone is a lot more enjoyable that laughing at someone? I was introduced to Laughter Yoga in 2010, when I attended Dr Robert Holden‘s wonderful training course in Coaching Happiness in London. Two of the other trainees were Laughter Yoga leaders, and suggested that we get in the mood by meeting in Hyde Park for half an hour every morning before each day’s training began. I had no idea what to expect, but it involved us being very spontaneous, very uninhibited, and doing some seriously silly things in spite of the amazed glances of the curious passers-by. I will never forget how good laughing for no reason made me feel, and how it set us all up for the day in a state of positive wellbeing and warm connection with each other.
Fast-forward a couple of years and I am now a certified Laughter Yoga leader myself, able to help other people get in touch with the child-like joy of laughter and experience all the benefits to health, energy and motivation that laughter brings – it truly is the best medicine! When times are tough it might seem easier to frown than to smile. But a daily commitment to laughter can boost our immune systems, release mood-changing endorphins, build resilience, and give us a brighter perspective on the things life throws at us. Whatever your situation, I guarantee you’ll benefit! If you’d like to know more about how Laughter Yoga could make a difference to your life, please get in touch here.
Why not take a few moments right now to make space in your day for laughter? If you need a trigger, think of your funniest memories or just check out YouTube – there’s bound to be something there to tickle your funnybone, whether it’s giggling babies or comical cats and dogs. You’ll get a free workout for your stomach muscles (more fun than sit-ups), put your worries into perspective, lower your stress levels and boost your energy. What are you waiting for? It’s not an April Fool!
“When you laugh, you change, and when you change the whole world changes around you.” Dr. Madan Kataria, founder of Laughter Yoga
Has no sense of humour
But A Fig’ll