In most area of your life the memorable times were almost certainly accompanied by laughter. This is especially true when you were with others, be they family or friends. Good times and laughter go hand in hand. Strengthening relationships goes hand-in-hand with laughter.
We know from our experience that laughter can foster relationships, especially between people who do not know each other. At conferences you will find the people who work together or know
each other clustered together in little groups. However, after a laughter session - laughter as an exercise without jokes - we have seen how the barriers between people break down and the huddles of people break up as everyone becomes more comfortable to start up conversations with strangers. Only, after laughing together the other person is no longer a stranger.
This simple tool can be exploited to great benefit in business; whenever a relationship needs to be built or fostered. Relationships in business lead to trust and greater sales. Use a facilitator or train a facilitator in-house to help develop business relationships.
That is great news!
Dr. William F. Fry, psychiatrist at Stanford University, California, began studying the physiological effects of laughter in the late 1960's. His research is oft quoted (I've added some of the references below), but the research papers do not appear to be available on the internet, so I'll quote from other authors. Christine Puder in "The Healthful Effects of Laughter' [Ref: The International Child and Youth Care Network, Issue 55, Aug 2006.] quotes that Dr. Fry compares laughter to "inner jogging", and claims laughing 100 times a day is the equivalent of 10 minutes of rowing (Fry, 1977, 1979; Fry & Salameh, 1987). According to Fry, laughter increases the heart rate, improves blood circulation, and works muscles all over the body. This research is also quoted that 'Dr. Fry in one of his studies confirmed that 20 seconds of intense laughter, even if faked, can double the heart rate the heart rate from three to five minutes.' [Reference: Certified Laughter Yoga Leader training manual of Dr. Madan Kataria.]
The good news is that laughter is cardio-vascular exercise, improves blood circulation and works muscles all over the body. No gym required. Even the infirm and elderly can benefit from a thorough workout through laughter.
So how does one "dispense" laughter? Watch the Marx Brothers movies as Norman Cousins did (see previous blog post); stick with amusing friends; or learn a simple technique to laugh for exercise.
[Fry, W. (1977). The respiratory components of mirthful laughter. Journal of Biological Psychology, 19(2), 39—50.
Fry, W. (1979). Mirth and the human cardiovascular system. In H. Mindess & J. Turek (Eds.), The study of humor (pp. 56—61). Antioch University Press.
Fry, W., & Salameh, W. (Eds.). (1987). Handbook of humor and psychotherapy: Advances in the clinical use of humor. Sarasota, FL: Professional Resources. Exchange, Inc.]
Laughter Strategist, Laughter Coach, Master Trainer with a passion to assist people transform their lives to reach their highest potential.