You’ve Gotta Try This!

Hanaa Garad
Aug 14 · 2 min read

A Radically Simple Approach to More Joy in Your Life

Note: This piece was originally published on my blog in June, 2018

“I love my belly and I love my butt!”

This was my declaration one Sunday afternoon as I walked around greeting everybody in a room full of mostly strangers. It was my last day at a weekend retreat and this laughter yoga class had been highly recommended. Everyone insisted that I couldn’t leave without trying it.

So this is how I ended up spending an hour doing some of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever done with a bunch of people I didn’t know.

From the moment each of us walked in, the instructor was chuckling as he said hello. And for some reason we all couldn’t help chuckling right back. The giggles were contagious.

By the end of the class, every one of us was laughing hysterically. An hour of silliness had done us all in. As I walked out, I noticed that I felt lighter than I had in a long time.

Before this experience, I’d never considered how powerful laughter is. But it can change a mood literally within seconds. It can even turn the experience of a terrible situation into a bearable one.

And during the class, I learned that even pretending to laugh can have a positive effect.

Whether something actually causes us to laugh or we just to decide to laugh for no (apparent) reason, our brain responds in the same way. It releases endorphins… AKA the “feel good” chemical produced up there.

Laughter is a freaking SUPERPOWER.

It’s SO underrated though. I’ve mentioned this in a previous post, but it’s worth bringing up again: on average, children laugh about 300 times a day… while adults laugh around 4. The difference is quite astounding. And frankly, it’s disturbing.

Taking this laughter class opened my eyes to something I’d never considered before.

At what point did joy go from being a priority in my life to an indulgence?

I don’t know the day it stopped being important, but I can tell you the day it started again. And I’ve been having a lot more fun ever since.

What about YOU? When was the last time you laughed so hard you could hardly breathe? Tell me all about it in a comment below this post or an email!

Peace and blessings,

Hanaa

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