|The First Certified Laughter Leaders (July 2000)|
Proposition: Life is a psycho-social game.
Corollary: If you don’t play the social part right, you will go ‘psycho’.
Proposition: Laughter is one of the universal attributes of human beings.
Corollary: It gives us a clue to universal laws for playing the game and not going ‘psycho’.
Corollary: The benefits include increased productivity among workers, reduction in absenteeism and employee turnover in addition to other costs borne by employers.
Corollary: The human brain can be rewired.
Proposition: Laughter is vitally and critically important to the successful game of life. A life without laughter is dreadful.
Corollary: A dreadful life is likely to be void of laughter.
Proposition: An adequate amount of laughter makes life worth living.
Corollary: A life worth living generates laughter.
What’s In A Name?
When I first saw people intentionally coming together in groups for laughing to improve health and well-being sans traditional humor (jokes and comedy), the leaders were called anchor persons. That was 1998, in Mumbai.
When I tried to apply the concept the following year in he United States, modeled on Activity Therapy well-known in the Western world, it proved to be a fascinating complement to the burgeoning field of applied and therapeutic humor but the title anchor person was not well received.
In the USA, Laughter Leader was a more acceptable title. I could see that the so-called expert model prevalent in the Western World --and my desire that this new field overcome years of resistance from the established health & human services communities-- dictated that Laughter Leaders should be certified. Hence: the evolution of the title Certified Laughter Leader.
It worked. As acceptance and respect grew, doors opened, and by now, probably millions of lives have been touched by laughter.
Now, with new evidence leading to improvements in techniques streaming in every week, the next logical iteration of titles within World Laughter Tour, will include the word Practitioner.
It’s A Neuro-Psycho-Social Thing
|Reflect on the Connection|
The neurological substrates that control smiling and laughing are mature at birth in all healthy human beings. Evidence for this is the fact that, even though they have never seen or heard laughter, people who are born blind and deaf will eventually laugh and smile.
Through workplace studies, researchers have identified a cohort of individuals as social support providers.
· Low social support is as damaging as high blood pressure.
· Social support is the greatest predictor of happiness during periods of high stress.
· Social support providers are not only 10 times more likely to be engaged at work than those who kept to themselves.
· Social support providers are 40% more likely to get a promotion.
· Social support providers are happier (thriving and learning).
· Happy employees have, on average, 31% higher productivity; their sales are 37% higher, their creativity is three times higher.
(Used with permission.)
Onward & Upward
Laughter was just the tip of the iceberg. We are now eagerly drilling deeper and wider and finding more of the rich resources that foster laughter, accompany laughter, and are produce in association with laughter.
· Freedom from harmful habits and ruts that ensnare patients
· Innovative (and effective) ways to treat depression, anxiety, and OCD
· Helpful insights for arguing couples who keep hitting all the same explosive triggers
· New understanding in how to work with patients who have PTSD
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