Mindful Laughter Meditation: What It Is & How It Can Help You Right Now by Noreen Braman
During this time of at-home working, homeschooling and staying home more due to the coronavirus pandemic, stress, claustrophobia and boredom can set in – big time! Now is the time to learn a simple laughter exercise that can help entertain and calm all members of the family.
Mindful Laughter Meditation combines three well-being ideas into one. First, you bring your mind to the moment at hand, rather than wandering around in the past or the future. Then, you start to percolate laughter from deep in your body, gradually moving to full laughter. This is the part where eye contact with your “housemates” is really important. First time around may be more “simulated” laughter than “real” laughter, but the good news is, your brain doesn’t know the difference. And even better news – laughter has the same effect on your brain as meditation!
Here’s how to do my family version of Mindful Laughter Meditation that you can also do anytime by yourself:
- Sit in a comfortable chair or on the floor facing each other. Close your eyes if alone, but better to keep them open with little ones participating. Bring your mind to the present moment by thinking, or saying, “Today is (day of the week), I am here,” several times, in between three slow, deep breaths. Tell you children to imagine blowing out a candle.
- Imagine laughter in your belly. Give out loud instructions to your group, demonstrating as you explain. The laughter wants to get out, but it can only get out slowly. Begin to feel the laughter working its way up your body, becoming a chuckle in the back of your throat. Then a giggle, then full out laughter. Remember, even simulated works!
- As the laughter loses momentum, repeat, “Today is (day of week), here we are” in between three deep breaths.
- Repeat steps 2 and 3 at least three times.
After a few sessions of this, especially if you have free laughing, laughter will be more spontaneous and contagious. To paraphrase Erma Bombeck, “The family that laughs ... lasts.”
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