by The Secret Psychiatrist
When we think of therapy, what pops into our head? Before becoming a psychiatrist, I would think of a stereotypical image of an American Freudian counselor analysing a patient lying on a couch. Of course, this does indeed still happen, and I myself perform psychotherapy. I used to think of it as something for those suffering mental health or those with relationship problems. However, as we know that is not the case. You can have mental health, or relationship problems, but therapy does not mean you have to fit in a category. Anyone can do therapy, and we do it without thinking. Gardening, talking, dancing, and art work, are perfect examples of therapy, you just don’t need to label it as such now pay for a formal service of talking therapy.
I have recently been made aware of a unique sort of therapy: laughing therapy. To be honest I thought this was a laugh in itself when I heard about it. My mother works for a large cooperation and they had an exercise team building day. On that day, they did various varied exercises, one of which being laughing therapy. Essentially, my mother stated that her team sat around and just belt out laughing.
They would force out laughter and shortly after the impact of doing this, as well as watching others laugh, in turn made the team and my mother actually then genuinely laugh.
I thought I had to try this as soon as possible. So, I got my family around a table, and explained that we would be testing laughing therapy, to see if the effects did actually work as my mother stated. We started laughing. At first my dad nervously with barely a whisper of a laugh, my mother booming out her fake laugh with hiccups, and my sibling staring at us as though we were very strange. I tried to fake laugh, and my fake laugh sounds like a motor trying to start work. After what actually was only a few seconds, my family started to actually laugh, and it was not forced. The ridiculousness in carrying out these actions made us feel silly and that in turn made us find the whole actions amusing. This then turned quickly to entertainment and before we knew it we were enjoying the process of laughing so much so that we just laughed. We continued to laugh for a few minutes Laughter does appear to be contagious, almost similar to when you see somebody yawn, it’s as though reflex happens internally and you then too want to yawn. Laughter is the same. When you see somebody smile and laugh, you without thinking also want to do so.
My family soon were hysterically laughing due to just seeing each other laugh over essentially nothing and we were unable to stop. I felt we were a bunch of Minions from Despicable Me. My sister soon lunged over onto the floor, feet into the air, laughing so drastically that her stomach hurt which made the family even more hysterical with laughter.
I could not believe it, laughing therapy was incredible. It is free, easy to do, and makes you feel fantastic after. I please encourage you to try this at home, at work and with your friends at the café. You will not regret the laughing lines you will receive as a result.