As the popular saying goes, “Laughter is the best medicine”. As per experts, laughter has a lot of tangible health benefits, in addition to the momentary joy that we derive from it. Laughter increases our oxygen intake, stimulates our heart, lungs and muscles, and increases the release of three key hormones – dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin. These hormones send a message to our body and brain that we are in a state of happiness. Endorphins also have the capability of reducing body pain. The hormones released when we laugh are said to not only improve our mood but also our immune system, help reduce blood sugar levels, improve blood flow and help relieve stress. Laughing and smiling have a tremendously positive effect not only on our physical but also on our mental health. Laughter creates an environment of positivity and happiness. For all such reasons, we frequently see laughter being used as a therapeutic tool – laughter therapy, laughter yoga, etc.
History of World Laughter Day
The origin of World Laughter Day dates back to 1998 when it was first celebrated in Mumbai. Since then, it is celebrated every year on the first Sunday of the month of May. This year World Laughter Day 2023 will be celebrated on May 7, 2023. World Laughter Day was introduced by Dr Madan Kataria, founder of Laughter Yoga. Dr Kataria was instrumental in starting the laughter yoga movement highlighting the physical and mental benefits of laughter.
Significance of World Laughter Day
Befitting to the benefits delivered by laughter, it is only apt to dedicate a day to laughter – World Laughter Day. Dr Madan Kataria initiated World Laughter Day to promote laughter amongst the masses. Dr Kataria’s laughter yoga movement saw mass mobilisation with the formation of laughter clubs across the nook and corners of the country. Sights of people laughing out loud together in groups became a common sight to behold and encouraged people to use laughter as a means to get together and spread joy to make the world around them a better place.
Below are some activities to celebrate World Laughter Day 2023.
- Laughter yoga
- Tell jokes
- Make me laugh challenge
- Watch Stand-up comedy
- Watch comedy movies and TV series Comedy is a popular genre in movies and tv series in all languages. OTT platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney Hotstar, etc are full of comedy movies and TV series which can be watched to have some hearty laughter on World laughter day 2023.
- Comic strips and cartoons
- Funny games with friends
- Charades – one player has to make the other members of their team guess the name of a famous person, place, movie, etc without speaking a word. Only by using gestures and pantomime.
- Pictionary – Similar to charades, the only difference is that here you need to make your team guess by giving them clues by drawing them on a whiteboard or a chart paper. The funny guesses that children make of the pictures being drawn by their partners usually leave everyone rolling on the floor laughing out loud.
- Two truths and a lie – Each individual says three statements out of which two statements are true and one is a lie. The others have to guess which of the three statements is a lie.
- Silly Olympics – these are Olympics with a twist with competitions such as balloon volleyball, sack races, Egg catching, etc.
Start your day with a freshening laughter yoga early in the morning. Laughter yoga, also known as Hasya Yoga, involves prolonged voluntary laughter. It means that you are laughing not because you heard a joke, but because you force yourself to laugh without any humorous reason. In a way, you are trying to fake the mind to believe that you are in a state of happiness (because you are laughing). Laughter yoga is best performed in groups. Find a nice and secluded place in a park. Start with a few warming-up exercises and other activities to break inhibition. Laughter exercises should be interspersed with breathing exercises.
If you can laugh without any reason, why not also laugh with reason? A sumptuous Sunday breakfast can be clubbed with a joke session. Gather around the table and ask everyone to tell a joke. You can source the jokes from online sources. Even telling a joke is an art. Not everybody is adept at telling jokes well that leave people in splits of laughter.
An interesting game where one person tries his/her best to make the other person laugh, without touching them, while the other person tries his/her best to not laugh. Whoever succeeds in their endeavour, wins. This game could bring out the best of humour and competitiveness among children.
Stand-up comedy has gained prominence significantly over the last few years. Most cities have stand-up comedy events happening in various restaurants or clubs. Even OTT platforms such as Netflix are full of stand-up comedy episodes. Especially on the occasion of World Laughter Day, a lot of clubs, hotels and restaurants will organise such comic shows and events. It might be a good idea to have a fun evening going and watching such live comedy shows.
Comic books, strips, and cartoons used to be a rage till the time the internet took over the world of books. Characters such as Garfield, Archie, Bugs Bunny, Mickey Mouse, Tom & Jerry, Popeye, etc used to leave us into splits during our childhood. On the occasion of World Laughter Day, it would be appropriate to read or watch some of these comedy cartoon strips/series for a fun time laughing around with friends.
Laughter always finds its way when you are playing games with your friends. While this is true for any game, some games are more fun and laughter oriented, and thus suitable for World Laughter Day. You can consider playing the following games with your friends on this occasion:
EuroSchool is mindful of the critical role laughter plays, especially in school. Even the sound of laughter renders any environment with positivity and happiness. The EuroSchool campus is one such place where the sounds of laughter are in abundance. Our teachers and staff ensure our students have ample fun and laughter while learning. We all enjoy moments of laughter and fun together to make sure our students have an overall fun-filled day at school.