Thursday, 3 November 2016

Laughter While You Drive

Driving to the Beat of Laughter Yoga

Have you noticed that time seems to pass faster when we do something that you love, whether it is a hobby, leisure thing, or a celebration. By the same measure it feels like time is slowing down during our most difficult and challenging times. I feel most would agree with me that driving can be monotonous and time be in slow mode.
What can help is to do Laughter Yoga exercises whilst driving. By the way some people are unfamiliar to the term Laughter Yoga and the word Yoga simply refers to the deep, yogic style of breathing that we do when we practice the activity of Laughter Yoga.
My experience is that when I drive in a car filled with light-heartedness and laughter, time passes easily and the car ride may be experienced as one of great joy. It can be done both when driving alone or in the company of other people.
When you were a youngster, did you do like me, help pass the time playing ‘I spy with my little eye’? It was fun and involved other people, was a good game, connecting one with our parents in a way that was different to the norm.
For those who have not yet done a Laughter Yoga class, it involves many playful activities pretending various scenarios and laughing. This is referred to as to ‘fake it till you make it’, as our body when practicing simulated laughter in an exercise does not recognise the difference with real and fake laughter. The fake laughter becomes real and positive endorphins are consequently released into the bloodstream.
One laughter exercise like the childhood game can be to look out for various things and laugh either by yourself or together with others. You might look for a colour or make of car, road sign or virtually anything and laugh when you see it.
Always remember safety first when driving and always be ready to discontinue the laughing in a split second, as concentration on driving is paramount. Some laughter may be done with one hand momentarily on the wheel and I will share some more ideas about safe laughs that can be done in these moments.
Laughter is best done or at least 15 minutes per day, the benefits are greater if that is in one 'sitting'. When you try this, do not laugh continuously, rather as we do in laughter club or outside sessions, laugh for about a minute and take a breath and short break.
To begin, check the time and aim to laugh for 15 to 20 minutes as follows. Start laughing for 30 to 40 seconds and then take a rest by doing some deeper breathing for 15 to 20 seconds. If you like to be organised and have a passenger, you could make a printed list of about 15 exercises to fill that amount of time. Otherwise simply go with the flow and feel what’s right for you. Who know it could be a regular practice that you implement into your life.
Many involve singing songs and nursery rhymes, where I use ha ha words instead of the actual words. This keeps the flow of laughter going better than the actual words of the song or rhyme. Words can lead to too much left-brain thinking, which we want to get away from in these moments. Our aim is to use the left side of our brain more in spontaneous and playful exercises. 
Here is my list and no doubt if you are able to be in touch with your playful aspect, you will come up more ideas when you practice Laughter Yoga in the Car.
1.            Laugh at other cars' features, such as number plates, colour, design etc.
2.            Laugh at anything that appears or disappears in your view.
3.            Laugh at yourself with something you have done that strikes you as funny.
4.            Sing a nursery rhyme using ha ha instead of words. Suggestions follow.
5.            Ba ba black sheep, Polly put the kettle on, London Bridge is Falling Down.
6.            Gibberish laughter, talking gobbledegook language.
7.            Supressed laughing.
8.            Laugh at signs.
9.            Cellphone laugh. Pretend you are sharing a laugh over the phone.
10.         Royal or shy laugh, if it is safe to use one hand with a pretend wave.
11.         Body part, point to, touch or imagine pointing to a place on your body.
12.         Gradient laugh. Laugh in different gradients, soft and quiet, becoming loud.
13.         Lion laugh. Good for thyroid gland. Put tongue out and laugh.
14.         Silent laugh. Laugh both to yourself and with others, keeping mouth closed.
15.         Kookaburra laugh. Laugh like a Kookaburra, like ‘whoo whoo whoo ha ha ha
16.         Body parts, “I love my knee, ha ha ha. I love my shoulder, he he he” etc.
17.         Mad Scientist laugh.
18.         Find your Laughter centre, touching or imagining parts of body and laughing.
19.         Witch. Laugh in a high pitch like a Hansel and Gretel witch.
20.         Father Christmas – appropriate as it is fast approaching. Ho Ho Ho.

You may not choose to use set exercises as outlined above. Alternatively, you can laugh spontaneously when there are breaks in the traffic; sitting at the traffic lights. You could point to the traffic light and laugh as loud as you like until it changes, or simply and easily hum away to yourself, breaking into soft gentle laughs. The laughter can vary between soft and loud.
Remember to laugh more, each day if you can and take the spirit of laughter with you along your merry way, wherever you go. The more you do it, the better you will feel. Your energy will be increased, your joy enhanced and life will take on a different hue.
Best of luck,
Wishing you Lots of love and laughter,
Lynette Mitchell xo

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Disclaimer: This post is written from my personal understanding and experience and is not to be misconstrued. The advice given is general and I am not a medical doctor, taking responsibility for how it is received, my intention is that posts will be supportive and assist in living a more holistic life.

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