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Adding more joy to your everyday

Do you remember decluttering queen Marie Kondo’s maxim: “does this give me joy?”

Perhaps you’ve asked yourself that question in deciding whether to keep clothes in your wardrobe or objects around the house.

Have you considered applying the same question within yourself to declutter unhappiness, dissatisfaction or fear —and peppering your days with more things that bring you joy?

Throughout January 2022, Moreton Bay Regional Council presents a range of free activities to inspire joyful living. There’s singing, dancing, drumming, weaving — and yes there’s even laughter yoga. Visit the Joy Connection program for all the details.

There’s good reason for these activities.

I’ve found that kids author Josh Lawson explains this beautifully. When you have a ‘blah’ day and nothing seems to go right, he writes in his book Shoo Grumpers Shoo, you’re having an attack of the ‘grumpers’ and the only way to truly banish them is to choose to boost your mood and sense of wellbeing through activities like a walk outdoors or dancing or singing or laughing.

Seriously, There’s good science-based evidence for what happens.

Let me explain a little of why laughter works to spark joy —and specifically laughter yoga.

What is laughter yoga?

Laughter yoga is a process that enables us to laugh even when we may not be feeling like it. In doing so, and in sustaining laughter, we tap into the body’s own ‘cocktail of feelgood chemicals:

  • dopamine
  • oxytocin
  • serotonin
  • endorphins

In laughter yoga, we don’t rely on jokes and punchlines to laugh. We allow ourselves to laugh out loud as a physical act. Our laughter is sustained for many minutes rather than a scant few seconds.

Significant health benefits can be derived from regular laughter yoga practice: physical, emotional and social.

If this sounds like something you’d like to explore—and who doesn’t want to sprinkle more positivity into their days in 2022?—consider booking into one of the four free interactive talks coming up in Moreton Bay regional libraries in coming weeks. I promise there’ll be more laughing than talking. Search ‘laugh for joy’ in the Moreton Bay Libraries What’s On to secure your place.

Heather Joy Campbell is principal of The Happydemic, an online and in-person laughter wellbeing social enterprise in Queensland, Australia, that uses the platform of laughter yoga and science of happiness studies to build resilience, positivity and wellbeing.