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Using Laughter Yoga for New Year resolution success

a wall of sticky notes with New Year goals - or resolutions - handwritten on them including save money, manage debt, more family time, get fit, lose weight, find purpose.

We’ve all heard that laughter is good medicine, but could it help you stick to, or get back on track with, New Year resolutions?

I reckon there’s a strong chance that laughter—specifically laughter yoga—can, particularly if yours relate to the 3 most popular New Year resolutions made for 2024 (according to a recent YouGov survey): improving physical and mental health, and managing money better.

Let me explain how. But before going into those details, do you know what Laughter Yoga is?

What is Laughter Yoga?

Laughter Yoga is a combination of deep diaphragmatic breathwork, gentle stretches, clapping, playful movement, and belly laughs achieved without relying on jokes or humour. Devised by a medical doctor in the 1990s, it’s practised throughout the world.

How can Laughter Yoga strengthen that New Year resolve?

New Year resolutions like improving mental health and better money management  are particularly popular goals among Gen Z, Gen X and Millennials, according to the latest Australian YouGov survey. Better mental health and money management is still important to Baby Boomers (who also rank better relationships highly in their resolutions, as well as travel). Laughter yoga has applications for the Big 3 and more.

1.   Improve money management

We’re all needing to tighten our financial belts with cost-of-living increases. The good news with Laughter Yoga is you don’t need any new activewear or equipment to do laughter yoga and better still, social laughter clubs – in-person or online – are free or very low cost, with no membership.

Laughter clubs are run by trained laughter yoga leaders who choose to give back to their community through sessions in parks or libraries, or online. There’s no sign on, no contract: just show up and laugh along for wellbeing.

You can find out more about laughter club locations and times, including online, at this link.

2.   Move more/be more active/improve physical health

Laughter Yoga is a light cardio activity that’s adaptable for all abilities. Stanford University research showed that 20 seconds of intense belly laughter doubled the heart rate for three to five minutes.  A Laughter Yoga session involves at least 20 minutes of hearty laughter!

Laughter exercises are so much fun; you may not even realise that’s what you are doing.

3.   Support better mental health

Laughter Yoga is a process proven to reduce emotional, physical, and mental stress in minutes. It does this when the brain reduces the stress hormone cortisol while activating release of a cocktail of feel-good chemicals: dopamine, oxytocin, endorphins, and serotonin.

Improving mental and physical health and managing finances better are the big 3 of Australian 2024 New Year resolutions. Another that also rates highly is about spending time with family and friends—and yes, Laughter Yoga has a role to play here too.

4. Enjoying better relationships

Laughter Yoga breaks down interpersonal barriers fast, creating connection. We find a common ‘humanity’ through laughing with others. Laughter Yoga encourages us to be kinder, more accepting, and less critical of ourselves and others. Research also shows that men and women find people who laugh more attractive.

For those who are lonely or perhaps wanting to make new friends, laughter clubs are welcoming circles of positive energy.

With physical laughter clubs in Queensland locations such as Brisbane, North Lakes, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Rockhampton joining many more laughter clubs across Australia and the world – as well as online laughter sessions – Laughter Yoga could be a novel way of making SHIFT happen in 2024.

Let me know if I can help you further. Wishing you health, happiness and connection. HeatherJoy

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