Laughter therapy is what you make it. There are specific therapeutic processes and practices which might make laughter therapy a little more clinical. Otherwise, laughter therapy is anything that you want it to be. Whatever it is that makes you laugh- really, really laugh- until you cry and your stomach is in stitches is therapeutic. Laughing is cathartic, meaning it provides relief and reduction of stress in the mind by openly and unrelentingly expressing emotions. Laughing is a healthy purge, releasing emotions, increasing happiness, and connecting with others- laughter is contagious. Here are some ways to catch your own fit of laughter, induce it in others, and reap the benefits of cracking up.
- Forced Laughter: Get a few friends or treatment peers together and start making obnoxious laughing sounds. No two laughs are alike. Take turns mimicking one another’s real laugh or picking different kinds of laughs to imitate. Quickly, someone will start laughing for real and others will start- then the laughter will not stop. Research has found that forced laughter can create genuine laughter.
- Have A Belly Laugh Party: Everyone involved needs to be comfortable with physical contact. Lay around in a puzzle like shape in which every head is able to rest on a belly. Starting with the first person in the chain, release a singular “Ha”. The next person releases two and the chain builds as it continues. By about five “Ha”’s or more, everyone will start cracking up. The more people giggle and laugh, the more they bob other people’s heads around and the more laughter ensues.
- Play Silly Games: Bring a competitive edge to laughter by playing silly games which gets everyone laughing. Twister, Scattergories, Apples to Apples, Cards Against Humanity, and even card games can get everyone focused and involved. The anticipation and adrenaline in games will make everyone excited to have a good time. You might have seen a video involving getting whip cream tossed in your face- those people are having a great time.
- Scour The Internet For The Lulz: The internet is full of amazing videos which demonstrate the very best of humanity and the animal world. Watch a video of dogs who don’t know how to catch, and you’ll never be able to think of dogs who don’t know how to catch without laughing out loud.
Lakehouse Recovery Center believes that laughter is the best medicine. We take the business of recovery seriously while never taking ourselves too seriously- a rule of recovery. Our residential treatment programs focus on proven clinical treatment coupled with integrative approaches to healing, and an emphasis on learning to have fun again in sobriety. For information on our detox, inpatient, and aftercare, call us today at 877.762.3707.