Throughout 2023, we’re continuing to explore our energy. How it affects us physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. To help us to do this we’ve been hooking up with a series of experts who set us an experiment every month to help us discover a new way of managing our energy.
And this month is one we couldn’t wait to start. It’s going to be a barrel of laughs as we delve deep into the healing power of laughter with Laughter Ambassador and Laughter Yoga Master Trainer Lotte Mikkelsen.
Lotte, one of the leading Laughter Yoga Experts in the UK, has trained more than 1,700 laughter professionals and has been leading corporate workshops for thousands of people.
With over 20 years of experience, Lotte has played and continues to play a key role in the development of laughter-based activities, training and workshops for businesses and people in the UK.
She has a genuine wish to help people find peace of mind and resourcefulness through laughter, helping improve individual and team health, morale, and happiness levels. All of which are keys to life both professionally and personally.
Laughter Yoga is growing in popularity as a way to boost staff wellbeing, and we couldn’t agree more – we love a good belly laugh at Elvis HQ. Laughter releases endorphins, relaxes the body, relieves stress and can even increase immune cells, improving our resistance to disease. Who doesn’t need some of that in their life?
And so, for this energy experiment, we're encouraging you to reconnect with your inner child and let your laughter loose.
The experiment Lotte has set for us this month looks like this…
Week 1: Connecting with your laughter and playful self
- What have you heard about your laughter or said to someone else about their laughter? Write down all self-induced, and self-limiting beliefs about laughter and self-expression.
- When did you have your last belly laugh, in which situation and with whom did you enjoy it? The type of laughter that takes over your body and leaves you fully relaxed, perhaps the kind of laughter that kicks off again when getting eye contact with someone you share it with.
- Discovering your loud laughter and your quiet laughter. Practice homework exercises to experience your laughter on different levels and to connect with playfulness without stimulation from other people, comedy, or outside influences.
Homework / warm up
- Hehehe and open mouth wide with hahahaha to get laughter into belly.
- Move around with clapping and chicken ho ho ha ha ha.
- Deep breathing – in through nose, out through mouth.
- Make funny faces in the mirror.
- Say out loud ‘Very Good Very Good Yay!’ with a stretch – remove inhibitions and show enthusiasm.
- In the coming week, notice the difference between social laughter and the one where you are in company, where, perhaps you feel yourself, or consider what makes you laugh at different volumes in different situations. Practice laughing a bit more than you would usually do in different situations.
Week 2: Intentionally laughing every day
- Start each day with practicing all homework / warm up exercises every morning before work, or other activities from week one.
- Practice voice reinforcement laughter with different sounds and notice what is comfortable and what is less comfortable.
- Practice breathing with exhalation of laughter sounds to extend your out-breath.
Week 3: Cultivating the four elements of joy
- Remember your homework / warm up exercises, they are still on the programme first thing in the morning.
- Continue to practice the voice reinforcement laughter exercises.
- Laugh in the shower every day for the length of the shower.
- Start singing, dancing, and playing every day to practice the full four elements of joy (which also include laughing).
- To sing make sure you sing along even when you don’t know the lyrics, this way you get a chance of practicing Gibberish.
- Dance whenever you hear music.
- Play, this can be a bit more challenging, so you could carry a piece of chalk in your pocket or bag so you can draw a hopscotch frame that everyone can use, so people have to play along, be creative.
- Laugh at yourself often.
Week 4: Laughing every day!
- Have you done your homework / warm up exercises?
- Make faces in the mirror and continue practicing Gibberish to develop your true inner spirit of laughter and play.
- Notice things that may irritate you and laugh intentionally instead of getting upset, laugh in the face of free-floating hostilities, e.g., stuck in traffic, spilling coffee, phone out of charge etc. Everything can be a laughter exercise, let the laughter flow from your belly and not from your voice and chest.
- Let people know about the daily practice and involve others in the practice.
- Celebrate all things silly with a Very Good Very Good YAY!
Reflect on the four weeks of laughter and your daily Laughter Yoga practice.
- Have you felt any improvement?
- Did you stick with your morning practice (the homework / warm up exercises)?
- Will you continue laughing intentionally every day?
- Anything you did not like?
- Any comments from other people about your laughter or about you and the change in you (even perceived change?).
We’ll be reporting back throughout the month on how the experiment’s going for us so keep a look out for our updates on our social media channels.
You can find out more about Lotte’s work by visiting www.lottemikkelsen.com, www.unitedmind.co.uk and www.laughteryoga.co.uk or connecting with her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and TikTok.
Join in with us by following us on Instagram and LinkedIn and sharing any vids or stories of your laughing experience – we can’t wait to see and hear them.
Have a laugh with this one…
Upping Your Elvis.