World Laughter Day 2020: Date, History and Health Benefits
World Laughter Day 2020: Laughter can change the world in a peaceful and positive way. It is said that laughter is a universal language that has the potential to unite humanity. This year the celebration goes online due to COVID-19. The mission is Health, happiness and world peace through laughter.
Do you know that there are several community groups around the world known as Laughter Clubs who regularly practice simple international laughter techniques that promote wellness and overall well-being?
As we know that when we laugh we feel good but very few realise that laughing is also a good exercise that improves our everyday wellness and wellbeing. No doubt laughing is a way to relieve some stress and pain. It is a day to raise awareness about laughter and its several healing benefits.
“When you laugh, you change and when you change the whole world changes around you.” - Dr. Madan Kataria
World Laughter Day: History
In 1998, World Laughter Day was created by Dr. Madan Kataria, founder of the worldwide Laughter Yoga movement. In more than 70 countries, World Laughter Day is celebrated around the world on the first Sunday of May. This year it falls on 3 May.
Dr. Madan started the Laughter Yoga movement in 1995 with an aim that facial feedback hypothesis postulates that a person's facial expressions can have an effect on their emotions. It builds a global consciousness of brotherhood and friendship through laughter.
Do you know that "HAPPY-DEMIC" was the first World Laughter Day gathering outside India? It took place at Town Hall Square in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 2000, more than 10,000 people were gathered. The gathering was the largest, people together laughed and bonded in such a way that the event went into the Guinness Book of World records.
How is World Laughter Day celebrated?
People went to Laughter club, gather and laugh together. You can see several comedy pictures or can listen to the famous comedians for fun. People also join comedy acts to become a comedian and also take part in the improvisation classes. Some people share funny jokes on social media by keeping hashtag World Laughter Day. Watch movies with friends with full of comedy and entertainment. Even people gather in some park and perform laughing yoga practice.
In India, people carry a peace march with placards on laughter day. Some indulge in producing sounds like "HO, HO, HA, HA", to spread the contagious effects of laughter. Several entertainment programmes like dance and laughter challenges are performed. Laughter club initiates march, ten minutes laughter session etc.
But as we know that the whole world is facing a tough situation due to COVID-19 the celebrations will be held online.
“Life is worth living as long as there's a laugh in it.” ― Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables
What are the health benefits of Laughter?
As we know that laughter is the best medicine.
- It relaxes the whole body.
- It boosts the immune system. As it decreases the stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies and also improve your resistance to disease.
- Laughing triggers the release of endorphins. It is a natural feel-good chemical and temporarily relieves pain.
- It protects the heart. Laughing improves the functioning of blood vessels and increases the flow of blood.
- Laughter burns calories. According to one study, laughing for 10 to 15 minutes a day can burn around 40 calories.
- It may even help you to live longer.
- It lightens anger.
- Laughter helps you relax and recharge.
- Laughter eases anxiety and tension.
- It strengthens resilience.
- It decreases pain.
- Relaxes your muscles.
- Laughter boosts T-cells. Let us tell you that T-cells are specialised immune system cells just waiting in your body for activation. That is when you laugh you activate T-cells that will immediately begin to help you fight off sickness.
- Laughing is a natural exercise.
- It is a complementary Cancer Therapy. Some studies show a direct positive impact of laughter in cancer treatment.
- Laughter increases blood oxygenation.
- It improves memory.
- Promotes creativity as well.
- Laughter strengthens relationships.
“Laughter is a way of really letting out all this pressure that you could face in your daily life in the suffering of your people, and comedy is almost like a medicine to your soul in a way.”- Hiam Abbass
“Laughter is the tonic, the relief, the surcease for pain” and “A day without laughter is a day wasted” - Charlie Chaplin (the famous comic artist)