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The gift of laughter

Monday, May 07, 2018

The first Sunday in May has been designated as World Laughter Day for the last over two decades. This year the day fell yesterday, May 6. This was a movement started by Mumbai-based physician Dr. Madan Kataria in 1998, who observed the positive effects of laughter on his patients and then inaugurated the very first Laughter Club in the city. We’re happy to report that this movement has now become an accepted form of popular therapy around the globe, thanks to this pioneering doctor’s efforts to promote it. Yet whether you belong to an official Laughter Club or not, it is important to get your daily dose of laughter, more so because it has been proven to induce relaxation and healing within the individual. Of course, in order for this to occur, the laughter mustn’t be mocking or sarcastic or cruel and aimed at anyone in your immediate environment (an absolute no-no would be laughing at another person’s disability or shortcomings) because that would create exactly the opposite effect. But a good-natured response to a genuinely funny situation in real life; or laughter created in entertainment situations like the cinema, television or by talented stand-up comics; as well as artificially-induced or yogic laughter as is often undertaken by the Laughter Clubs, can definitely have a beneficial effect. And while we’re on the topic, we may mention that being able to laugh gently at oneself is considered one of the most evolved forms of human humour. So, go for it!

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