Grief is a natural reaction when one suffers a loss. It is the emotional distress one feels at the loss of someone you love or something you cherished. Death of a loved one often causes the most intense grief. But, other causes like a broken relationship, retirement, loss of health, moving away from home, loss of a job or financial stability etc. can also cause grief and pain.
When people grieve, they are overwhelmed with all kinds of difficult and complex emotions, such as guilt, shock and anger. There is a feeling of helplessness and frustration which seems frightening momentarily, but is a normal reaction. It is important that people accept them as a natural process of healing and find ways to cope with their pain.
It is not easy to overcome grief. In fact, the single most important factor in healing from loss is having the support of family and friends.
It is essential that people talk and express their feelings. Sharing and connecting with people during trying times makes the burden of grief much easier. This is where Laughter Yoga helps as it is the most effective method to heal emotional distress, pain and mental anguish. It is a great connector of people and helps them to express emotions freely, thereby reducing their suffering.
Laughter Yoga Goes Beyond Healing
Though there are various methods people try to overcome their loss; they look for support groups and social organizations, but Laughter Yoga is a single powerful exercise routine that helps relieve mental, physical and emotional stress simultaneously.
It is difficult to laugh while grieving, but Laughter Yoga makes it easier as it is a physical phenomenon, not a mental process. Laughter exercises coupled with deep breathing changes the physiology, thereby changing the mood state and helping a person to view the situation differently. It is a cathartic exercise which helps release pent up feelings and makes people emotionally balanced.
How Social Laughter Clubs Help
Extreme pain and anguish at the loss of someone or something forces people to withdraw into being a recluse. Feelings of isolation and loneliness restrict social interaction and relationships. Social laughter clubs are idyllic to recover from one’s personal sense of loss and pain as they generate a caring and sharing atmosphere and are a catalyst for bonding and creating friendships. Group dynamics of laughter facilitates an easy outflow of stress and depression thereby promoting healing and reducing the sense of grief. They have the power to reach beyond the healing of laughter. In effect, relationships with people with whom we laugh regularly can become very strong and can prove to be the best support factor.
Read these examples:
Nethra Ramchandran, an elderly laughter club member in Bangalore, was shattered when her husband of more than forty years passed away leaving her alone in the world. She had married early and never worked. Feeling her life was over she went into a black depression, refusing food and not leaving her bed. Fellow laughter club members arranged medical care and medication, and took turns staying with her throughout the day, bringing her treats and cajoling her to eat, but most importantly being there for her and providing emotional support. After three months she recovered. Convinced that her life would have ended without laughter club, she started a new laughter club in a nearby school where she runs daily laughter sessions for students to this day.
Similarly, Pavitra Singh, member of Bandra Joggers laughter club, Mumbai, was devastated when his uninsured shop burned down. He was ruined; the fruit of twenty-five years of hard work vanished, leaving him in debt with no means of supporting himself and his family. Members of his laughter club pooled together and raised money to rebuild his shop and provide new stock, rebuilding the life of someone they held dear to themselves.