Laughter Yoga Lifts Depression


Elvie Estavillo: Laughter Yoga changes a person the minute they laugh, making their outlook on the world around vibrant, multi-rainbow-colored, and positive! That was exactly what happened during the Laughter Yoga session I had with the 100 employees of Miladay Jewels, Inc. at Citadel Condominium Penthouse.

The Dayrit sisters — Jaqui, Christine, Michelle, and Yvonne came in full force, and just like their employees danced, swayed, and laughed, much to their hearts’ delight. Michelle, as usual, was in her best element. She danced and jazzed merrily, with no care in the world, all through the session. No one who saw her then would believe she is battling the Big C, as she cruised the room laughingly from end to end — making her the dancing Laughter Yoga queen! Yeheey! As sure as day follows night, Michelle, with her ultra positive outlook and jovial attitude, will win her battle.

When Michelle learned that Jaqui, Yvonne, and I were going out, she insisted on joining us — with the tubes and all still hooked to her body, having just gone through an operation. Her sisters cautioned to tame our laughter as Michelle might laugh out loud, and it was not good for her that time. Another time, after Michelle finished her chemotherapy, she joined us again, and went up and down the stairs faster than we did, much to the consternation and worry of her sisters. Amazing is her zest for life, her guts, courage, and infinite faith.

While I shared the Laughter Yoga session with all the participants, I dedicated it wholeheartedly to Michelle and to those similarly situated. Laughter releases a tremendous amount of endorphins, our body’s natural painkillers. According to studies, one hour of laughter relieves a cancer patient of pain for about an hour without taking painkillers. Laughter drives all negative thoughts and ill feelings away because of the feel-good hormones that it releases and boosts the immune system, too! After asking the participants for three aching and painful body parts, we did the Aches and Pain Laughter by touching the three named-body parts laughingly — to release endorphins that banish aches and pains away.

We also did the Argument Laughter, where participants were taught how to argue laughingly, not heatedly, because, like it or not, conflicts and arguments are part and parcel of our interaction with people in our daily grind. Everyone gamely practiced it laughingly to the tempo of hoho, hahaha.

Here are some feel-good-inspiring comments:

Joanna Marie Cruz: This activity is highly recommended for bonding and laughing with friends. It is truly helpful for physical, emotional, and mental health.

Mary Rose Dorado: I’ll recommend this de-stressing activity to all my HR colleagues.

Peachy Ann Guanlao: Laughter Yoga can be added to the activities we do to create natural laughter for everyone.

Boy Martinez: Made me feel younger.

Janice Quillo: It made me feel so relaxed and stress-free. It made me happy the whole day.