How do you plan to achieve world peace through laughter?
Posted by Sebastien Gendry on 24 May 2012 05:49 AM
Laughter Yoga is part of an international movement that has a bigger picture.
Its mission statement is "Health, Joy and World Peace through Laughter."
World Peace may be far into the distance, but community is not and this is where it starts. World changes of the 21st century will come from the bottom up, not from the top down.
Some people may find this idea fanciful, but an understanding of the science of emotions and emotional contagion in particular shows how this might be achieved.
H.H. the Dalai Lama says, "Once these qualities [love, compassion, altruism] are developed within an individual, he or she is then able to create an atmosphere of peace and harmony. This atmosphere can be expanded and extended from the individual to his family, from the family to the community and eventually to the whole world." The Vietnamese Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh, says, "If we are peaceful, if we are happy, we can smile, and everyone in our family, our entire society, will benefit from our peace."
These statements embody the Laughter Yoga ideal of gentle practices for sensible living and achieving the spirit of laughter. Theses practices allow us to combine the physical act of laughter with emotional balancing, such as to reduce anger, and the development of healthy attitudes, such as non-judgmentalism and gratitude.
The practice of Laughter Yoga causes the body to release into the bloodstream high concentrations of hormones and neuro-peptides related to feelings of happiness, bonding, tolerance, generosity, compassion and unconditional love. Let's call this a joy cocktail.
The presence of this joy cocktail precludes the production of other hormones and neuro-peptides that are related to feelings of hatred, fear, violence, jealousy, aggression and the emotions associated with war and oppression. It is impossible to sustain feelings of hate and the desire to fight with someone with whom you are laughing unconditionally.
By practicing in groups, the level of joy cocktail is raised to high concentrations through the multiplier effect: people leaving laughter sessions go forth and interact with more people, who are in turn affected to varying degrees by this powerful emotional state of joy, and in turn cheer up more people still.
You will experience this chain reaction for yourself after your first laughter sessions. Not only will you cheer up your friends and family, but you may also cheer up the bus driver and others on the bus, the people you work and interact with, etc. They in turn will cheer up others, and so on.
Naive or not, trying to implement this goal can change your life. There is hope, and it starts with you and me.
PS: also read this. World Peace Through laughter is not just an idea. It's potentially a biological fact.