Laughter Party

Earlier this week I went to a Laughter Party arranged by my friend Carrie. I guess normally when we think about laughter we think of comedians and joke telling. Well, that’s not what this is about. This is about laughing for the sake of it. For no good reason other than the fact it feels good to laugh.

Me by Sparrow

This picture was drawn by a young lady who introduced herself as Sparrow. For our first “exercise” we were instructed to find a partner and draw a picture of them. Left-handed. I told her I’d frame it and put it on my living room wall. I hope she won’t be too disappointed to find out that it made it as far as this website and won’t get much further than the recycling bin. Sorry!

Is there any point to this?

The drawing exercise is just a warm-up. To loosen us up a a little and get us doing something unusual that we’re not used to doing.

For the rest of the evening we played games and did the kinds of fun things you’d associate more with children playing in the playground. Like, pretending to be Tarzan swinging through the jungle; telling each other jokes in gibberish; having an imaginary snowball fight; riding a rollercoaster together; taking turns to lead and follow eachother’s dance moves.

Surprisingly, a couple of people told me afterwards that they found this difficult. I noticed others who were looking a bit self-conscious, too. For me, it made a lot more sense to simply join in and enjoy it. Who cares what other people think?

We finished the evening with a laughter meditation. I found this thoroughly relaxing - just lying there, all laughed-out.

Carrie and co-host Tamsin chose to give us the experience of laughing, rather than lecture about what and why. It seemed pretty clear to me afterwards, though, that there’s more to it than just having fun. Laughing involves your whole body, and causes you to breathe more deeply. Moving around is great loosening up exercise. On top of that there’s all the chemicals our brains produce when we laugh.

I highly enjoyed the evening. It was a lot of fun and a most unusual experience. You can read about other laughter events here.

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