Cris Popp had a dream. He wanted a bigger car, a nice house, a beautiful girlfriend
The list went on.
One year when setting his goals Cris asked himself, "Why do I want these things? What am I really seeking?" He discovered that what he really wanted was to be happy and realised that if he was truly happy he would be laughing a whole lot more.
Cris also discovered that he wasnt very good at laughing. He noticed that when something really funny happened he was guarded in his laughter, and realised that he was like that most of the time.
Cris set out on a mission. He joined a laughter club. He learnt to laugh and laugh and laugh.
Laughter is the seed of joy. You dont have to be happy to start laughing. Once you let yourself just laugh and explore and enjoy the feeling, you will feel happier instantly and the more you do it, the happier you will get. You may also find that you are less stressed, your blood pressure may improve, and that you feel generally healthier.
One of the things you need to know about laughter is that you can just start right now! Its not important to find something funny before you start laughing, as laughter is not the same as humour.
“Think about laughter as an exercise, not something to do with humour, and you still get the same benefits. So if you think about it that way, like if you go to the gym, for instance, and the gym instructor says, lift up your right arm, you dont say, I dont feel like lifting up my right arm, you just lift it up.
“Same with laughter. You go through the motions of laughter, your endorphins go up, your blood pressure goes down, and your immune system kicks into high gear. So think about laughter as an exercise.”
Since Cris began laughing seriously he has felt so much more positive himself that he now runs Laughter Australia, specialising in laughter clubs and laughter workshops for corporate workplaces.
Laughter clubs are open to everyone and usually take place in local parks. The format is simple. Come together and laugh!
Most people who come for the first time find themselves coming back each week as their happiness and their sense of general wellbeing improve. One of the people who attends Criss laughter club is suffering from chronic pain and finds great relief just through the process of laughing.
In the corporate environment, peals of laughter are beginning to ring out from offices, training rooms and even boardrooms.
Laughter workshops are becoming a recognised part of staff development a way to allow people to explore their happiness and find natural ways to relax and enjoy life and work.
“Laughter is a great way of getting people to open up to each other and to build trust. Laughter is great for building teams and encouraging co-operation and collaboration. Just think about this: how do you know when an argument is over? When you can laugh about it together, and then you know that things are back to the way they were before.
“You know, people sometimes say, Oh, gee its fake laughter. Well, it would be better to have belly laughs all the time but what if youre not like that? What do you do? You practise! And you get better at it. So you sort of fake it until you make it and, just like any other skill, you get better at it and you get more of it in your life the more you do it.”