LOL

Physical activity

*

2 - 3 hours

„Laughter yoga”

Duration: around 20 min.

Group size: Any

Materials: enough space

The laughter yoga session is composed by the following steps:

  1. The group is gathered and starts clapping – the tempo or the volume is not important. They clap as long as everybody feels like a part of the team and start feeling each other and responding to one another.
  2. The next step is start breathing deeply. Participants must stand holding a loose position, then put their arms and hands down and with every deep breath in (via nose) bend their knees simultaneously raising their arms up, hold the breath for a second and breath out (via mouth) putting the arms down. The minimum amount of breaths is 3, all the breathing should be done loudly.
  3. The Facilitator proceeds with the next step inviting participants to act in a funny, childish way – making funny faces, tickling each other, imitate behavior of animals, clowns etc.

4. The last step is to start laughing in various and different ways:

  • „greeting laughter” – participants shake hands with others and while greeting them, they laugh
  • „imaginary milkshake laughter” – participants hold imaginary glasses and they make a movement of pouring a milkshake from one glass to another one saying – „in (right hand to the left hand), in (left hand to the right hand) hahahahahahhaha” – the last movement is to „drink” imaginary milkshake and while doing that a person must laugh – doing that in front of the other person
  • „arguing laughter” – participants laugh while making „threatening” gesture with their index fingers, while meeting other people
  • „swinging laughter” – all participants stand in a circle, holding hands and they move to the center of the circle, raising their hands up and saying „woooo”. In the center, they start laughing expanding the circle back and putting their arms down. This round can be repeated 3 times (once normally, the second one faster, and the last one very quiet/very loud)

Hints for the facilitator

  • Laughter yoga is composted by exercises which improve cardiovascular system
  • It is up to the Facilitator how long each step will last – they need to follow the group dynamics and respond to its vibe and tempo
  • At the beginning, it will be difficult to feel comfortable forcing laugher, but during the process of the exercise it will become easier.
  • The Facilitator holds the major role and responsibility to make participants feel comfortable with fooling around and laughing.

1. „Hollistic goodies”

Duration: Around 20 min.

Group size: Any

Materials: Long sheet of paper, markers, pens, notebooks, electronic devices with internet access, infographic 1 (Appendix 1) as a summary

The Facilitator places long and quite wide piece of paper on the floor and asks 1 volunteer to lay down on the sheet, so the whole body fits. Another person outlines the body shape. When the drawing is ready, the Facilitator divides the group into 3 smaller groups and asks each group to discuss and come up with as many as possible different benefits of laughter. The first group brainstorms on physical benefits of laughter, the second group brainstorms on mental benefits of laughter and the last one brainstorms on social benefits of laughter. At the beginning, it is important for the groups to reach conclusions, using only their knowledge, for about 10 minutes. The Facilitator informs the groups that they can also search for information on the internet during this group session. When all groups are ready, they are asked to write down the conclusions/benefits they came up on the paper with the „human shape”. The group which worked on the physical benefits will write their conclusions in the upper parts of body, the group with mental benefits will focus on the area in the head and the participants who discussed the social benefits will write their conclusions on in the hands, arms and legs. After work is done, the Facilitator presents the drawing and reads out all the benefits, asking participants to give exact examples to some of them, which can create a further discussion (ex. Students wrote that laughter can help unload stress. Q: In which precise situation did it help? Was it a „nervous” laughter? What happened and you started laughing? Who had similar experience?). At the end, the Facilitator can show Form 1 and read out the missing benefits (if they are any).

Appendix 1: "Benefits of loughter""

2. „Laughter research”

Duration: around 45 min.

Group size: Any

Materials: flip charts, markers, pens, notebooks, electronic devices with internet access, sets of questions for each group

The Facilitator divides participants into 5 groups. Each group will get a set of questions that they need to find answers on and prepare a presentation which will be shown to the rest of the group. Presentation can be made on the flip charts or using computer programs. It is important to keep results very clear and visual. Each group will draw their questions – to maintain the level of fairness. It is also important to emphasize that all the groups will get the same questions except for one – the results will show differences and similarities between people within the same age/ class group.

TASKS

Group 1:

  • Why do people laugh? (find a scientific answer)
  • What makes you laugh? (ask all the members in your team)
  • Come up (or find) with a joke/skit/video that will make your group laugh
  • Take a funny picture of your group, add #LOLworkshop #StartnowHealthy and post it on social media

Group 2:

  • When do people laugh? (find a scientific answer)
  • What makes you laugh? (ask all the members in your team)
  • Come up (or find) with a joke/skit/video that will make your class laugh
  • Take a funny picture of your group, add #LOLworkshop #StartnowHealthy and post it on social media

Group 3:

  • Do only humans laugh? (find a scientific answer)
  • What makes you laugh? (ask all the members in your team)
  • Come up (or find) with a joke/skit/video that will make your class laugh
  • Take a funny picture of your group, add #LOLworkshop #StartnowHealthy and post it on the social media

Group 4:

  • Is laughter connected with sense of humour? (find a scientific answer)
  • What makes you laugh? (ask all the members in your team)
  • Come up (or find) with a joke/skit/video that will make your class laugh
  • Take a funny picture of your group, add #LOLworkshop #StartnowHealthy and post it on the social media

Group 5:

  • Is laughter only a good and beneficial thing? (find a scientific answer)
  • What makes you laugh? (ask all the members in your team)
  • Come up (or find) with a joke/skit/video that will make your class laugh
  • Take a funny picture of your group, add #LOLworkshop #StartnowHealthy and post it on the social media

Helpful materials available in the Internet:

Evaluation

At the end, when all exercises are implemented, the Facilitator asks every participant to draw 1 quotation* on laughter and to read it out loud to the rest of the group. Volunteers can share their interpretations on the drawn sentence.

All the quotations can be printed out, cut and put in the „Happy thoughts” jar which could be placed somewhere in the workshop room, so it is available for students all the time – and whenever they need they can draw an inspirational sentence.

1. „SITCOMS marathon”

This activity can be performed at home in smaller groups or in the school, youth clubs etc.

Duration: Couple of hours/Frequent meetings

Group size: Any

Materials: DVDs with favourite sitcoms or cartoons (FRIENDS, How I met your mother? Bing Bang Theory etc.), photo boot, funny props and costumes, instax camera

The Facilitator encourages to organize an event „ Sitcoms marathon” during which they can implement the following activities:

  1. Run a hidden experiment consisting of comparing the intensity, the key moments in which laughter occurs of the „marathon audience” with a „fake laughter” from the series. The experiment should be run by few observers who could make notes regardless the attention of the audience and at the end of the projections it can be presented to the viewers.
  2. The other „attraction” of the event could be a photo booth with funny props and costumes – participants could take crazy pictures which will be developed instantly and those taken by smartphones should be posted on the social media, as a part of event/project promo.
  3. The next activity could be creating a „Laughter Gallery”. Audience of the event would be asked to laugh separately (the best would be a natural laugh) and the sound of it will be recorded with the name and age of the laughing person – so after gathering and recording few „laughs” it can create an interesting mixture of positive vibes 🙂

The organizers should take care of promoting the happening – creating a poster, press release to the local media/ social media sites and profiles.

2. „Shooting advertisement of laughter”

Duration: around 3 – 5 hours

Group size: Any

Materials: Smartphones, cameras, computers with editing programs, projector, creative ideas

The Facilitator divides the group into smaller ones (the maximum people in each group should be 6) and introduces the steps for an advertisement video shooting:

  1. Come up with the main idea of the promo – create a script describing scene after scene, cut after cut
  2. Come up with the catchy slogan – remember the main aim of this ad is to promote LAUGHTER
  3. Choose actors, director, makeup-artist, editor, camera man
  4. Prepare props, costumes, venues of shooting
  5. Shoot the scenes – make sure the surrounding, background, light and sound is appropriate for the idea and are of good quality (especially sound and light)
  6. Cut and edit the material, add matching music – make sure the promo is no longer than 1 minute
  7. Remember to add logos and #s of the project

Once all the films are ready they should be presented to the whole group and disseminated on Social Media.

LOL – LAUGH OUT LOUD

QUOTATIONS

  1. [Humanity] has unquestionably one really effective weapon—laughter. Power, money, persuasion, supplication, persecution—these can lift at a colossal humbug—push it a little—weaken it a little, century by century, but only laughter can blow it to rags and atoms at a blast. Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand. — Mark Twain
  2. A good laugh heals a lot of hurts. — Madeleine L’Engle
  3. A good laugh is a mighty good thing, a rather too scarce a good thing. — Herman Melville
  4. A good laugh is sunshine in the house. — William Thackeray
  5. A smile is a curve that sets everything straight. — Phyllis Diller
  6. A smile starts on the lips, a grin spreads to the eyes, a chuckle comes from the belly; but a good laugh bursts forth from the soul, overflows, and bubbles all around. — Carolyn Birmingham
  7. A well-balanced person is one who finds both sides of an issue laughable. — Herbert Procknow
  8. Against the assault of laughter, nothing can stand. — Mark Twain
  9. Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine. — Lord Byron
  10. Among those whom I like or admire, I can find no common denominator, but among those whom I love, I can: all of them make me laugh. — W. H. Auden
  11. An optimist laughs to forget; a pessimist forgets to laugh. — Tom Nansbury
  12. And keep a sense of humor. It doesn’t mean you have to tell jokes. If you can’t think of anything else, when you’re my age, take off your clothes and walk in front of a mirror. I guarantee you’ll get a laugh. — Art Linkletter
  13. And we should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once. And we should call every truth false which was not accompanied by at least one laugh. — Friedrich Nietzsche
  14. As soap is to the body, so laughter is to the soul. — A Jewish Proverb
  15. As soon as you have made a thought, laugh at it. — Lao Tsu
  16. At the height of laughter, the universe is flung into a kaleidoscope of new possibilities. — Jean Houston
  17. Cancer is probably the unfunniest thing in the world, but I’m a comedian, and even cancer couldn’t stop me from seeing the humour in what I went through. — Gilda Radner
  18. Each of us has a spark of life inside us, and our highest endeavour ought to be to set off that spark in one another. — Kenny Ausubel
  19. Earth laughs in flowers. — Ralph Waldo Emerson
  20. Even the gods love jokes — Plato
  21. Everyone is so afraid of death, but the real Sufis just laugh: nothing tyrannizes their hearts. What strikes the oyster shell does not damage the pearl.” — Mevlana Rumi
  22. From there to here, from here to there, funny things are everywhere. — Dr. Seuss
  23. God has a smile on His face. — Psalm 42:5
  24. God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh. — Voltaire
  25. Grim care, moroseness, and anxiety—all this rust of life ought to be scoured off by the oil of mirth. Mirth is God’s medicine. — Henry Ward Beecher
  26. He deserves Paradise who makes his companions laugh. — Koran
  27. He that is of a merry heart has a continual feast. — Proverbs 15:15
  28. He who binds to himself a joy Does the winged life destroy; But he who kisses the joy as it flies Lives in eternity’s sun rise. — William Blake
  29. He who laughs, lasts! — Mary Pettibone Poole
  30. Humour is a prelude to faith and laughter is the beginning of prayer. — Reinhold Niebuhr
  31. Humour is laughing at what you haven’t got when you ought to have it. — James Langston Hughes
  32. I commend mirth. — Ecclesiastes 8:15
  33. I have always felt that laughter in the face of reality is probably the finest sound there is and will last until the day when the game is called on account of darkness. In this world, a good time to laugh is any time you can. — Linda Ellerbee
  34. I have not seen anyone dying of laughter, but I know millions who are dying because they are not laughing. – Dr. Madan Kataria
  35. I never would have made it if I could not have laughed. It lifted me momentarily out of this horrible situation, just enough to make it livable. — Viktor Frankl
  36. I was irrevocably betrothed to laughter, the sound of which has always seemed to me to be the most civilized music in the world. — Peter Ustinov
  37. I will follow the upward road today; I will keep my face to the light. I will think high thoughts as I go my way; I will do what I know is right. I will look for the flowers by the side of the road; I will laugh and love and be strong. I will try to lighten another’s load this day as I fare along. — Mary S. Edgar
  38. If Laughter cannot solve your problems, it will definitely DISSOLVE your problems; so that you can think clearly what to do about them – Dr. Madan Kataria
  39. If you are happy and people around you are not happy, they will not allow you to stay happy. Therefore much of our happiness depends upon our ability to spread happiness around us. – Dr. Madan Kataria
  40. If you become silent after your laughter, one day you will hear God also laughing, you will hear the whole existence laughing — trees and stones and stars with you. — Osho
  41. If you don’t learn to laugh at trouble, you won’t have anything to laugh at when you’re old. — Edgar Watson Howe
  42. If you have no tragedy, you have no comedy. Crying and laughing are the same emotion. If you laugh too hard, you cry. And vice versa. — Sid Caesar
  43. If you wish to glimpse inside a human soul and get to know the man, don’t bother analyzing his ways of being silent, of talking, of weeping, or seeing how much he is moved by noble ideas; you’ll get better results if you just watch him laugh. If he laughs well, he’s a good man…All I claim to know is that laughter is the most reliable gauge of human nature. — Feodor Dostoyevsky
  44. If you would not be laughed at, be the first to laugh at yourself. — Benjamin Franklin
  45. It is bad to suppress laughter. It goes back down and spreads to your hips. — Fred Allen
  46. It’s one thing to say, ‘I don’t fear death’, but to laugh out loud somehow drives the idea home. It embodies our theology. —Rev. Laura Gentry
  47. Laugh at yourself first, before anyone else can. — Elsa Maxwell
  48. Laugh my friend, for laughter ignites a fire within the pit of your belly and awakens your being. —Stella & Blake
  49. Laughter connects you with people. It’s almost impossible to maintain any kind of distance or any sense of social hierarchy when you’re just howling with laughter. Laughter is a force for democracy. — John Cleese
  50. Laughter has no foreign accent. — Paul Lowney