This month’s blog comes to you from Istanbul, Turkey, which was inspired as I watched a lonely old lady sitting on the road selling socks she had knitted.
People have a much higher life expectancy now and this is taking its toll and we really need to make some changes to help with the positive psychology of our wonderful folk of this great golden age.
I would like to talk about 3 areas that laughter can help bring more happiness into their lives and ours, after all we are all heading that way so lets nip it in the bud now and help emotionally, physically and socially.
A good example of this is the lady I just saw, her years of cooking, cleaning and dedicated care to her family showed on her body, hands, face, and especially in her eyes, she had given so much to make sure everyone in her family was taken care of and yet here she was all alone. I bought a pair of socks from her and smiled, gleaming because I was happy – I was with my children after not seeing them for 4 months, she smiled back a lonely empty smile and that got me thinking.
We dedicate our lives to bringing up our kids and then set them free to be the best they can be and to put our hard work to use and hopefully become a success. Ironically, they do just that and often become too busy and move on leaving their parents alone. It may not be intentionally, it just is what happens and families crumble especially in the west where many seniors are left in care facilities and old age homes.
Bouts of depression at any age is not fun but when your mental and physical faculties are not as they were before it is even worse. Laughter yoga releases the joy cocktail of oxytocin, dopamine, serotonin and endorphins to the brain and so this helps lighten the mood.
Also, they want to be involved in everything and the generation gap makes it hard for them to understand what is going on. Through learning to laugh at life, themselves and at their misunderstandings will make this easier to accept.
One big thing is dealing with the loneliness. This is a big topic and felt at many stages of life and seniors are no different. Older people suffer social losses greatly with age. Their social life is narrowed down by loss of work associates, death of relatives, friends or spouse and weak health, which restricts their participation in social activities. Home becomes the center of their universe and that brings on a feeling of isolation.
There is good news, laughter really connects people and is a good source of inclusion, human touch, community and a chance to step away from that dreaded feeling. Laughter Yoga Clubs are an amazing way to meet regularly and share that connection, which brings emotional comfort and solace.
Also the more interaction that people have the easier and more confident they will feel to meet other new people and this will help them have a great social life. Feel free to contact me to find out where your nearest laughter club is and enhance your social interaction.
Our elders are dealing with many diminishing health conditions and laughter really is the best medicine. It’s a very passive workout and will get you moving and oxygenating your cells, which will promote better health.
A good regular Laughter Yoga Workout will:
• Help strengthen a weakened immune system, which can help fight off viruses, bacteria and diseases.
• Help you feel energized and also promote improved sleeping habits.
• Will promote better mental health and help to deal with those bouts of depression
• Improve Heart conditions (hypertension, high blood pressure ) It’s as good as cutting salt
• Help regulate your blood sugar levels in conditions like Diabetes
These are just to mention a few, there is constant research on the many benefits of laughter and it is really exciting to see how we have such a fun way to improve our health and wellbeing.
About the author: To find out more about Jo-Dee Walmsley, click here.