Laughing Your Way To Happiness
Lotte Mikkelsen is incredible. She is the self-proclaimed “Everyday Laughter Queen” and that job title really is all-encompassing for Lotte lives, breathes and works LAUGHTER.
I am fortunate enough to be able to share some of Lotte’s musings and tips with you in this blog and video interview below. But first let me just attempt to introduce you to this wonder woman!
A Laughter Superstar
Lotte Mikkelsen is an international Laughter Therapist, Laughter Yoga Leader and Trainer and Gibberish Trainer – yes gibberish, you read that right! She is also the founder of United Mind. She brings joy everywhere she goes and has provided laughter workshops to many of the top companies throughout the UK and wider world. Lotte is literally recognised world-wide as the woman to make people laugh! How awesome is that!
Lotte also provides training for people wanting to be Laughter Yoga Leaders and that is where we first met! I was a student of hers! Fast forward a few years and I am now so thrilled to be able to say that Lotte is a guest expert in The Retreat.
Throughout January Lotte has been sharing with us some amazing masterclasses, what the benefits of laughter are, a live laughter yoga session and top tips for how people can bring more laughter into their life.
As with all of my guests the first thing we do is to have a really good chat. With Lotte we discussed the benefits of laughter and how you can bring more laughter into your life. In Lotte’s masterclass she talked about how benefitting from laughter isn’t always just about laughing loudly and for a long time, but about adopting some techniques where we can actually bring that joy and playfulness from laughter out into our everyday lives.
There’s tonnes of benefits to laughing including numerous physical and emotional benefits. But my favourite? One of the key things is that when we laugh, we recognise that we all have certain challenges in life, and that laughing allows us to change our perspective and lift our mood. We build resilience and that is probably the one key thing – that no matter what time of year it is, we can lift our mood simply by laughing. Smiling even.
Lotte’s Top Tip
In fact, Lotte’s Top Tip for you is to ‘wear a smile everyday’ – this builds hope, resilience against stress and also allows you to connect with people. She told me that “the really beautiful thing about The Retreat is that it’s about connection and laughter is about connection too”.
The Benefits of Laughing
You know that really deep connection you get whilst laughing with people and you let go of differences. You may laugh in a strange way or feel embarrassed by your laugh (I’ve been known to snort when I laugh I must admit) but ultimately it doesn’t matter because we all laugh in our own individual ways and everybody accepts it.
I love those times when you can really connect with people, when you are belly laughing, your face hurts, and it does so much more, it effects physiologically, it effects our psyche. Here’s what Lotte said when I asked her about the physical health benefits of laughing:
“You are giving your organs a really good workout, and instead of having these little shrivelled organs, when you laugh, you send lots of blood and fresh oxygen around your body, so you get these nice plump and juicy organs!”
She goes on:
“and we get rid of stress because we release endorphins and all sorts of amazing chemicals, not just endorphins but a whole cocktail of chemicals that are motivating, antidepressants and all those great feel good chemicals. If you had to buy that as medicine in a shop you would be ruined!”
No Sense of Humour?
But, I hear you ask…
What if you don’t have a good sense of humour?
What if you find it difficult to laugh out loud?
Or maybe you have a silent laugh, how do you get around that?
Incredibly, Lotte says, you don’t have to have a good sense of humour to laugh, a lot of people say to her that their humour is definitely non-existent, and they don’t know when they last laughed, but she assures me, a sense of humour does develop as you laugh more and more. Her advice? Wear a smile, it connects with pressure sensors in the brain, and starts making you feel good even if you feel unhappy when you wake up.
A Laughter Yoga Technique
She gives me a laughter yoga technique to share with you all:
- Give yourself thumbs up and then point your thumbs at yourself.
- Do it standing in front of a mirror and as you point at yourself say “ha ha ha ha ha”!
- Even if it feels really odd, it doesn’t feel right or real bear with it. When you connect with the sense of fun and play, suddenly it becomes real and contagious, even if it is just yourself you are laughing with.
When you laugh in this simulated way you’re tricking your body. It reacts in the same way as if you really are laughing! You get all the amazing benefits and then the playful nature of what you’re doing really quickly leads to real laughter anyway.
Lotte has been asking members of The Retreat to share videos of themselves laughing! It’s been a great way to connect as laughing is contagious too! Here’s my favourite laughter video -it cracks me up every time!
If you want to connect with Lotte further, and if you want to join The Retreat and start a prioritising your wellbeing and making lasting shifts to your mindset then I’d love to welcome you. Membership costs just £15 a month. I would love you to come and join our tribe and to really connect with you and make the most of this amazing life you have. Let’s live it from a place of well-being and compassion. Find out more here.
Take a look at one of the conversations I’ve had with Lotte: