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Laughter Yoga As A Recovery Tool For Substance Abuse

From The Laughing Diva

“The results of many scientific studies on the effects of laughter have led most experts to agree that laughter can provide recovering addicts and alcoholics with an effective tool to begin recovering joy in their lives.

The alcoholic/addict brain is wired to ensure the repetition of activities associated with pleasure or reward. It ultimately seeks the release of dopamine, endorphins and serotonin—known as the happy chemicals. The effect of such a powerful reward strongly motivates people to take those substances again and again. This is why scientists sometimes say that alcohol and drug abuse is something we learn to do very, very well.

Laughter works much the same way. Laughter releases happy chemicals. The mere act of smiling causes the brain to release dopamine, which in turn makes us feel good. And laughter is free!

Alcoholics and addicts in early recovery aren’t yet able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. They’ve been altering their state with substances for a long time and have lost their natural ability to release happy chemicals. They have a long history of loss: lost friendships, lost jobs, lost relationships, and many lost opportunities. Recovery treatment can at first seem very heavy; it can be painful; it can be very sad. It’s amazing how a little laughter can lighten moods and help these brave, recovering people to gain perspective.

Laughter Yoga helps recovering addicts and alcoholics to start feeling joy and feel a bit more like themselves again. The great thing is that you can “fake it ‘til you make it” and still get the benefits. Pretending to laugh or forcing it can actually help change your mood in seconds, and soon turns into real, contagious, healing laughter.

Laughter Yoga focuses on the positive. It teaches us to laugh our way through painful memories and to laugh at stressful situations. Laughing Diva has taken Laughing Matters into rehabs. It is incredibly rewarding to share love and laughter and gratitude with a group of people who have felt such deep pain.

Laughing is a mantra that allows us to substitute negative feelings with a deep breath. That is what a good laugh is–the exhalation of old stale air out of our lungs. This enables clean fresh oxygen to enter our bodies and stimulates all of our organs.

In order to stay sober alcoholics and addicts have to change just one thing, their whole life! What else could be better than to laugh our way through that!”



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