hula hooping and laughter yoga

A few weeks ago I posted about different ways to find balance in your life, reduce stress and help your digestive system and I decided to take my own advice this week.

The World Health Organisation’s definition of health is “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”.

When I start feeling tight in my shoulder muscles, mentally exhausted, anxious or lonely, it’s often a good reminder that I have let parts of total health slip. I may be eating really well and going to bed early but it’s likely that I am putting all of my focus and energy into long hours at work or long solitary hours of study and pushing everything else aside to get these things done.

When this happened recently I decided to take action and find different ways to work on my physical, mental and social well-being.  From this I discovered Meetup, an app/website where you can find other people in your area to socialise and do activities with and many are free. It could be joining a photography group, a hiking group, an under 30’s singles group for dinner or almost any activity or interest you can think of, and if your interest isn’t there, then you can start your own group. Here is what I have tried this week:

Hula hooping

Now this was fun and actually pretty easy once you get the hang of it. As a beginner it’s a good way to move around, use your core muscles, arms and shoulders. Plus it’s easy to have a conversation which means it’s a social activity too!

It felt so good to try something again as an adult that I used to do as a kid and I never knew that hula hooping classes were an actual class you can sign up for, like dance class or yoga. You can also practice in your own home with YouTube if you’re self conscious, but I think the best part is doing it a group and being silly and learning as you go.

Laughter yoga

I had vaguely heard of laughter yoga but never really looked into it. So I went along to a free session this week and found it quite liberating! It’s yoga in a sense that it focuses on breathing, but there are no poses or stretches involved. In a group you complete different movements and activities to generate laughter and it does feel quite strange at first.

The theory is that the body doesn’t know the difference between fake or real laughter, and when you fake it, but end up laughing for real anyway because it’s just so funny! I felt a little like a crazy lady doing all the activities but by the end of it I felt connected to the others in the room, I felt like I had released a whole lot of negative energy and I felt happy.

So did this help?

Hell yeah! They say laughter is the best medicine and I think I got a good dose of it this week in both activities. I feel lighter and less stressed and I had some fun and met new people. Physical, mental and social-wellbeing all got upped this week for sure!