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Learn more about the value of laughter - and other emotional release

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Inspiring Laughers

Pictured above is my teacher  Dr. Annette Goodheart, author of Laughter Therapy: How To Laugh At Everything In Your Life That Isn’t Really Funny

Annette first introduced me to laughter coaching back in the 1980s.  She used to regularly visit San Francisco General Hospital where AIDs patients were being treated and she shared with patients, friends, family, and hospital staff the relief from stress and pain that is brought about by laughter.  She would say to patients “do you want to go out lonely, miserable, and resentful or do you want to go out laughing your pants off?” one patient pointed out, hospital gowns made it obvious they had lost their pants already, so may as well laugh!

Learn more about Annette here.

The Dalai Lama is well-known for his laughter.  A number of years ago, when he was visiting the US, a reporter asked him how he could laugh when Tibetan nuns were being raped, tortured, and murdered.  His response was something like "If I stop laughing, then that will help them?"

Viktor E. Frankl, who survived three years in Nazi concentration camps during WWII wrote: "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."

Recommended resources for learning more about emotions

Four funny ways laughter is good for you

The Greater Good Science Center is affiliated with UC Berkeley and offers a free weekly newsletter and monthly happiness calendar.

"The burden of self is lightened

when I laugh at myself."

From the book Sacred Laughter of the Sufis

"Every human being can do this practice; each of us is capable of trying to listen well, speak well, and self-reflect. Even when we find ourselves perplexed in certain situations and unable to see clearly, we can always consult our friends, who can be helpful in getting us to see what we did wrong and how we could do better. 

From "How to Practice Right Speech Anywhere, Anytime, and With Anyone by Krishnan Venkatesh Feb 26, 2018

This edition of a lovely newsletter, "The Marginalian" talks about Viktor Frankl, who survived three years in Auschwitz, a Nazi concentration camp, and went on to write in his book "Man's Search For Meaning":  "Humor was another of the soul’s weapons in the fight for self-preservation. It is well known that humor, more than anything else in the human make-up, can afford an aloofness and an ability to rise above any situation, even if only for a few seconds."

Other ways to enjoy all
the benefits of laughter

Laughter yoga is a delightful way of reaping all the benefits of sustained laughter, with NO POSES!!!  To learn more, please visit or Laughter Online University


Four-year-old modeling emotional competence


An uplifting example of why it is more fulfilling to be ourselves than what we believe others expect from us.

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