Walking past the room, I see a group of men and women laughing. What are they laughing about? What was the reason for this laughter? Why were they forcing themselves to bring out this laughter? It regaled as much as it baffled me. To quell my curiosity, yet, not wanting to seem too rude, I stayed a while longer. Also hoping at that point my face would not reveal the thoughts running through my mind, I stayed on even longer. There was humming, reciting words of affirmation and with each outburst of what seemed like feigned laughter, I was convinced this was certainly an abnormal activity. On that eventful day, I was introduced to Laughter Therapy. Thanks to Fiona Lee, the Founder of Laughter Yoga Wellness, my narrow view disinterred the benefits of Laughter Therapy. Fiona willingly narrated her personal journey that led her to open Laughter Yoga Wellness. Six months pregnant with her third child, faced with imminent lifelong psychological damage to her toddler sons, it was a fight or flight response when Fiona realised she was being cheated on by her husband. The fights grew intense with bouts of violence. She was left with huge debts to settle and had hit rock bottom, not knowing whether there was a way out. I was totally lost at that point in my life. Sans a stable income, Fiona headed down south to Singapore to start life anew, free from the violence and passive-aggressive behaviour that put her in a mentally and emotionally grim place. My only thought was to ensure a positive and safe environment for my children. The few years spent in Singapore afforded her the opportunity to take up courses in counseling and family therapy. These courses were a means for me to help myself and my children, especially my older son who had bad memories from seeing too much at a young age. Stumbling Upon Laughter Yoga Upon her return to Malaysia, a conversation with a friend prompted her to seek out Laughter Yoga. Through Laughter Therapy, she began to heal mentally, emotionally and hold a steady job. Seeing the good it had done for her; Fiona was moved towards wanting to help those in need of mental and emotional healing. What is Laughter Yoga? In March 1995, while writing an article for a health journal "Laughter - The Best Medicine", Dr Madan Kataria from Mumbai India discovered many modern scientific studies, which described in-depth, the many proven benefits of laughter on the human mind and body. The origins of Laughter Yoga go way back in time, however, it is only in recent times people have conceptualised the benefits. In the book, \u201cA Better Brain at Any Age:\u00a0 The Holistic Way to Improve Your Memory, Reduce Stress and Sharpen Your Wits,\u201d author Sondra Kornblatt writes that a new field called gelotology is exploring the benefits of laughter. To date, there are various proven theories on how watching funny shows helped people get pain-free sleep. This is because when we laugh, our pituitary gland releases its own pain-suppressing opiates. Photo Credit: freepik Here are some documented benefits of laughter: \tLowers blood pressure. \tIncreases vascular blood flow and oxygenation of the blood. \tGives a workout to the diaphragm and abdominal, respiratory, facial, leg, and back muscles. \tReduces certain stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. \tIncreases the response to infections by producing immunoglobulin in saliva, even reducing the frequency of colds. \tAnd mummies, take note, laughter is known to increases memory and learning capacity. \tRegular laughter puts people in a positive frame of mind and gradually makes them positive thinkers. So, mums, when you start to feel the weight of the world on your shoulders, or that there just isn\u2019t enough "me time", try a little Laughter Therapy. For instance, tune in to a five -minute Tik-Tok video that could leave you with a smile, or just laugh with your children and you may find it to be an overall mood booster. You never know, it may even leave you with better-behaved children, indirectly giving you more time! We Need Not Suffer In Silence At a time when so many suffer in silence, be it in bad relationships, jobs, or the lack of it, childminding, dealing with difficult teenagers, finance, we can all use a little help to bring on that smile. By and large, Laughter Yoga is a modern exercise involving prolonged voluntary laughter. This type of yoga is based on the belief that voluntary laughter provides similar physiological and psychological benefits as spontaneous laughter. It is usually done in groups, with eye contact and much playfulness between participants. Sounds like fun, doesn't it? What's more, Laughter Therapy is said to take years off your age. give you clear bright eyes, and rosy cheeks.\u00a0 A good hearty laugh is known to set your heart aglow, all of which is an antidote to the daily stresses of life. Now, who would not want that? Though it is not widely publicised, Yoga Laughter has a huge and growing global community which inspires and helps each other ease the burdens of life; simply through laughter. There are many techniques to learn such as laughter meditation among others. While this community is celebrating World Laughter Day today, why not join in? What do you have to lose? Laugh and live life with a smile, for "when we smile, the whole world smiles with you". \u00a0Laughter Fun Fact: 15 minutes of laughter equals the benefit of 2 hours of sleep.