Sunday morning (7/5) at Faculty of Psychology UGM did not look like any other regular days. Bursts of laughters were heard from time to time. Hundreds of people, children and adults alike, were seen laughing at the corridors of the Faculty.
What makes it unique is that they don’t laugh of their own will. They were laughing complying with the directions from instructors, when to start or stop laughing.
These people were doing Laughter Yoga that was hosted by Magister students of Psychology to celebrate the World Laughter Day 2017 that falls on 7 May.
Event chairperson, Fiona Valentina Damanik, said the event was joined by as many as 200 participants from UGM students and staff, members of the public, and the disabled people.
“This event is part of the celebrations of the World Laughter Day 2017. We want to spread happiness to every one through laughters,” she said.
The event invited an internationally certified yoga teacher in Indonesia, Emmy Liana Dewi. Under her joyful instructions, participants were seen following her moves. “Laughters can indeed creates happiness,” she said alongside the event.
Psychologist from UGM, Idei Khurnia Swasti, S.Psi., M.Psi., said besides as an expression of happiness, laughter can make the body healthier as well as forming positive thoughts, hence reducing negative emotions and stress.
“Laughters neurologically can help our brains release happy substances,” she said. Idei explained laughing was an activity that can increase endorphines. During laughs, the brain will release endorphines that can reduce stress and make us happy and relaxed.
“Laughter Yoga is one way to promote mental health for normal people, which can also be used to treat mental disorders. Other treatment such as medical treatment is combined with laugh treatment for mental disorders,” she explained.
Nur Hamidah (26), one of the participants, explained the benefit after the yoga laughters. Now, she felt happier, more relaxed, and fresh after it.
“I was really happy with this activity. I was reminded to share happiness and fun with a simple yet exciting way,” she said.