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Bradford, Ont. Woman Promotes Positive Mental Health Through Laughter Yoga - CTV News

A woman in Bradford, Ont. combines laughter and exercise to promote positive mental health and well-being. Cathy Nesbitt of Cathy's Chuckle Club teaches laughter yoga, offering a free, online class every Tuesday. Laughter yoga originated in India more than 25 years ago, according to the Laughter Yoga University Nesbitt said it's now a global movement and has several health benefits. "I think the most important part of laughter is the oxygen. When we're stressed, we're not breathing properly, so our body isn't getting what it needs and for sure our brain isn't," Nesbitt said. "[It’s about] deciding every day that I'm going to laugh because when we're laughing we're totally present." As people continue to feel the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Nesbitt said there is no better time to introduce yourself into the world of laughter yoga. "During this cuckoo time, we really need something to help our mental health. We have many problems, so laughter is the fastest happiness hack," Nesbitt said. She said it’s not always easy for people to add laughter into their exercise routine, but even if it’s forced, it’s still worth it. "The brain doesn't know the difference between real and simulated laughter. As soon as we laugh, we start secreting love drugs and the brain says 'I'm laughing, I must be happy,'" Nesbitt said. "When you give yourself permission to engage in this … and break through that resistance, the magic happens." Nesbitt’s free classes are offered on her website at 9:30 a.m. every Tuesday.


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