The Pursuit of Happiness
Is it possible to ever be truly content with ourselves and lead the carefree life we've always dreamed of? WT chats happiness and wellbeing with three of the speakers at this June's Wealden Times Midsummer Fair Priceless People Wellbeing Festival...
Joe is a laughter and wellness coach. He helps people access their zest for life so they experience life to their full potential. He works with various organisations, teams and individuals, to energise, inspire and connect. Joe also runs courses to teach people how to use these skills themselves, both personally and professionally, to become more optimistic, mindful and resilient. Visit www.joehoare.co.uk
What is laughing yoga?
The basis of laughter yoga is that laughter is highly beneficial for us physically, emotionally and psychologically. Laughter yoga and my own brand nls: natural laughter skills promote laughter exercises as a practice, in the same way yoga and ante-natal breathing techniques are practices. It can be done both in groups and individually, indoors and outdoors. It is a powerful and effective way of generating mood-enhancing hormones without adverse side effects.
What are the benefits of laughing yoga?
The benefits are enormous. It’s a cardiovascular and pulmonary workout, ie good for your heart & lungs. It’s a natural de-stressor, it’s physically relaxing and it boosts the immune system. It aids with type 2 diabetes and even eczema. It helps people connect, communicate better, and improves morale. It can train us to become more optimistic, mindful and resilient people.
Does laughter make you happy?
Laughter practices can help us become happier. The 19th century American psychologist William James observed ‘We don’t laugh because we’re happy, we’re happy because we laugh.’ It is definitely true that laughter practices can help us become happier. The documentary ‘The Best Medicine’, on vimeo on laughter practices shows how these practices help someone cope with their tumour. Visit www.bristollaughterclub.com
Sadhguru, The Isha Foundation
The Isha foundation is an international non profit organisation, run by over 2 million volunteers worldwide, headquartered at the Isha Yoga Centre in
Southern India. Alongside
the various courses they run, designed to increase physical, mental and
emotional wellbeing, they implement large scale human service programs,
offering medical care and community rehabilitation for rural villages in India, and
massive public reforestation projects. Isha was founded by Sadhguru, a yogi and
contemporary, prominent spiritual leader.
Isha offers its participants the opportunity to achieve physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing. Is wellbeing essential to happiness?
Different people have different ideas of wellbeing, but everyone is seeking wellbeing. So wellbeing or when we really feel well in our lives is when you are very happy. Even if you are medically ill, today if you are very happy, still there is an experience of wellbeing within you. So when you say I am in pursuit of wellbeing, in one way you are in pursuit of happiness.
Yoga is at the heart of your philosophy, how can it improve wellbeing?
As there is a science and technology for external wellbeing, there is also one for inner wellbeing. Yoga is an inner technology. When I say yoga, don’t think in terms of impossible physical postures. This is a deeper understanding of your own body, mind and energy, and about creating an inner situation where you are naturally joyful and peaceful. If you just make your life energies function in a certain way, you are peaceful and joyful by your own nature.
Are your principles and teachings consistent with finding happiness in the modern world?
Unfortunately, people have created a situation where their happiness depends on external factors that are never going to be completely in your control. True fulfilment and wellbeing won’t happen by fixing this. As there is way of engineering the outside the way we want it, there is also a whole inner engineering technology. Through this, peace, joyfulness and an inner balance are attained so that life is not a pursuit of happiness but an expression of joyfulness.
Alongside her role as Editor of Psychologies, Suzy is a writer, journalist, author and business owner, She was previously Health Editor for OK! Magazine and New Woman and also worked as a freelance health journalist for monthly glossies. In 2007 she became a life coach, founding The Big Leap Coaching Co.
Why are you so passionate about happiness?
When I was a teenager, I lost my parents to cancer so I learned there is a lot about life that you can't control. But you can control the way you react to it. That decision is the difference between a happy life and a miserable one. I believe that -with support - we can find a way back to happiness and don't have to be defined by our past. There is always a way out of the darkness.
What is a Happiness Club?
We've joined forces with charity Action for Happiness and we are encouraging our readers to create a ‘happiness club’ once a month in their own homes where you can tune in to what lights you up and discuss how you can put happiness – ours and other people’s – at the heart of your life philosophy. It’s about working together and being the change we want to see in the world.
How do I get involved?
Invite people you like or you’d like to know better, arrange a date and time suitable for all of you and arrive having read the article in Psychologies (It should take around 90 minutes to host a session but allow more if you want to chat afterwards.) The host reads out the ‘Happiness Club’ Psychologies article to the group and then you discuss the five questions set by Action for Happiness and commit to one ‘action’ a day, week or month. Take it in turns to host and register your happiness club at www.psychologies.co.uk/happiness-club-registration
We're very excited here at WT to announce that Joe, Suzy and members from the Isha Foundation will be appearing and speaking for us at the Priceless People Wellbeing Festival in June. So hold on tight for more information and get your tickets from our website now for a discounted price!