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Home » Ida Abdalkhani: Happier in 5 Minutes at TEDxOhioStateUniversity (Transcript)

Ida Abdalkhani: Happier in 5 Minutes at TEDxOhioStateUniversity (Transcript)

Ida Abdalkhani

Here is the full transcript of Ida Abdalkhani’s TEDx Talk: Happier in 5 Minutes at TEDxOhioStateUniversity conference. 

Ida Abdalkhani – Founder & President of Ability to Engage

An astonishing 83% of Americans are stressed about their jobs, and about one in two of us struggle to stay happy. In fact, I’m one of them.

What about you? I’m here to help you with that today by teaching you one thing and one thing only: how to laugh for no reason at all. Why? Because when we laugh, our bodies release a flood of chemicals and positive neurotransmitters that stimulate our brains, our immune system, and our nervous systems. In fact, when we laugh, our blood flow increases by about 50%. That’s how we get the rosy cheeks. And laughing can actually burn calories.

If you were to laugh for about 15 minutes a day, everyday of the year, you can lose up to five pounds. All of these benefits intrigued me about laughter yoga, but I still had no idea what to expect when I went to my first class.

The instructor started by giving us background on how laughter yoga was started in 1995 by a doctor in India. He found that our bodies and minds can’t discern the differences between fake and real laughter. So we don’t need a comedian, and we don’t need a catalyst to reap the real benefits of laughter.

So I said, “Sign me up.” And so we started. We warmed up with pranayama yogic breathing, and then things started to get uncomfortable. I had to laugh for no reason. The instructor could sense my nervousness so she looked at me, and she said, “Ida, fake it till you make it.” Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!

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