It was Wednesday afternoon and the Laughter Yoga Session I lead had come to an end. As is my custom, I ask each person to share how they felt or what did they experience during the Laughter Yoga Session. One participant; I’ll call her Carol; responded,
“All I know is that when I got off the airplane today and came to the hospital, I had a huge weight on my shoulders.” “Now it’s gone, the weight has come off my shoulders.”
The “weight on her shoulders” is one of the aspects of what is called, “Caregiver Burnout.” When people begin caring for their loved ones while they are being treated for cancer, they never imagined the toll it can take on them. Caregiver burnout is a medical condition wherein a caregiver experiences mental, physical, psychological and emotional exhaustion. It can also come with feelings of depression. Stress and anxiety may also appear as a simple case of fatigue and weariness.
A 30 - minute Laughter Yoga Session was all it took to assist Carol to experience physical, emotional, and psychological relief from her “Caregiver Burnout.”
Laughter Yoga has the power to change your mood within minutes by releasing certain chemicals from your brain called endorphins. If your mood is good, you feel good within and will remain cheerful through out the day. A Laughter Yoga Session will help you will laugh more in real life. You’ll have a smiling face, a positive outlook towards life and fewer negative thoughts.
What about you?
Are you experiencing “Caregiver Burnout” due to the care you give to your loved one with cancer?
Go take a Laughter Yoga Session.
Who knows, you might find a “weight off your shoulders” as well.
- Stephen Findley, M.Div,.BBC, CLYT