WKU Wellness: Laughter yoga and green spaces

Vidhi Parekh, Commentary Writer

Happiness can be contagious and to be happy is a blessing, but to be able to spread that feeling is an even greater action. In order to do that, you have to be in an uplifting mindset yourself. Here are some ways to improve your mood, so you can uplift others too.

The first way to go is to get a plant. Plants contribute not only to your living space’s beauty but also to your internal beauty. Plants are very beneficial in increasing oxygen levels in your area which is linked to improved focus and a boost in your mood. They are also known to make you feel calmer through reducing cortisol levels, also known as stress, and I think college students would benefit from this greatly. 

One easy plant to grow and keep in your home is a Peace Lily. This plant species is also capable of removing VOCs from the air you breathe. VOCs are volatile organic compounds that originate from everyday things like paint, cleaners and office printers. Another commonly known plant that can perform this air purification is the Golden Pothos. In addition to this, both of them also reduce the levels of dust present in a room. 

If you are not very good at keeping up with plants, then another option is to find a green space. Green spaces are areas that are, as the name suggests, full of greenery. They can be at your local park, community garden or farm. Just sit under the shade of a tree and calm down, feel the air run through your hair and enjoy the beauty of nature. This act is proven to reduce cortisol levels and recharge you emotionally.

Another quick and easy way to boost your mood is to have a good laugh. It can increase dopamine levels and is the best remedy for days that aren’t going as planned. Turn it around by watching a funny video or joking with your friends. Explore a stand up comedy show, or if you just aren’t feeling the tickles, practice laughter yoga. Laughter yoga involves a series of movements and breathing exercises that can make you feel a little silly at first, but it is bound to make you laugh.

These things can bring you happiness as well as bring it to others because the state of being happy resonates like a chain reaction, influencing the people around you. With summer rolling in, a great option to have a good laugh is to find an outdoor green space and practice laughter yoga with your buddies. Regardless of what you choose to do, I hope you find a way that makes you happy!

Commentary writer Vidhi Parekh can be reached at [email protected].

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