Last week I ran a series of workshops at a local university to mark Mental Health Awareness week. The theme: Stress Management during Exams. And the sessions went as follows: Stress Management, Laughter Yoga followed by Mindfulness. Just three short hours to get across some very big messages. I must admit I was concerned, after all I usually deliver Stress Management as a 2 or 3 hour session – and yet, somehow it happened. But that isn’t what this article is about.
You see, there were similar numbers booked to attend all the sessions. Approximately 12 to 15 people were expected to attend each one.
I wasn’t surprised that fewer turned up to the Stress Management session first thing. Although the people that attended that session, decided to stop on and do the Laughter Yoga. We Laughed loudly and heartily through the session. So much that I was told we could be heard across the carpark, and the floors above and below us (where students were revising) could hear so much of our laughter that they started laughing themselves.
The point I really want to make is that the Mindfulness session, the last one, was twice as full than the previous session. People had heard the laughter, and wanted to come and join in. The peals of mirth, the guffaws and chuckles that we had been doing for our own benefit, had created an unforeseen benefit for others. Not only did they seemingly have their own Laughter Yoga session during a revision period, but they came to the next session. The Mindfulness session, where I was expecting maybe 15 people had a turnout of nearer 30.
We all have an impact on others – even when we are totally unaware of it. How can we make the most of that impact?
Others are having an impact on us. Is that a positive impact? How can we boundary ourselves from the less positive impacts of others? Indeed – do we even notice?