About Joyworks!

Joyworks! is about helping people laugh, smile, think and feel good.

 

We do this in a number of ways, working with people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds:

  • For corporate, education and health sectors, we provide bespoke training programmes combining laughter yoga,creative games and powerful drama strategies.
  • For the public, we regularly hold “Laugh In” events in Edinburgh, Stirling  and Glasgow.
  • For  groups and charities, we do bespoke laughter events and creative arts projects platforming  issue based and mental health themes.
  • For individuals or groups we regulary run acclaimed Joyworks! Certified Laughter Yoga Leadership Trainings.

We  are breaking new ground in bringing high quality laughter events projects and training and are the leading trainers of laughter facilitation in Scotland.

We’re already in our fifth year, and continue to enjoy amazing feedback on all of our tailored and public events. Watch a clip of our daily laughter yoga sessions for BBC Comedy at The Edinburgh Festival 2011 here.

 

Joyworks! exists to empower people to bring about change

These days 70% of illnesses are caused by stress, and we laugh three times less than we did in the 1950s. Over the last decade, antidepressant prescriptions have more than trebled in Scotland and nearly doubled in England (British Journal of General Practice 2009). In any one year, three in 10 employees will have a mental health problem. And over 91 million working days are lost due to mental illness each year in the UK.

Joyworks! wants to change these statistics for the better. Our mission is to unite people through laughter and the creative and theatre arts, reduce feelings of stress and feelings of isolation, transform limiting beliefs and in doing so improve health and happiness.  

The Science of Laughter

Laughter really is the best medicine. 

Our bodies like laughter for these reasons:

  • It produces the feel-good brain chemicals, endorphins. These accelerate the body’s healing process and act as a natural painkiller.
  • It decreases the stress hormone, cortisol.
  • It gives a cardiovascular workout and helps tone muscles.
  • It increases Natural Killer Cells (NK) and T cells. This helps fight potential viruses and tumours.
  • It improves respiration and circulation.
  • It helps boost our immune system (by 40% in one experiment) and oxygenates the blood and major organs.

Our minds like laughter for these reasons:

  • It unleashes inhibitions and breaks down barriers.
  • It is a great team building tool and encourages communication.
  • It encourages positive thinking and creativity.
  • It relaxes and energises.

But what if you don’t feel like laughing?

Have you heard the phrase “laughter is contagious”? Well, it’s true.

At the start of a workshop, you might not feel like laughing.   That’s why we begin by using a proven uplifting concotion of games and laughter yoga.  Eventually, alongside everyone else, you find yourself actually laughing naturally and contagiously and leave feeling good about the world and its people.

The good news is your body and mind can’t even tell the difference between real and pretend laughter. So even if  you pretend at first you’ll still receive all the benefits and it always overflows into hearty and contagious belly laughs. Remember how good that feels?

What goes on in a laughter event?

We don’t do humour or comedy because they’re not guaranteed to make people laugh.

Instead, we use a powerful concoction of  exhilirating games,creative play, discussion, relaxation and ‘laughter yoga’ which is based on mime and play . This encourages everyone to join in.

Curious? Then come along with an open mind, ready to embrace care-free fun and let go of your inhibitions. Organisation managers can come along  to sample  our  Laugh In’s free of charge.

About Sharon Miller, Director of Joyworks!

Sharon Miller, Director of Joyworks!, has more than 20 years of experience in education, training and the arts. She trained with Dr Kataria the founder of laughter yoga in India.

She has a B.Ed. in Primary Education and an Advanced Post Graduate Diploma in Acting at the Welsh College of Music and Drama.  She taught for two years and began her creative career as a television presenter for HTV.

She has directed, devised and designed issue-based, creative arts projects and education packs for companies including National Theatre of Scotland, Visible Fictions, Artlink Central and Hopscotch Theatre Company.  Including a large scale production ‘Jamie the Saxt’ for Borderline Theatre. She was Animateur at Scottish Opera for over 10 years and is an Associate Artist with Scottish Youth Theatre. She directed and co-ordinated arts projects at Polmont Young Offenders over five years and drama courses linked to cognitive behavioural courses at Cornton Vale Women’s Prison.

Joyworks! was the first in Scotland

There are 6,000 laughter yoga clubs around the world, and Joyworks! is the first in Scotland.

We started out in Glasgow then won a Social Enterprise Award from the Melting Pot.

Read the many articles praising the work we do here.

Find out more about Joyworks! weekly and monthly public events in Edinburgh and Glasgow

Find out more about Joyworks! Corporate Events

Find out more about Joyworks! Education and Training Events

Find out more about Joyworks! tailored packages for the Health Sector

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