The Hynes Convention Center in Boston was filled with laughter last summer when the National Electrical Contractors Association convened for its 2006 annual meeting. Not because of a comedian's performance or a raucous closing night gala, but because of a seminar led by laughter guru Lynn Caesar, PhD, called laughter yoga.

The premise is pretty simple — relieve stress through laughter. “The negative effects of stress are diminished through laughter,” says Caesar, who runs a laughter club in Arlington, Mass.

The NECA session started out with an explanation of the health benefits of laughter and segued into a full laughter session. People start out by faking laughter, but before long, the laughter becomes contagious and the whole room is roaring. Not only does laughter relieves stress, she says, but it also unleashes creativity.

Afterward, the attendees, mostly men, lip synced to children songs and danced to the electric slide. The session was a hit. “Life and work is too darned serious,” she says. “This is a way to bring some levity with us so we can enjoy the journey a little more.”

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