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...giggling, sweating, smiling, singing, dancing - Juliette Yardley has never laughed so much!

...giggling, sweating, smiling, singing, dancing - Juliette Yardley has never laughed so much!

In this blog post, Juliette Yardley, Laughology consultant and, sometimes sweaty, trainer, explores how 6.30 am gym sessions with 15 other giggly, dancing ladies, can encourage a positive mind-set and offers some top tips when trying something new or getting others to do the same.


Whenever I told people I was in the gym 3 or 4 mornings a week by 8am I felt a little bit like I was showing off. Gym, then home to put in a day’s work, prepare a well-balanced evening meal for my family of five, get the washing on and be ready for the school run by 3pm. I felt like a supermum. Yes, I can do it all!

Then, ‘our Pat’ who basically runs my gym in Horwich, near Bolton, told me and my gym buddy about an early morning class she thought we should we would like. It was great fun and attended by a good bunch of people. And it started at 6.30am! I am a morning person, but for me the idea of getting up at 6am, leaving the house by ten past, picking up my friend and then sweating in a gym to some 90s house music while the rest of the sane world was asleep seemed insane.

However, I took up Pat's challenge and for the past 5 weeks I have been doing just this. Each Thursday morning I sneak out of the house bleary-eyed and arrive at the gym for 6.25. ‘Our Pat’ sets up 15 pieces of equipment then urges "It’s just one minute on each one girls, now work ‘ard & get a shift on!" There we are, about 15 of us, half asleep, performing lunges, sit ups, hula-hooping, skipping, lifting medicine balls and all other unimaginably painful activities. So why the heck do we do it?

Well, let me tell you, I have never laughed so much! There are fifteen woman; all ages, all sizes, giggling, sweating, smiling, sweating, singing, sweating, dancing and yes, even more sweating. I can’t wait to get up, to have a laugh with my ladies and hear ‘our Pat’ shout, ‘c’mon ladies, get a sweat on yer, it’s only a minute’.

It’s the perfect start and sets me up mentally and physically for the day with a big smile! I come home for 7.30am while the kids are still stirring and I can crack on, ready to face anything!

Having something that challenges you to push yourself encourages a positive mind-set. It can develop motivation, improve physical and emotional well-being, give you a social outlet and help develop resilience, ticking lots of 'happiness boxes' all in one go!

Sometimes we turn ideas down before we've even given them a go. It may be something that sounds a bit too much like hard work, or we think we can’t fit it in. However, giving something different a go and challenging yourself can have amazing benefits for your self-esteem and personal growth.

As ‘our Pat’ says....it’s only a minute, but it can be a positive change. So challenge yourself to try something new. Some top tips when trying something new or getting others to are:

  • Introduce something in short sharp bursts so people feel they only have to join in briefly
  • Invite people to do something several times to engage the brain in learning the new activity or way
  • Make it fun - whatever you need to do to get the endorphins going do it! Engaging people emotionally will not only make the new activity feel easy but they will also associate positive emotions with it, which will drive them to do that behaviour again
  • Make sure you reward yourself and others for giving it a go. Even if it's just a round of applause or public recognition
  • Encourage mistake making - when learning or trying a new activity mistakes help you learn and if others see people making mistakes they don't feel so inhibited to give something a go

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Are organisations and companies just paying lip service?
Join some of the most interesting and respected voices in positive psychology for our Our Big Chat about…Thinking outside the tick box, inaugural webinar. Our two and half hour interactive event will look at the best mental health strategies for organisations, identifying what works and what doesn’t.

Dave McPartlin:

Dave is the Headteacher of Flakefleet Primary School.
Creating the right environment for people and communities to flourish

Sunita Hirani

Sunita is one of the BBC’s key equality, diversity and inclusivity experts.
Why inclusion is essential for mental wellbeing

Professor Sir Cary Cooper

Cary is one the world’s most influential voices in occupational health and wellbeing.
Enhancing Mental Wellbeing at Work. Evidence based strategies for creating a wellbeing culture at work.

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