In theatre, Improvisation (abbreviated to improv) is the playing of scenes without any scripted dialogue or predetermined dramatic activity, in other words, its where performers collaboratively act out scenes and scenarios 'on the spot', and in its purest form, with no prior preparation. Elements such as the setting and context (e.g a castle after a banquet) are commonly established before hand, although everything that follows such as the dialogue, the use of props and the flow of topics, is solely conducted by the collaborative group .
Throughout history Improv has been practiced in live theatre and comedy as a form of adaptable entertainment, commercial use of Improv was first established by performers during the late 16th century. Improv has since been popularly used in the training and preparation of performers, its simple and effective application in rehearsals is strongly advocated by many theatrical theorists and directors. Transferable skills that Improv offers such as communication, collaboration, resilience and of course improvisation have led to Improvs widened popularity as a team and self development practice. Because improv requires mutual interaction its an ideal exercise for teams, as it allows them connect and to development key skills together in a distinct way.
We're all familiar with laughter and we have all at some point experienced the exuberant feeling it gives us inside. Just how beneficial it can be tho was only bought to surface more recently in the 1900s with its application as a painkiller - which stimulated interest and subsequently studies into its possible implementations in the medical field. The reasoning behind laughters pain killing properties were established in the 1980's, with research scientists discovering that laughter in-fact helps the brain regulate stress hormones cortisol and epinephrine. Further research around this time (which has been reiterated by many research scientists to date) demonstrates the strong correlation between laughter and health, fitness and general wellbeing - including attitudes in the workplace and productivity.
Laughter therapy (aka laughter yoga) is the practice of intentionally engaging in laughter, particularly in a group setting. The concept being that forced laughter will still yield all the benefits of genuine laughter, this being true, it often is the case that laughter that begins superficially actually results in genuine laughter. This activity is used in many different domains and is growing in its popularity due to its simplicity and dependable results. Laughter yoga is now recognised world wide as being a powerful tool for self development and improvement, as well as being unbelievably fun!
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
Cognitive behavioural therapy (abbreviated to CBT) is a speech therapy that focuses on improving cognitive functionally, or in other words, it helps in enabling a more fruitful mindset. Pioneered back in the 1960's, it is now a widely used process in treating symptoms of depression and disruptive behaviours. CBT therapy can be conducted one-to-one but is also effective in a group setting -which gives opportunity for participants to benefit and learn from each other.
Techniques from CBT therapy can be used to develop and improve the existing thought processes and behaviours which contribute to social skills, welfare and work performance. Its wide advocation from health and psychology professionals and simple application make it a reliable and worthwhile practice in aiding wellbeing and self development.