You might associate improvisation with being naturally funny and quick-witted, but it can be quite the opposite. Many people come to improv classes to develop their sense of playfulness and creativity in a low-pressure environment. It may sound strange, but although improv is all about making things up, an empty mind or feeling of ‘going blank’ is celebrated, as it’s something that everyone experiences and can identify with.

While some people learn improv to be performers themselves, many people attend improv classes for the happiness and health benefits associated with it, and have no intention of ever going near a stage! Improvisation can be a product, but improv classes are about the process. And the process of improvising can be incredibly rewarding and relaxing.

Doing improv is all about collaboration, support and embracing mistakes – therefore taking the pressure off being ‘good’ at it. Students are free to be vulnerable in a nurturing environment. This not only leads to a feeling of well-being but also promotes teamwork and bonds within the group. Sometimes just for that session, but often times this leads to many years of friendship.

Many of our students anecdotally tell us that they get their ‘weekly dose of happiness’ from doing improv classes, in a way that they cannot get from more traditional wellbeing activities like yoga, meditation or exercise. Indeed some people refer to improv as a type of active mindfulness, as it is all about being in the moment, but with added laughter.

Here are 5 ways that Improv can improve wellbeing:

  • 1. Stress Reduction. Improv encourages participants to be present in the moment. This alternative approach to mindfulness practice can help reduce stress and anxiety by diverting attention away from every day worries. As well as this, engaging in play can also trigger the release of endorphins, the body’s natural stress-relievers.
  • 2. Confidence Boosting. Improv classes provide a supportive environment for individuals to step outside of their comfort zones and take risks. You learn to trust your instincts, embrace uncertainty, and express yourself fully. As you gain confidence to think on your feet so comes a greater sense of self-assurance and empowerment.
  • 3. Enhances Social Connections. Improv fosters collaboration, communication, and connection among participants. By engaging in this kind of collaborative storytelling, people build rapport, strengthen interpersonal skills, and develop a sense of belonging. These connections can provide emotional support, reduce feelings of isolation and provide meaningful interactions.
  • 4. Promotes Creativity and Playfulness. Improv encourages participants to tap into their creativity, imagination, and sense of play bringing with it a great sense of joy and fulfillment. Engaging in improvisational games can also stimulate the brain’s reward centers, leading to feelings of happiness and satisfaction.
  • 5. Resilience Building. Improv teaches individuals to adapt to unexpected situations and learn to approach challenges with a positive mindset and a willingness to explore new possibilities. This resilience-building practice can help people develop coping strategies for managing stress, overcoming obstacles, and maintaining a sense of optimism and resilience in the face of adversity.

Participating in improv classes can offer a range of benefits for mental and emotional well-being. The transformative power of improv can have a positive impact on your overall well-being and quality of life. Interested? Come try one of our budget-friendly regular drop-in classes, a free taster session, or treat yourself to 12 sessions of self care with our Level 1a. Or get in touch if you’d like to talk about an ‘improv for wellbeing’ session for your organisation.