Berjaya Sompo Insurance Berhad (“Berjaya Sompo”), a general insurance provider in Malaysia, is embarking on a long-term effort to promote health and wellbeing among all Malaysians through its strategically structured “Sompo Cares” approach that focuses on 5 pillars, which are: laughter, music, food, fitness, and nature.
The saying ‘laughter is the best medicine’ rings true as research shows that it decreases stress hormones, increases immune cells, and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving resistance to disease. One of the known facts is that laughter releases certain chemicals from the brain called endorphins. It stimulates multiple physiological system that decrease the levels of stress hormones, and increase the activation of dopamine, a chemical that not only enables us to see the rewards but to take action to move toward them. According to research, laughter not only transcends human cultural boundaries, but species boundaries, too. In fact, evolutionary origins of human laughter can be traced back to between 10 to 16 million years go.
“At Berjaya Sompo, we are strong believers in the saying that a healthy mind is a healthy body and this is why we are promoting preventative measures through our Sompo Cares approach. While we know that there are many ways to improve our wellbeing, we will however be focusing on Laughter. Studies shows that it not only releases feel-good chemicals, but also helps you burn 10 to 40 calories when you laugh for 10 to 15 minutes. Laughter is free, it’s easy and accessible and it’s even more special when shared with other people, with that in mind we want to bring back the joy of this simple life’s pleasures that is intrinsically what makes us human. Researchers said that laughter is also ranked as the second most attractive quality in a person,” said Mr Futoshi Hanahara, Deputy Chief Executive Officer (DCEO) of Berjaya Sompo.
In furthering its mission to promote laughter, Berjaya Sompo partnered with LOL Events (M) Sdn. Bhd. (“LOL Asia”) recently to unveil their inaugural Laughter Yoga Campaign – the first of its kind wellness activity in Malaysia by an insurance brand where they will combine the art of yoga and the joy of laughter in a free form exercise environment whether in a group or in pairs to induce and encourage happy and stress-free interactions.
“While Laughter Yoga is commonly practiced in other countries, it is still new in Malaysia and not many people understand what it is. One of the most motivating factors why people practice Laughter Yoga is the belief in the multiple health benefits they will gain from it. It is not about the concept or the philosophy which attracts them; it is about what they will get and how it will benefit their health, personal, business and social life,” Mr Hanahara added.
The Laughter Yoga Campaign kicked off on 21 July 2019 and will run until October this year, with 4 sessions of instructor-guided laughter yoga classes that the public can sign up for free and 1 session open to Berjaya Sompo staff. Public are required to register for one of the laughter yoga classes through the Berjaya Sompo website as early as possible, to avoid missing out on the fun and engaging sessions. Space is limited and availability is on first come first serve basis.
The company also understands the need to reach out to the millennials, Gen Y and Z, who are considered the first digital generation, as part of its strategy to capture the younger target audience. More than just rhythm and beats, younger generation use music to express their emotions. Listening to music can make you feel more relax and, in some cultures, it is used to ease pain. In response to this, Berjaya Sompo created six branded profile playlists on Spotify to such as ‘Chillax’ for relaxing, ‘Wanderlust’ for travel, ‘Vroom’ for driving, ‘Beats’ for workout, ‘LOL’ for laughter and ‘Asia’ for Asian songs.
“Laughter is not the only focus for us. An online music streaming service conducted a research recently asking what are the major triggers in life prompting them to seek music. Based on the findings, 84 per cent listen to music when feeling tense or nervous, 72 per cent believes that music helps them during recovery from illness, while 41 per cent seek music to build confidence. Music is a part of us and our lives is always evolving. We have curated six playlist on Spotify tailored to suit various lifestyles,” said Mr Hanahara.
Berjaya Sompo has also collaborated with local personalities; celebrity chef Nik Michael Imran and actress Chelsia Ng, to further amplify the importance of wellbeing and how simple activities such as laughing, listening to music, eating the right food, exercising and spending time in nature can help improve their overall mood and boost feelings of happiness. To capture these moments in their day-to-day life, Berjaya Sompo will be releasing two videos on what challenges and motivates them, and their passion in life on YouTube and LinkedIn in late August.
Berjaya Sompo’s mission towards better wellbeing does not stop there as the company will continue to bring more laughter through a Laugh-A-Mania, a comedy variety showcasing Malaysia’s multi-talented performers and their friends, whom you will recognise as TV personalities, theatre performers, singers and Youtubers. This star-studded event comprises of comedic songs, dances, sketches, and more to tickle each of everyone’s fancies. Tickets will be available for sale soon.
Early this year, Berjaya Sompo together with LOL Asia celebrated fearless women in conjunction with International Women’s Day by co-sponsoring “The POMPuan Comedy Show”. This campaign aims to empower Malaysian women to travel to their heart’s content without needing to worry about safety and at the same time – treat them to a good laugh.