Clapping for Happiness and Health


Dr Ravi P Bhatia – TRANSCEND Media Service

15 Apr 2019 – Most people around the world clap to appreciate or applaud a performance of music, dance or even a powerful speech. In fact the larger the number of claps or louder the clapping, the more heartening and encouraging it is to the performer on the stage. Occasionally, the clapping may be disruptive to the performer or the orator if one claps at the wrong moment.

If the audience does not clap or claps very sparsely, the compère will prompt the audience to clap vigorously. In fact the proof of the success of a performer is in the number and intensity of claps. However there is sometimes a flip side to this appreciation. If an event is boring or the speech of an orator is too long and meaningless or against the tenor of the event, the audience may start clapping — slowly at first but louder and continuously a little later, that may be a sign of boredom of the event and anger with the organisers who have arranged the event. A wise organiser quickly understands the message the audience is conveying and brings down the curtains in the middle of the item or the speech.

But bringing our two hands together has other purposes than clapping at an event. In India, people greet each other by bringing their hands together and say Namaste or Namaskar; some people belonging to Islam and other religions have other means of greeting.

Sometimes while meditating, one brings one’s hands together consciously or otherwise. This helps the individual especially when one is reciting some mantras (usually in the Sanskrit language).

Another advantage of clapping is in Yoga. There are some asanas (excercises) where we bring our hands together and press our palms especially certain areas of the hand that are considered beneficial for our health. Moreover, this mini exercise of one’s body helps in blood circulation however mild it may be. In fact some acupuncture experts also point out at the benefits to people of this movement of the hands. Thus clapping promotes health and joy.

Apart from the above benefits or purposes of bringing our hands together and clapping, I have noticed some other occasions for this exercise. An elderly neighbor of mine who lives all alone sits in his veranda claps loudly in the evenings. Once my curiosity was aroused to ask him why he claps sitting all by himself. He smiled at my query but did not say anything and continued with clapping. When I persisted gently with my question, he stopped clapping and answered softly,

“You know why, it gives me happiness. I do not trouble anyone but it gives me joy even when I am alone — all by myself”.

Indeed a pleasing manner of remaining happy and peaceful.


Dr Ravi P Bhatia is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment, an educationist, Gandhian scholar and peace researcher. Retired professor, Delhi University. His new book, A Garland of Ideas—Gandhian, Religious, Educational, Environmental was published recently in Delhi.

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This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 15 Apr 2019.

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One Response to “Clapping for Happiness and Health”

  1. Gary Corseri says:

    Thanks for your article, Dr. Bhatia!

    Yes, we should find good things to applaud, take note, encourage and acknowledge.

    I am clapping now!