Laughter Therapy Brings Happiness

I met an amazing woman yesterday. When I asked her what she did for a job,

surviving Laughter Therapy Brings Happiness

she told me she was a Laughter Therapist. I stared at her. And then I smiled. Imagine having that as a job title? I decided to find out more about it, so we sat down and had a good chat.

Laughter Therapy does exactly what it says in the title – it uses the power of laughter to cheer people up, support them with illnesses such as depression and anxiety, and brings a bit of light in to people’s lives. We all know that laughter can be contagious – can you remember a time when you saw someone laughing, and joined in without really knowing why? This is because all of us, on some level, know that a good belly laugh is very good for us and our happiness within..

Healthy, non-ridiculing and connecting laughter provides physiological  and spiritual benefits you probably never realized or imagined. We are born with the gift of laughter -it’s being serious that we learn!

Laughter not only provides a full-scale workout for your muscles, it unleashes a rush of stress-busting endorphins. The elation you feel when you laugh is a great way of combating the physical effects of stress and unhappiness. When we laugh, our body relaxes and endorphins (natural painkillers) are released into the blood stream to make for a much happier mood..

A laughter therapist’s aim is to help you laugh more easily. Therapy is available in group or individual sessions that start with a warm-up followed by a range of activities designed to get you giggling. Laughter doesn’t come easily to everyone, but luckily the body can’t actually distinguish between real and fake laughter. So faking it has the same beneficial effect.

What evidence is there that it works?

Dr Lee Berk of Loma University Medical Centre, California, has been conducting laughter therapy research since the late 1970s. In 1989, Berk studied the effects of laughter in 10 healthy males. Five experimental subjects watched an hour-long comedy while five control subjects didn’t. Blood samples taken from the 10 subjects revealed that cortisol (the hormone our body releases when under stress) in the experimental subjects had decreased more rapidly in comparison to the control group.

Berk’s research has also shown that the level of natural killer cells (a type of immune cell that attacks virus and tumour cells) is increased through laughter. These same cells are suppressed if the body suffers consistent long-term stress.

Researchers at the University of Michigan have also calculated that just 20 seconds of laughter could be as good for the lungs as three minutes spent on a rowing machine!

The origins of laughter therapy

The therapeutic effects of laughter have been clinically studied since the 70s, but Dr Madan Kataria – who developed laughter yoga in Mumbai – is credited with bringing laughter therapy into the mainstream. Kataria set up the first laughter club in 1995. There are now more than 5,000 laughter clubs worldwide.

Getting to happiness within

A laughter therapy session may leave you feeling elated and exhausted in equal measure. Muscle tone and cardiovascular functions may be improved, and oxygen levels in the blood may be boosted.

In the long term, laughter therapy teaches us that we don’t just have to laugh when we are happy. Laughing in the face of anger, stress or anxiety – even if it’s forced laughter – can actually lift your mood and happiness within.  And it’s infectious, so you can expect to see those around you benefiting from a good giggle too.

My challenge for you is to take 5 minutes every evening a just laugh by yourself or with someone. My daughter and I laughed every night before she left home and now we laugh on the phone with each other.  It really makes a difference.  Try it you’ll like it!

Debbie

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Comments

  1. I have always been a HUGE believer in the importance of laughter. I do think it can heal to some extent. Anytime I’m down and I think I can’t possibly laugh, I find a dvd that I know or have heard is hilarious, and commit to a good hard belly laugh. I always feel better afterward
    .-= Hear Mum Roar´s last blog ..Time to rediscover the old me =-.

    • Love those belly laughs. I have a 9 month old granddaughter that is really good at them. I have been wanting to make a video of her, but mom isn’t sure she wants her on the internet. When you watch her laugh you can’t help but laugh with her. She is just the happiest little one that I have ever seen. (don’t mean to brag) but it is really cool.
      Keep up the laughter it does make a world of difference.
      Debbie

  2. Spencer Lybert says:

    This ended up being a fine read whilst I waited on the movie being available. Perfect post.

    • thanks Spencer, I’m glad I could help. Hope you enjoyed the movie
      Debbie

  3. Kurt Burton says:

    I wish getting over a broken heart can be so easy as following a few steps.. but its not… :(

    • Getting over a broken heart can take time. One thing that I have learned is when you truly love some one it can be hard, but this is the way that I learned to handle a broken heart. True love once the parnter to be happy, right? If they are with you and are not happy let go of them, so they can find happiness even if it does hurt. True love thinks of the other person, because of the love for them. If you are thinking only of yourself then maybe you don’t truly love them. My husband had been hurt really bad by an ex wife and was scared of love. The day that I told him, “I love you and you can’t take that away from me even if you don’t want to be with. It is OK, because what I want most is your happiness.” He thought about it and decided he was throwing the best thing away that he ever had.

      Sometimes with love you just have to let it go and see if it does return. If it is meant to be, it will return and be even stronger.
      Good luck and try to keep yourself very busy. This can help.
      Debbie

  4. Nice post, this is exactly the information I was looking for. Are you going to be covering this topic in greater detail soon? Hope so! Thanks

    • I love talking about laughter, so yes their will be more on it.
      Thanks,
      Debbie

      • Laughing is a therapy. I haven’t experience of laughing therapy but when I smile and laugh I forgot my problem and it really works so even I haven’t undergo to a serious laughing therapy but still I recommend to laugh and laugh.

        • Hi James,

          Laughter can be a great medicine. Like you say it makes you forget you have any problems. And I have found that once I realize I do have a problem it doesn’t seem as bad as it did before. Keep up the laughter and thank you for stopping by. Love it when other share.
          Blessing,
          Debbie

  5. Ofcourse laughter is the best/free medicine available to all.
    And in my life, whenever someone else would have gone down in their spirit, I used to say so what ? What next ?. And this kind of my unusal approach itself brings laughter in my family. Now they too follow me.

    • Yes, it is amazing what laughter can do and how much better it can make us feel. I am glad to hear you have your family laughing. Good job.
      Have a very happy day,
      Debbie

  6. Free Mafia Wars Rewards says:

    Thanks for sharing, I stumbled upon this article while searching for infomation regarding my term paper, useful comments and excellent points produced.

    • I’m glad I could be of help. Hope your term paper comes out good.
      May happiness always find you.
      Debbie

  7. Bodycraft Home Gym says:

    I found your site via yahoo thanks for the post. I will bookmark it for future reference. Thanks Bowflex PR1000

    • Hope I was of help. You have a very happy day.
      Debbie

  8. I love to see people laugh. My favorite by far is the innocent laughter of children, you know, that kind that is pure and unadulterated. You just want to hug them and give them a million little kisses. I stumble upon a laughing contest the other day at http://www.net10laughoff.com. You may want to check it out – just fun to watch happy people. I don’t want a vdo of me anywhere but I did vote for some very funny clips :)

    • I do agree with you when it comes to children laughing. It is just so innocent. I have video on my camera of my 9 month old granddaughter laughing. She has a deep laugh (like grandma)that is so adorable. Wanted to put it on You Tube but mom says no.
      I’ll take a look at the laughing contest, sounds fun. Thanks for the link.
      You are right when it comes to laughing being a cure, it sure can chase those blues away.
      You you be blessed with much laughter and happiness.
      Debbie

    • I checked it out Megan and that was good. I think I’ll just put the laughing baby of mine on a blog. She didn’t tell me that i can’t do that.
      Right? What do you think I should do?
      Debbie

  9. Oh….and yes, laughter is the best cure. Even a milder form, like a smile just makes a whole lot of diffrence :)

  10. Ashly Bebson says:

    I am only writing to make you be aware of what a helpful encounter my cousin’s child found viewing your site. She noticed many issues, which include what it is like to possess an excellent helping style to let many people really easily thoroughly grasp chosen complicated things. You really surpassed readers’ expected results. Thanks for supplying such essential, dependable, informative and also unique tips on that topic to Tanya.

    • You are very welcome. Glad to help and have a wonderful day.
      Debbie

  11. The important thing is that your website is great.

    • Thank you very much and the flowers on your site are beautiful. Thanks for stopping by. It is appreciated.
      Debbie

  12. Happy is the man who love God. Just enjoy life.

    • Hi Jenny,

      I agree and I thank him every day for my sense of humor. Be lost without it. Since you didn’t have more to say I will make mine short and here is the link for you. It does make me happy to do that for you, but next time can you make the comment a little more with headliner. Then I know we are both talking about the same thing.
      Debbie

  13. What could be happier than being happy? haha :) They say that happiness is a choice therefore, being healthy is also a choice right? Why do we have to wallow in pain and sadness if there are a lot of reasons to be happy, to smile and to laugh? :) I must say that I have been doing this for a long time and when i bumped into your blog I felt so great about myself because I was able to confirm that it is really a good thing. Now, I really encourage other people in my workplace to laugh a lot :)

    • Thanks for stopping by. Yes, it is amazing what laughter can do for a person. It just makes you feel good all over. Encouraging people that you work with to laugh a lot is wonderful. You go and good luck! Can you just picture them going home in the evening with out all the stress, because they had a great day and laughed? Sounds like a great plan to me.
      Thanks again and blessing to you,
      Debbie

  14. Hi Adolf,

    I hope you did get something out of the post. Discussion is good, but you didn’t say to much. Maybe next time you’ll add a little more. However I do appreciate you stopping by. Debbie

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