Laughter Yoga Benefits

The benefits of Laughter Yoga are far-ranging and are derived from sustained intentional laughter.

Sustained refers to the length of the session, as well as the regularity over a period of a week or a month. Intentional refers to laughter that is created by body-based laughter exercises as practiced in Laughter Yoga and does not rely on comedy or jokes.

1. General

  • Boosts the immune system When we laugh from our belly, the movement of the diaphragm moves the lymph around our bodies. This increases lymphocytes and T cells to help fight disease, bacteria, viruses, and cancer
  • Regulates blood pressure Laughter is an aerobic exercise that works the cardiovascular system. As the muscles relax, the blood vessels are able to dilate: they become more flexible, helping to prevent hardening of the arteries and cholesterol build-up
  • Increases oxygen levels Laughter is similar to prolonged meditation and deep breathing exercises. The dynamic exertion of the diaphragm expels more air from the lungs than normal. This enables more inhalation when the diaphragm lowers and let the lungs expand
  • Reduces depression and anxiety Depression can occur when we get stuck in the past, and anxiety when we are fearful of the future. Laughter puts us into the present moment. Laughter provides a shift back to a more balanced and positive thought process
  • Manages pain Laughter produces endorphins which are our body’s natural pain killers. It is also fun, distracting the mind away from the pain
  • Decreases stress Laughter produces serotonin that helps to reduce cortisol levels which build up as a result of sustained stress. It also activates our parasympathetic nervous system that calms the body and mind

2. Business

  • Morale Happy people feel good about being at work. If not, they don’t turn up. When we laugh, we are happy: when we’re happy, we laugh. Laughter develops the emotional intelligence qualities of empathy, self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, as well as social skills
  • Attitude Creativity and innovation come from a calm and yet activated mind. When we laugh, the brain goes into a gamma frequency state that is only otherwise achieved through deep meditation. However, all parts are lit up and ready to solve problems and overcome challenges
  • Performance As laughter is a whole of body activity, all of the muscles are engaged and activated when we laugh. Remember that motion creates emotion. Performance relies on being mindful and focused, but then moving the body to create outcomes
  • Relationships As was found in the Research Study we did with Deakin University with two businesses, laughter connects people. This was measured as Workplace Wellbeing. As documented, the reason was that it enhanced teamwork and relationships
  • Support Leadership comes from not just leading but supporting those who are following. It combines confidence and compassion which are displayed when we laugh with others. It also develops the interpersonal skills of communication and rapport, and diffuses conflict

3. Illness

  • Increases energy levels People who are sick often have poor lung function. This means that they don’t get enough oxygen for the body cells which often leads to fatigue and further disease. Laughter overcomes this by increasing exhalation which aids oxygen intake levels
  • Improves mental and emotional health When we laugh, we feel good, and then heal better and faster. This in turn puts us into a more positive mindset. This enhances the Mind Body Medicine (MBM) concept
  • Regulates blood pressure Laughter dilates the blood vessels to prevent hypertension. A Research Study in an Australian Dialysis Unit showed that it increased low blood pressure in patients undergoing the dialysis procedure. This study also found sustained intentional laughter to be a safe form of exercise even for people undergoing a medical procedure
  • Manages pain Laughter produces endorphins which are our body’s natural pain killers. A Research Study done with Monash Health showed an increase in pain tolerance, and decreased pain levels
  • Boosts the immune system When we laugh from our belly, the movement of the diaphragm moves the lymph around our bodies. It increases lymphocytes and T cells to help fight disease, bacteria, viruses, and cancer

4. Wellness

  • Feelings When we laugh, we are happy, and we feel good within ourselves. Our feelings are kept within our bodies as emotions, both positive and negative. When we laugh it releases built up negative emotions, and replaces them with a sense of joy and happiness
  • Thoughts Laughter provides more oxygen to the brain which provides clarity of thought, creativity and innovation, and problem solving. The brain enters a gamma frequency that is only achieved through deep meditation
  • Exercise Laughter is a whole of body activity. Laughter exercises involve stretching and movement. The shaking that occurs during laughter relaxes muscles, decreases blood sugar levels, increases oxygen saturation levels, and lung capacity
  • Spirituality Laughter is a prolonged breathing activity similar to meditation. When we laugh from our core it promotes a sense of calm and inner peace. It aligns and opens the energy centres of the body to enable the universal life energy to circulate around the body
  • Self-Esteem When we authentically laugh, we are doing so without judgement. It releases dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphins to reward us for our efforts. Our inner voice that we rely on to keep us strong is supportive, instead of critical

5. Elderly

  • Exercise Laughter is a low impact aerobic exercise that is gentle and can be done while seated. Laughter exercises stimulate the cardiovascular system, regulate blood pressure, and increase oxygen supply to the brain, improving mental alertness and participation
  • Reduced pain Laughter exercises are a safe way to produce endorphins which are our body’s natural pain killers. This results in reducing inflammation in the body and joints, as well as muscle relaxation
  • Fun Laughter exercises encourage playfulness and joy which can be a distraction from problems. While laughter doesn’t solve problems, it does dissolve them. This is particularly important for people experiencing chronic pain or illness
  • Social health Older people often live in physical isolation, in the community or aged care facilities, or without a partner. Such isolation can lead to loneliness. When we share laughter with others, there is a deep sense of connection and belonging
  • Quality of life We are living longer and with more illnesses. Laughter slows the deterioration of the genomes which leads to improved longevity. At the same time, deep breathing and oxygenation of body cells leads to better health and sleep

6. Children

  • Play Children learn and develop through play, and when they play, they laugh. In Eastern philosophy, laughter taps into the Inner Child. This is the Purity, Innocence, and Playfulness (PIP) that lies within us all that is innate when children play and laugh
  • Self-esteem Laughter builds confidence. When we laugh out loud without external stimulus, we send a signal to others that we are experiencing a joy and strength from within that we would like to share
  • Social intelligence An increased use of Social Media results in children becoming less aware and able to understand social cues.  Laughter improves children’s ability to connect to others through facial and audible signals
  • Learning Laughter aids brain development. It connects both hemispheres and develops new neural pathways. Every time we laugh it sends a positive reinforcement to the brain that aids improved learning outcomes
  • Better behaviour Children who are less stressed and can remain calm, are more capable of dealing with life’s challenges and making friends. Laughter develops a sense for humour, enabling children to laugh in spite of external circumstances, building resilience, and improving communication skills


We’re not laughing because we are happy: we are happy because we are laughing!

– William James, American psychologist and philosopher

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