Laughter Yoga is a very interesting phenomenon from a scientific perspective, because it’s so challenging to study in a rigorous way. There are various reasons for this, which I get into in greater detail in the podcast. I also delve into some of the existing research on the subject and I ask to what extent is the laughter aspect of Laughter Yoga the primary factor in promoting changes in people’s well-being?
During the episode I mention the difficulty which arises when one tries to define laughter and that I’ll provide a couple of funny definitions for laughter from some well known dictionaries. Here are three. The first two are funny because they offer a circular definition. The third one is just plain funny:
- Merriam Webster Dictionary: A sound of or as if of laughing
- The Free Dictionary by Farflex: The action of or noise produced by laughing
- Urban Dictionary: When a smile has an orgasm
Martin, R. A. (2002). Is Laughter the Best Medicine? Humor, Laughter, and Physical Health. Current Directions in Psychological Science (Wiley-Blackwell), 11(6), 216-220.
Shahidi, M., Mojtahed, A., Modabbernia, A., Mojtahed, M., Shafiabady, A., Delavar, A., & Honari, H. (2011). Laughter yoga versus group exercise program in elderly depressed women: a randomized controlled trial. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry, 26(3), 322-327. doi: 10.1002/gps.2545
Wildgruber, D., Szameitat, D. P., Ethofer, T., Brück, C., Alter, K., Grodd, W., & Kreifelts, B. (2013). Different Types of Laughter Modulate Connectivity within Distinct Parts of the Laughter Perception Network. PLoS ONE, 8(5), e63441. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0063441