Top 9 Laughter Therapy Exercises

We have all the heard the common saying in our early years that “Laughter is the best medicine”. As youngsters the true meaning of this saying was never deeply understood. Laughter therapy has many scientific bases that shows its benefits. Laughter helps to enhances our moods, improves our immune system, and acts as a buffer from negative effects of stress and anxiety.

Laughter is a very easy way to trick our brains. There are several changes that occurs instantly as we laugh. If you start laughing during an anxious situation, our brains releases healthy hormones such as endorphins and stops the release of stress hormone such as cortisol and epinephrine (Yim, 2016).

Laughter therapy is the easiest form of therapy that you can do free of cost. In fact, everyone should, everyday indulge in laughter therapy or some kind of online therapy every week. Therapeutic laughter has shown to have a positive impact on our mental health (Mora-Ripoll, 2010). Laughter therapy is just not laughing for a few minutes. It needs to build slowly.

Here is how you can indulge in simulated laughter therapy:

Laughter therapy happens in 3 stages(Mora-Ripoll, 2017) -

  1. Warming up and opening. This helps in rescuing the laughter that is blocked.
  2. Experiencing humor and positive emotions.This includes emotional wellness, physical workout, and adds playful behaviors.
  3. Closure, recovery, and evaluation. This is where you choose to let go and simply laugh, and laughter meditate.

Types of laughter exercises you can do alone or with a group of friends:

  1. Hold-on Laughter- hold your breath and burst out laughing when you can’t hold any longer.
  2. Gradient Laughter- first smile, then chuckle, giggle after that, then laugh slowly and gradually increase your volume and tempo.
  3. Hearty Laughter- open your arms, take your arms up and laugh from all your heart. Bring your hands down and stop, again raise your arms, and laugh. Repeat this.
  4. Nonsense Laughter- Talk in made-up words (gibberish) and laugh about it.
  5. Laughter counting- Gradually increase your laugh count. Ha, Ha-ha, Hahaha...
  6. Arts Laughter- Imitate someone, dance crazily, singing in a funny manner, and laugh about it.
  7. Hugging Laughter- hug someone and both laugh together.
  8. Silent Laughter- Be completely still and silent, sit or lie down and close your eyes. Take your time and Let the laughter begin naturally.
  9. Scenario Laughter- think about funny events that had taken place. Remember an embarrassing moment and laugh it out.

Online counselling experts suggest, laughter therapy exercises in association with other therapeutic measures can be known as a sound prescription for enhancing one’s mental health.

References

Yim, J. (2016). Therapeutic benefits of laughter in mental health: a theoretical review. The Tohoku journal of experimental medicine, 239(3), 243-249.

Mora-Ripoll, R. (2017). Simulated laughter techniques for therapeutic use in mental healthJournal of Psychology and Clinical Psychiatry, 8(2), 00479.

Mora-Ripoll, R. (2010). The therapeutic value of laughter in medicine. Alternative Therapies in Health & Medicine, 16(6): 56-64.

Top 9 Laughter Therapy Exercises

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