Benefits of Laughter

The benefits of laughter are the subject of many folk sayings, but also serious scientific studies. And the list of its positive effects is really long. Here are just a few.

Stress buster

Laughter reduces muscle tension, improves breathing and blood circulation. It increases the secretion of “positive” hormones like endorphin, dopamine, and oxytocin (the happiness hormone). At the same time, it reduces the secretion of stress hormones (e.g., adrenaline, dopamine). From personal experience, laughter meditation is really quite similar to meditation, it beautifully clears your head. When you laugh out loud, you push any worries out of your mind.

Jesters at dinners

In ancient times, it was common for a jester to be present at royal banquets. And it wasn’t just by chance. Laughter increases the secretion of the hormone ghrelin, which affects appetite and digestion. Simply put, you can lose weight with laughter.

Fun workout

You probably know it yourself, when you laugh so hard that you have to hold your belly, your abdominal muscles hurt afterwards. Laughter is a great workout. It especially engages the diaphragm and muscles that are otherwise very hard to exercise. Moreover, even muscles that are not directly involved in laughing get a great relaxation. It’s said that a minute of laughter is like ten minutes in the gym. And that’s worth it.

If you’re interested in laughter yoga, I recommend the thesis by Lucie Lauermannová available on or the books by Dr. Nešpor