Laughter Therapy and Happiness
Laughter Therapy: is a type of therapy that uses humor to help relieve pain and stress and improve a person’s sense of well-being. It may be used to help people cope with a serious disease, such as cancer. Laughter therapy may include laughter exercises, clowns, and comedy movies, books, games, and puzzles. It is a type of complementary therapy.
Also called humor therapy. (National Cancer Institute)
Laughter Yoga: is a new form of exercise akin to internal jogging that promotes the use of laughter as a form of physical exercise. (Laughter Online University)
Happiness- is a state of well-being that encompasses living a good life—that is, with a sense of meaning and deep satisfaction. (Psychology Today)
Positive Psychology: the scientific study of the strengths that enable individuals and communities to thrive. The field is founded on the belief that people want to lead meaningful and fulfilling lives, to cultivate what is best within themselves, and to enhance their experiences of love, work, and play. (Positive Psychology UPENN)
Positive Health: Our health care system has long focused on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disease. But health is more than absence of disease. Positive Health focuses on promoting people’s positive health assets—strengths that can contribute to a longer, healthy life.
Articles and Books
Solve for Happy
In Solve for Happy the author questions some of the most fundamental aspects of our existence, shares the underlying reasons for suffering, and plots out a step-by-step process for achieving lifelong happiness and enduring contentment. He shows us how to view life through a clear lens, teaching us how to dispel the illusions that cloud our thinking; overcome the brain’s blind spots; and embrace five ultimate truths.
Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment
Authentic Happiness helped launch the concept of popular psychology to the world. The book helps readers identify their highest virtues and focus on these strengths to help improve all aspects of a person’s life.
The Hope Circuit: A psychologist’s Journey from Helplessness to Optimism
In The Hope Circuit, Seligman makes a compelling and deeply personal case for the importance of virtues like hope, gratitude, and wisdom for our mental health. Thanks in large part to Seligman’s Positive Psychology movement, it is ever more focused not on what cripples life, but on what makes life worth living–with profound consequences for our mental health.
The Laughing Cure: Emotional and Physical Healing
Author Dr. Brian King “combines wit with medical research to reveal the benefits of laughter and humor on physical and emotional health.
The Healing Power of Humor
An older book that talks about the fundamental importance of humor and laughter. The book is valuable for anyone going through tough times and “combines the wisdom of the world’s great spiritual teachers with the insights of famed humorists, comedians, and others to help turn life’s negatives into positives.”
Laughter has positive impact on vascular function
This study in this article shows that laughter can have a positive effect of the vascular system. The finding confirms previous studies, which suggested there was a link between mental stress and the narrowing of blood vessels. However, after watching the funny movie, the blood vessel lining expanded.
Current Top Websites
The purpose of the Authentic Happiness website of the University of Pennsylvania is to provide free resources where people can learn about Positive Psychology through readings, videos, research, opportunities, conferences, questionnaires with feedback and more.
The official website of Dr. Madan Kataria the Guru of Laughter. This website offers a great amount of information on laughter yoga, trainings, resources, testimonials, videos, writings, and much more.
Laughter Wellness is a complete wellness and well-being workout, born of Laughter Yoga, that helps improve people’s health and quality of life.
A website where people can work on various parts of their life to make their emotional wellbeing better. The main basic skills are learning to savor the moment, thank those who matter, aspire to meaningful goals, give to yourself and empathize with others. While there are some free activities one must pay to get the full content. Similar feel to Luolingo or Lumonsity.
An organization that helps evaluate positive health assets that help people stay healthy and recover more quickly when they are sick. Positive Health works to discover which specific health assets produce longer, healthy life with the goal of optimal health—beyond the basic idea of just not being sick.
Webinars and Online Trainings
Coursera Happiness and Well-being Course. “The Science of Well-Being” taught by Professor Laurie Santos overviews what psychological science says about happiness. The purpose of the course is to not only learn what psychological research says about what makes us happy but also to put those strategies into practice. Coursera offers free courses taught by university professors on various subjects.
An extensive course to teach participants to become certified facilitators of laughter therapy.
Tools Available Online
Lots of different easy activities with brief instructions to start laughing.
Information for introductory trainings including downloads for two toolkits on laughter therapy.
As part of the U Penn Authentic Happiness Program the test center offers several questionnaires to help readers better understand his or her happiness. The Authentic Happiness Inventory is a great introductory survey but there are over 20 different surveys helping answer where individuals are in life in terms of emotion, engagement and life satisfaction.
World Happiness Report 2018
The World Happiness Report is a landmark survey of the state of global happiness. The World Happiness Report 2018, which ranks 156 countries by their happiness levels, and 117 countries by the happiness of their immigrants
Positive Health and Health Assets: Re-analysis of Longitudinal Datasets Whitepaper
A white paper describing the introductory research of health assets (a factor that produces stronger health, over and above risk factors for disease) and how they affect issues such as longevity, morbidity and health care utilization and cost.
How laughter can keep you healthy and Happy
Researchers working on the Longevity Genes Project found that centenarians are often extroverted people who embrace the world from an optimistic and carefree perspective. A few of the key findings included that the majority of near-centenarians were found to be relaxed, friendly, conscientious and upbeat about life. The often had an easy laugh and an active social life were observed to be a group norm, while neuroticism was notably the exception. What’s more, feelings were more commonly shared as they arose, rather than stifled and squelched.
University College London Professor Sophie Scott shares 10 things about laughter such as relationships last longer when you laugh and your brain doesn’t know the difference between a real and a fake laugh.
TEDMED Live Talk by Dr. Madan Kataria
An 18-minute TED talk by Dr. Madan Kataria (the founder of laughter yoga) explaining the science behind laughter yoga. He then does a brief demonstration with all the participants of the lecture.
Laugh with Me Session Youtube video
A twenty-seven-minute introduction session or laughter yoga with Bianca Spears. The video shows a facilitated session to a camera that a person can follow at home.
Nevada Specific Resources
A Las Vegas based laughter yoga organization with classes, trainings, activities and more. Includes content for corporate wellness, schools, and personal well-being improvement.
An examination of all 50 states happiness based on 28 key metrics like depression rate. For example: Nevada is number 50 in income growth.