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You Have To Laugh (it’s good for us all)

January 27, 2010

You Have to Laugh (it’s good for us all)

When was the last time you had a really good laugh? You know, a deep down belly laugh – one that lasted and lasted till you teared up?

Well according to Dr. Madan Kataria, a family practice doctor from India, it’s not only fun….it is a tonic for your well-being! 

According to the research, we adults are hardly laughing – that is, in comparison to our experience as children.  Kids laugh, on average, 150 times per day – adults average 6.  As for smiles, children beam about 400 times a day, we sad sack adults – 15.

Let’s face, we need to laugh and smile more!

When Dr. Kataria began his first Laughter Club in ’95, it included 5 members. The Laughter Yoga Clubs now total 6000 in 60 countries.  (wonder if there is one in DC?)  That’s a lot of laughs.  Obviously, Dr. Kataria is on to something here.

It’s really not yoga. The laughter gurus say it is more like exercise.  And the physiological and social benefits of laughter are rather amazing. 

  • De-activates the hormones that fuel stress (well that makes sense, it’s hard to be fearful, anxious  and angry when you are laughing)
  • It provides a good cardio workout (wow – 10 minutes of hardy laughter equals 30 on a rowing machine!)
  • Oxygenate the lungs and improves respiration
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Reduces pain (a study produced in the Journal of Holistic Nursing reported that post-op patients, told one-liners, perceived less pain than patients who didn’t get the humor dose)
  • Improved immune function due to increase in number and activity of natural killer T-cells

All of this and a real time – out too.

We have all had the experience of seeing how humor can shift even the most hardened perspective.

The really fascinating part of this information is that the laughter doesn’t even have to be real.  Yes. You can fake it, or as they say at the Laughter Club – “Fake it – till you make it.”   The benefits remain the same.

So what are you waiting for?  Regardless of the state of the office, the state of the world or the state of your mind……try it out for yourself. 

Here’s something to help you get started.  Trust us and stick with it till you get a chuckle.


Here’s to your health!


Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment, subscribe, share, like and tweet this article. It’s appreciated.


Louise Altman, Partner, Intentional Communication Consultants


4 Comments leave one →
  1. January 27, 2010 9:58 pm

    Nice reminder. Thanks, Louise & George! To continue the thread, here’s an oldie but still a goodie about an… ahem… unintentional workplace from one of my favorite priestesses of laughter. No need to fake it here!

    • January 28, 2010 9:36 am

      THx Ronnie – One of my long time absolute favorites! (Should do an entire series of Lucy moments)

  2. February 14, 2010 5:07 pm

    Thank You for all the interesting posts. They really helped me a lot! Between, you just got a new subscriber now!

    • February 14, 2010 5:53 pm

      Dear Markus,

      Hello – and thx for the comment and compliment! Lovely to know the posts are of benefit to readers. Glad you subscribed and we will look forward to hearing from you in the future.
      All the best,

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