The Brief Science Behind Laughter Yoga

by Dr. Monroe Mann, PhD, Esq, MBA, LLM, ME, EMT

Guess what?  In 5 weeks, I am taking a two-day course teaching me how to lead laughter yoga sessions.

Laughter yoga?  What?!

You read it correctly.  I’m going to learn how to encourage people to laugh for 30 minutes, nonstop, for no reason whatsoever.

Why?

Because it works.

Works?  Works doing what?

It makes you happy.

For many years, psychologists have known that real happiness led to real laughter, but very few pursued the strange idea that fake laughter could magically transform into real laughter and that this real laughter would lead to real boosts in mood.

Well guess what: it does.  It works.

I used to live in China.  While there, I looked around for a training center, but couldn’t find one.  I decided I was going to head to Mumbai, India to train with the guy who started the whole movement.  Alas, I had more important things to do: study Chinese.

But now that I’m home, and now that I’m about to relaunch my new venture, Break Diving, I realized that becoming a laughter yoga teacher would fit right in with my new company’s mission, and allow me to integrate my PhD in psychology with this proven psychological tool.  So, I found a trainer in New Jersey (huh, there ARE some cool things in Jersey after all!) and come August 1, I am going to be starting to teach others how to laugh for no reason.

Basically, for the first 5 minutes, it’s totally awkward.  But suddenly, the switch flips, and the fake belly laughter starts to become real belly laughter, as you watch your fellow laughers doing the same crazy thing you are doing!  By the end of the session, you feel great!   You also are out of breath and feeling like you just did a crazy ab work out–and you did!

So anyway, I just thought I’d let you guys know about that.  Pretty cool, eh?   As a comedian my hope was to make you laugh on purpose for a good reason.  Now my mission will be to make you laugh randomly for no reason at all.  In many ways, I sort think the latter is far more romantic and spiritual, doncha think?

Ommmmm…

Oh wait, I mean: HA HA HA HA HA BWU HA HA HA BWA HA HA HA HA HA HA OH MY GOSH IT HURTS HA HA HA HA

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