Psychological Reports in 1990 published a study on the effects humoral laughter has on threat-induced anxiety. 53 college students were led by researchers to believe that they would be shocked with an electric shock after a waiting time.
While waiting for their shock, subjects in the experiment group were able to listen to a humorous tape. The placebo group listened only to a humorous tape. The control group did not listen. The humor group reported lower anxiety during the anticipatory phase, while those with the most sense of humor had the lowest anxiety.
Laughter therapy was also shown to decrease anxiety in Parkinson’s disease patients [PDF], lower anxiety and depression in nursing students, as well as improve optimism, self-esteem, depression, and mood in women in their 40s.
A psychological perspective suggests that keeping a sense if humor and being able to laugh can help people get through tough times.
LAUGHTER ISN’T A BOOSTER.
You might consider practicing laughter therapy at the beginning of the flu season. There have been numerous studies that show the benefits of laughter in improving immunity.
Prank subscription box Researchers tested postpartum mothers’ breast milk for immunoglobulin before and after laughter therapy in a 2015 study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.
Participants were able to engage in group “laughter” dance routines and light breast massages, which inducing laughter twice per week. Participants in laughter therapy experienced a slight rise in their IgA. The …