Laughter Yoga and Life Satisfaction
By Brad Bell
Life satisfaction is an important indicator of quality of life. Thus, it is important to conduct research to find out what may influence life satisfaction. Laughter yoga may be one technique that may influence life satisfaction.
Shahidi et al. (2011) conducted a study in which there was random assignment to three groups: a control group, an exercise therapy group, and a laughter yoga group. The participants were described as depressed women, and the mean age was 66.56 of the 60 participants who completed the study. The laughter yoga involved a number of elements. Some of the elements included a simple chant, clapping hands, deep breathing exercises, and laughter exercises. The increase in life satisfaction in the laughter yoga group was statistically significant in comparison to the control group. However, based on the findings reported in Table 3 in their article, the difference in the increase in life satisfaction between the laugher yoga group and the exercise therapy group was not statistically significant. (1) These findings suggest that laughter yoga may increase life satisfaction, but it may not be more effective than exercise. However, there were only 20 participants in each condition of the experiment who completed the study. Also, it is not clear whether there would be any long-term effects of laughter yoga on life satisfaction. It is important to conduct more research on the possible benefits of laughter yoga in which there is a larger number of participants and a longitudinal study.
Shahidi, M., Mojtahed, A., Modabbernia, A., Mojtahed, M., Shafiabady, A., Delavar. A., & Honari, H. (2011). Laughter yoga versus group exercise program in elderly depressed women: A randomized controlled trial. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 26, 322-327.
1. Their study also addressed the influence of laughter yoga on depression (see their article for other findings).