Laughter therapy: A humor-induced hormonal intervention to reduce stress and anxiety

Graphical abstract of article
Elsevier, Current Research in Physiology, Volume 4, January 2021
Akimbekov N.S., Razzaque M.S.

Prolonged pharmacological interventions have detrimental health consequences by developing drug tolerance or drug resistance, in addition to adverse drug events. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic-related stress has adversely affected the emotional and mental health aspects around the globe. Consequently, depression is growing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Besides specific pharmacological interventions, which if prolonged have detrimental health consequences, non-pharmacological interventions are needed to minimize the emotional burden related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Laughter therapy is a universal non-pharmacologic approach to reduce stress and anxiety. Therapeutic laughter is a non-invasive, cost-effective, and easily implementable intervention that can be used during this pandemic as a useful supplementary therapy to reduce the mental health burden. Laughter therapy can physiologically lessen the pro-stress factors and increase the mood-elevating anti-stress factors to reduce anxiety and depression. In this ongoing stressful period of the COVID-19 pandemic, keeping necessary social distancing, it is important to create a cheerful environment that will facilitate laughter among the family, neighbor, and community to cope with the stresses of the COVID-19 pandemic.