Ways to Enhance Your Well-being with Laughter & Hygge

Explore laughter exercises and their physical and mental health benefits, infused with the cozy warmth of hygge. 

There's a unique charm in sharing a hearty laugh with loved ones, an experience that embodies the Danish concept of hygge – finding comfort, joy, and warmth in life's simple pleasures. Laughter, a universal language, bridges gaps across diverse cultures and backgrounds. It's a familiar part of life, but have you ever delved into the depths of this delightful emotion?

Continue reading to deepen your understanding of laughter, a complex yet joyful human emotion.

What Is Laughter?

Laughter, hopefully a frequent visitor in your daily life, is often an impromptu vocal reaction to humour. It's a social emotion, significantly more common in company than in solitude (Provine, 2004). Laughter serves as a mode of communication, connecting us with others.

Laughter is:
● An emotion
● A means of communication
● A form of self-expression

Laughter & Health

Laughing not only warms the heart but also enhances mental health. The positive nature of laughter can overshadow negative emotions (Saper, 1990), embracing the hygge philosophy of focusing on life's positives.

Mental health benefits of laughter:

  • Boosted life satisfaction
  • Enhanced quality of life
  • Improved cognitive function
  • Better mood and happiness
  • Reduced loneliness
  • Lowered depression (Kuru Alici & Arikan Dönmez, 2020)

Seeking a mental uplift? Try reminiscing over humorous memories with a friend or watching comedy clips online. Even if it feels forced initially, this shift towards positivity aligns with the hygge ethos of embracing joy in small moments.

Regular laughter yoga can further benefit physical health, adding a hygge touch of self-care and relaxation.

Physical health benefits of laughter:

  • Reduced blood pressure
  • Decreased stress hormones
  • Enhanced sleep quality (Kuru Alici & Arikan Dönmez, 2020)

Regular laughter, whether spontaneous or self-induced (Mora-Ripoll, 2010), can yield these mental and physical benefits, resonating with hygge's emphasis on well-being.

How to Laugh More

Craving more joy and hygge in your life? Amidst global turmoil, infusing laughter into your daily routine can be a soothing balm.

Try these activities:

  • Create a YouTube playlist of your favourite comedic scenes. Quick laughs from short clips can be a time-efficient way to brighten your day.
  • Share funny stories with friends or family. Strengthening connections through laughter aligns with hygge's focus on nurturing relationships.
  • Host a relaxed game night, prioritizing fun over competition. Games like charades or Pictionary can spark joy and laughter in a hygge-inspired setting.
  • Practice laughter exercises, such as laughter yoga and meditation. These can be beneficial, as your brain doesn't differentiate between natural and self-stimulated laughter.

Laughter, a tool for communication and a source of joy, aligns beautifully with the hygge lifestyle. It can transform your mood, replacing negativity with positivity. Regular laughter and laughter yoga can improve mental and physical health, enhancing life satisfaction, cognitive function, and even sleep quality. Embracing laughter in your routine, whether through movies, yoga, or time with loved ones, can infuse your life with more joy and hygge.


  • Kuru Alici, N., & Arikan Dönmez, A. (2020). A systematic review of the effect of laughter yoga on physical function and psychosocial outcomes in older adults. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, 41, 101252.
  • Mora-Ripoll, R. (2010). The Therapeutic Value of Laughter in Medicine. Alternative Therapies in Health & Medicine, 16(6), 56–64.
  • Provine, R. R. (2004). Laughing, tickling, and the evolution of speech and self. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 13(6), 215–218.
  • Saper, B. (1990). The therapeutic use of humor for psychiatric disturbances of adolescents and adults. Psychiatric Quarterly, 61(4), 261–272.

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