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From the Optimal Aging Portal | “Laugh out loud!” Leaning on laughter and humour during difficult times


Published: May 27, 2020

The Bottom Line

  • The COVID-19 pandemic and its interference in our daily lives has many of us grappling with feelings of stress, sadness, and loneliness, along with potential social isolation. 
  • Laughter and humour are strategies that can be used to maintain perspective during difficult times. Laughter interventions, such as laughter yoga, and humour interventions, such as watching a funny movie, are some methods that can help us incorporate laughter and humour into our lives. 
  • Some evidence suggests that, overall, laughter and humour interventions may reduce feelings of sadness and worry in adults. Sleep quality may also be positively impacted by laughter interventions.  
  • More research is needed to further support these findings, but the apparent safety of these strategies and ability to do certain ones at home may still make them worth a try. 

Amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many folks may be experiencing increased worry over contracting or spreading the virus, concern for loved ones, and the sorrow, loneliness or social isolation that can accompany the need to be physically distant from others. In fact, stress, sadness, and fear are “par for the course” in times of crisis, so finding ways to inject laughter and humour into our days to help us maintain perspective can seem challenging. But it’s worth a try, after all they do say that “laughter is the best medicine…” 

Read the full article here

The McMaster Optimal Aging Portal (, a unique online health resource created by McMaster University to support the healthy aging of Canada’s older adult population, is highlighting ways to stay active and engaged while practicing physical distancing during the current COVID-19 pandemic.​ Read more.



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