In recent years the benefits of laughter have been promoted by Dr. Madan Kataria, the founder of the Laughter Yoga movement, which began in 1995 in India.
Call it The Laughter Cure if you will, as there is a proven link between laughter and better psychological health. Dr. Madan Kataria explored this theory in depth in his bestseller "Laugh For No Reason", in which he outlined how simply laughing can improve one's emotional and spiritual health and ultimately improve their outlook.
Unusually the 'laughter' that Laughter Yoga practices and encourages is not the result of being humoured, instead those participating often laugh for no particular reason, as Laughter Yoga is also about meditation and deep breathing, an action which helps relieve tension, stress and anger from the mind and body.
Typical Laughter Yoga sessions see the participants perform 'laughing exercises'. Some examples of these activities include chanting and clapping as a group or greeting other members of the group by making peculiar gestures to make others laugh. One common gesture is widening one's eyes and sticking out one's tongue.
There are several videos online which demonstrate what exactly occurs during the sessions, in which participants of any age are welcomed.
Federation Square has a regular Laughter Club between 11am and 11:30am every first Sunday of the Month.