Dubai: If you’re too stressed, depressed, or simply unhappy, head to Dubai Marina at 6pm on Sunday and laugh all your cares away to reap the health benefits of laughter as part of World Laughter Day.

A group of 30 people led by Jo-Dee Walmsley, a motivational speaker and laughter facilitator, will go around Dubai Marina on Sunday for the first World Laughter Flash Mob. They will laugh around and try to make people around them laugh too with the gift of a red balloon.

“Almost everybody’s a foreigner in this country and we’re faced with a lot of stress. Laughter helps relieve us of that stress. Even if you fake it, your brain won’t notice and you will reap the benefits of laughter just the same,” Walmsley told Gulf News.

Walmsley considers laughter a form of ‘internal jogging’ that exercises the internal parts of the body. It also releases endorphins—known by many as the happy hormones—that help a person feel good about himself.

“It’s been proven that 10 minutes of hearty laughter is equivalent to spending 30 minutes on the rowing machine,” she said.

According to Sahar Moussly, a behavioural master coach who organises laughter yoga sessions in Dubai, a laughter yoga session, combined with clapping, and deep breathing exercises can burn up to 350 calories. It is a good exercise that does not need a lot of effort. Besides physical exercise, it also has lots of health benefits.

“Laughter is good for overall better health. Laughter releases stress, reduces blood pressure, is good for diabetics, and keeps the flow of oxygen to your internal organs,” Moussly told Gulf News.

Those who would like to join a free session of laughter yoga may go to the Memsaab Restaurant in Jumeirah Lakes Towers next Saturday (May 11) at 8.30am where Moussly will hold a session as a post-celebration of the World Laughter Day.

World Laughter Day, celebrated annually on the first Sunday of May, was created in 1998 by Dr. Madan Kataria who also founded the worldwide Laughter Yoga movement. It was first held in India, aiming at world peace through laughter.