Get Real With The English Sisters - Mind Health Anxiety

Exploring the Power of Laughter: A Solution for Stress, Anxiety, and Bringing Unity

December 12, 2023 The English Sisters - Violeta & Jutka Zuggo Episode 95
Get Real With The English Sisters - Mind Health Anxiety
Exploring the Power of Laughter: A Solution for Stress, Anxiety, and Bringing Unity
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Ever wondered why laughter is considered the best medicine, especially when coping with stress and anxiety? This episode will reveal why and how a good chuckle can help to melt away tension. We'll also explore those unexpected situations where laughter can serve as a natural stress relief - yes, even at funerals! We'll walk you through the intricacies of humour, the role of breathing, and how laughter can sometimes be misunderstood in stress-laden situations.

But laughter isn't only for personal wellness. It has the power to change the atmosphere in a boardroom and create unity in a room of monks. We'll dive into the positive impacts of humour on mental health, and how it can bring people together in the most diverse settings. We'll also tackle the topic of fear, duty, and yes, even clowns - demonstrating how laughter can light up even the darkest corners of our lives. So, if you're feeling anxious, stressed, or just in need of a good laugh, don't miss this episode for a light-hearted, uplifting, and insightful conversation.

Hypnotherapy coaching sessions can help if you are struggling with anxiety.  Please email us at englishsisters@gmail.com if you would like help with an issue, mentioning this episode of our podcast for a special discounted rate. We work with clients worldwide over Zoom or Skype. Buy our Book Stress Free in Three Minutes available on Amazon and Kindle, to help support our work. Thank you!

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Love and smiles from The English Sisters.

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Speaker 2:

Having a good laugh, are we? Yeah, and actually having a good laugh is no joke when it comes to stress relief and anxiety relief is one of the best ways to release anxiety.

Speaker 1:

I suppose it's got to do with breathing as well, but we'll get into that when we start this episode, so tune in and listen to Get.

Speaker 2:

Real with the English Sisters.

Speaker 1:

Laugh is the best medicine. That's what they always say.

Speaker 2:

That's what I always think about that, do you? Yeah, it's a very old phrase that has a lot of wisdom in it.

Speaker 1:

I think it's either you either laugh or cry, oh my goodness it doesn't have to be that dramatic.

Speaker 2:

I mean, if you're in a situation where you say it might as well laugh, because otherwise I'm going to start crying. That's kind of like.

Speaker 1:

You mean, is that like the funny side of things?

Speaker 2:

I know what you mean by saying you either laugh or cry, though, because you mean, if you're in that kind of a situation in a pickle, yeah, when you're feeling anxious, there are two ways to relieve anxiety, and that's laughing or crying. I didn't actually talk about that. Yeah, when you cry, you do also relieve anxiety, as long as it's for a limited amount of time the tears are actually helpful.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it's got to do with the breathing, because when you're laughing, you're breathing in a different way to when you would normally be breathing. If you're anxious or tense, you'll be breathing really rapidly and shallow, wouldn't you?

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

And when you laugh, you instantly have to take deep breaths.

Speaker 2:

You do, do you, yeah, yeah, after you laugh.

Speaker 1:

You know, just if you laugh after your giggle, you'll take a really deep breath, yeah.

Speaker 2:

Do you know that sometimes, yeah, I think so, yeah, like that.

Speaker 1:

Like to catch it Well, because when you're actually giggling or laughing, you're not actually breathing that what you say, but then afterwards to gather yourself so that you can talk again. I've never noticed that you have to take a really deep breath, really. Yeah, you have a little laugh now. You'll notice that afterwards.

Speaker 2:

You take that kind of like, you take a deep breath in and that relieves a lot of tension.

Speaker 1:

So laughter in your all the muscles in your body kind of gets shaken up as well. They do, they certainly do, and right now I feel like dancing.

Speaker 2:

Well, you can also yeah, imagine dance and laugh at the same time. That would be good for you.

Speaker 1:

Probably that you're on something.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I mean. The truth is that, you know, relieving stress through laughter really isn't a joking matter, even though it sounds funny. There is a lot of proof in that, and there have been even studies based on it. What have you seen in?

Speaker 1:

the kids in the class. Have you seen how they giggle when they're stressed out? A lot of kids, even adults, they'll giggle or smile when they're really stressed and people think that they're thinking something's funny. But they're not. They're trying to relieve stress in a natural way.

Speaker 2:

Oh, yeah, the nervous giggle, as it's called. Yes God, I used to get that all the time in the schoolroom. It was antique. It was antique. You've been like 101 years old. What's it called a schoolroom? What were they called Classroom? Oh, sorry, okay, class, it's a bit of a laugh Maybe yeah, it's classroom. Yeah, classroom, it's schoolroom. I'm watching a programme on Einstein and you sounded as if you'd come from that generation.

Speaker 1:

I'm not that old, but anyway, yeah, the school. Okay, you're supposed to be a year younger than me.

Speaker 2:

So if you're that old, I'm even older then.

Speaker 1:

So in the classroom I would do a lot of nervous giggling. I must say yeah.

Speaker 2:

I thought it was just like the ages. And I'm also thinking, and it's more serious now. I'm thinking in the Amanda Knox trial.

Speaker 1:

They accused her of smiling and giggling and as body language experts.

Speaker 2:

We knew that it was because she was under so much stress and nerves that that's the only way she could release it.

Speaker 1:

And people thought she was laughing because she'd actually committed the terrible murder. Yeah, I think there should be more awareness around something like this and understand that it was unfortunate that it happened to her at that moment.

Speaker 2:

No, exactly, but some people can't.

Speaker 1:

they don't realise that laughter is such an effective way of releasing stress, and it's such a natural way that your body will do it.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, you're right, you'll do it, even if you think it's not appropriate to do it. Like a funeral, for example, there have been cases people giggle and laugh when they're just trying to relieve stress.

Speaker 1:

It's not nice really If it's like you think they're being disrespectful.

Speaker 2:

You're thinking about mum's funeral. I am, and that was okay because it was our mum and it was our own. There weren't that many people there.

Speaker 1:

There weren't that many people there?

Speaker 2:

no, because her family didn't come from Spain. I can't remember why we were giggling, though I remember it so well. I was just nervous.

Speaker 1:

It was just an uncomfortable time when we were just having a little bit of a conversation and it was just an uncomfortable time.

Speaker 2:

We were probably just releasing stress, but yeah, that was unfortunate.

Speaker 1:

I think mum would have wanted us to giggle because she would have been to writing. She didn't like frunals.

Speaker 2:

No, that's okay it was okay because it was ours. But it happens if you go.

Speaker 1:

No, it's embarrassing.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's what I'm trying to say. Come on, it's the last thing you want to do is hear somebody laughing. It doesn't give a very nice message across, does it.

Speaker 1:

I'm just thinking that I giggle a lot because my son always whenever he comes in the room, I might start to just giggle. I have little giggles.

Speaker 2:

And do you think you do that to relieve stress or to relieve his stress?

Speaker 1:

No, I don't think so. I just find things something exciting and amusing and I have a little giggle. But I do remember there was a time when I thought we don't laugh anymore and we don't smile. I remember that when we were really stressed out, it was the opposite for us we didn't smile, we didn't have much laughter in our lives.

Speaker 2:

And.

Speaker 2:

I don't think I realized that I had to cultivate, you know, having a sense of humour If if you think you haven't got much of a sense of humour, it is something you can cultivate. I mean, it's like a skill. You can learn to look for the funny side of things. You can learn to Crap jokes. Well, yeah, you might not be very good at it, maybe you find them funny, that's OK. And you can learn to also like watch more comedies, things that are going to make you laugh, like my choice, if I choose. If you look at my, my favourites on my screen time, they're always something that's going to make me laugh.

Speaker 2:

I try and find comedies, or sometimes I might go for those really old dramas like what I said the schoolroom.

Speaker 1:

We see where that comes from then.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, things like that. You know I might go for something like that, but they have to be quite easy and sort of like what was it that last one? I watched the really famous one about them, queen.

Speaker 1:

Charlotte or something it was one of those dramas that it was a sequel to Bridget.

Speaker 2:

Bridgeton.

Speaker 1:

What was it, bridgeton? It was a sequel.

Speaker 2:

She says in her very posh, regal voice it was a sequel.

Speaker 1:

It was a sequel to Queens.

Speaker 2:

Yes, it was called Queens something, queen Charlotte or something, yeah, and it was one of these things that's kind of light but not really light, but anyway, something like that that might be have this bit of a humorous side to it. That was funny. There were funny parts in it yeah, and you can also cultivate your sense of humor with things like that and generally notice the lighter side of life, and I think if you find yourself funny, that's good. Well, I think that's essential if you find yourself funny.

Speaker 1:

Because sometimes I notice that I would just be the only one laughing at my own jokes. I can't crack a joke on no one else's house. Yes, yeah.

Speaker 2:

I find it funny. Yeah, yeah, you do that a lot, so I find it funny. I think, oh well, yes, you do, I've seen you do that. Yeah, that you find it funny, nobody else.

Speaker 1:

It's like a bonus if I get a laugh at anyone else. Yeah, you're right yeah, never mind.

Speaker 2:

But yes, you're right, yes, use this tension, blah, blah. Yeah, I was just reading what it was saying about it. But, yes, everything. We already really know instinctively about laughing, why it's good for you and why we do it. I think, innate human, I think I don't know if I was gonna think chimps laugh. And you know, for chimps laugh, that sounds funny, they do, they do. Yeah, they must do. Yeah, you've heard them laugh. This is gonna be a very silly podcast.

Speaker 2:

No, I'm sure I've seen them. Well, like when you see them on the programme, I do. I'm like can you see that demon? Yeah, I don't know if that's actually laughing or just some kind of verbalisation.

Speaker 1:

But why wouldn't they laugh? They're so similar to us, why wouldn't they laugh?

Speaker 2:

No, I was just wondering whether in other animal species they have a sense of humour and they find things I think they do. Probably, yeah, entertaining, that's for sure.

Speaker 1:

They'll be entertaining. Yeah, they will be entertaining Because, like my dog, Otter will be very entertaining with things.

Speaker 2:

Yes, yeah, yeah, and he'll find things more entertaining than Otters, obviously yeah. And he's quite funny, but dogs actually don't laugh, you never see them actually laugh.

Speaker 1:

No, you see them smiling sometimes.

Speaker 2:

Do they really smile or is that just what you think they're smiling?

Speaker 1:

But you can know when they're having fun when they're wagging their tails. Yeah, they show different signs.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, actual sound of laughter coming out of your mouth is quite particular though, isn't it?

Speaker 1:

It's quite unique to humans.

Speaker 2:

And it will happen in any language, which is lovely, isn't it? Well, it's universal. Yes, and no matter wherever you are. You know, that's one trait we have in common with everyone People understand laughter.

Speaker 1:

They do they understand laughter, Even though some cultures are very rude to laugh in certain occasions?

Speaker 2:

Well, so is it in our culture, in the Western culture, like what we were saying a funeroy, inappropriate, a business meeting.

Speaker 1:

No, but some kind of business as well.

Speaker 2:

Wow a business. Yeah, of course Well.

Speaker 1:

I think in our friend and colleague Paul Boros, who has a. Humorology podcast. Right yeah, and he actually talks about how important humour is in business and how you know how companies and businesses should learn to cultivate humour and encourage humour in everyday meetings.

Speaker 2:

Yes, so because of how would they encourage it, do you?

Speaker 1:

remember like when I mean like 20 years ago we used to say you can't smile or laugh because people get the wrong idea that I think you're like fickle or that you're not taking things seriously.

Speaker 2:

That was more here in Italy, yeah, when we first met everywhere, yeah, everywhere. It's a bit like that Everywhere, yeah, you have to kind of show a serious face.

Speaker 1:

Yes, when you're doing certain things. Yeah, yeah, because otherwise they start saying oh, I think she's had too much. He's had too much to drink.

Speaker 2:

Drink, yeah. What are you on, Even if it's 11. You know what are you taking, yeah.

Speaker 1:

They'll start cracking all these little jokes. That could be funny, but they could also. I just I do think that there are certain aspects of our life that are far too serious and they could be a lot lighter.

Speaker 2:

I agree with you. Yeah, yeah, I wish you'd, yeah, I wish you'd, yeah, I wish you'd encourage laughter more into the workplace and more humour, more laughter, more, because it does release tension and it makes people feel good.

Speaker 1:

and it's contagious, very contagious.

Speaker 2:

You see one person laughing and having a bit of a light heart, you know like going on.

Speaker 1:

It infects the whole room, isn't it?

Speaker 2:

It infects everyone, the whole jolly series.

Speaker 1:

If you see someone, all serious, oh damn.

Speaker 2:

Oh, there's far too much of that around. Yeah yeah, we need more of the light-hearted and we really need to come to make humour.

Speaker 1:

I think that's why we appreciate humans, appreciate, you know, the people that do comedy so much. I mean people that see, I love them. The people that see comedy, like, I think, now, david Bren, who puts humour and comedy into things that we do every day, like when we create a darker thing and the little things that you might be doing that could seem.

Speaker 2:

Trivial and unamusing.

Speaker 1:

How he makes them look so amusing to the people that are watching.

Speaker 2:

How it can be such a funny thing. Yeah, and they do say that's more the English sense of humour. So there are different kinds of humour, but they did create the office for American viewers.

Speaker 1:

They slightly modified it, but the gist was very much the same. It's very similar and I think it's a certain kind of humour that you have to kind of cultivate and get a gist for you definitely have to get a gist for it.

Speaker 2:

It's not that classical humour, like Mr Bean, for example where he makes mistakes.

Speaker 1:

That was more like slapstick, isn't it yeah? Yeah you're right, there are different.

Speaker 2:

Well, whatever you know, whatever tickles you, whatever makes you laugh. Really, the important thing is to cultivate it, and I think it's to cultivate wearing a smile on your face as well, even when you don't feel like it.

Speaker 1:

Well, they know, scientifically proven that smiling, if you smile for a few minutes, your mood will be instantly uplifting, because your smile is actually connected to your brain until your neurology. So even if you're sad and you smile, you will feel better.

Speaker 2:

I remember reading about the monks somewhere in Tibet or something, that they actually have a practice of smiling as soon as they get up in the morning, or something. They have to smile no matter if, even if they don't feel like it, and then eventually start laughing. So the smile then transforms into a laugh and then it's prayer, then they go into meditation. I don't know if that's yeah it's lovely, isn't?

Speaker 1:

it Just start your day with a giggle.

Speaker 2:

Start your day with at least a smile on your face, I would say You're saying don't push it. Don't push it because I thought of today, like when I woke up I thought I might be doing a podcast. I'll discuss it with you later. We want to talk about humour and the importance of laughter and smiling, and smiling and I thought I'm not exactly smiling now myself.

Speaker 1:

Did you smile?

Speaker 2:

I pretended to Did it work. It did work. And then I just carried the smile with me throughout my breakfast. And then the cat came and sat on my lap. So I thought she's been acting a bit weird, my little cat. For a while now she's been acting a bit depressed because I'm away from home a lot. I thought, Well, that's what your theory was, yeah. And so she came, and she came for cuddles. So I thought, yeah. So maybe because I was carrying that smile, she felt like a different kind of vibration. She knew I was going to be more relaxed. You know, little animals can instantly feel things.

Speaker 1:

What it relaxes you smiling and laughing.

Speaker 2:

So I thought well, that's easy, I mean, all we have to do is be consciously aware of it a little bit.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, talk about conscious awareness in the end. Yeah, just remember to carry the smile You're aware of your body language, of what you're doing, of your things, of how funny things are as well. You can see a funny, almost a funny side in almost everything. Well, yeah, almost Almost.

Speaker 2:

yeah, obviously you don't have to be exaggerated. No, no, because there's nothing worse than somebody laughing at you when you're not, when you've had a disadvantage. You shouldn't be off acting no, exactly Not acting. Or laughing at an incompetence, for example no, that's not, no, that's awful.

Speaker 1:

Well, that's mean.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, no, like, no, it's like you fall over and someone laughs. It was, it was.

Speaker 1:

I think they laugh as well because to release their tension because they're worried about you falling over.

Speaker 2:

That's a really nice way of thinking about it, but I don't know, sometimes it just looks funny. Yeah, there's actually a TV program here in Italy that sometimes I catch my husband watching it like I can't watch that.

Speaker 1:

Do you know which one? It is when they have the?

Speaker 2:

gags and people fall down, or children, like they fall out of their pram and they bang their heads and it's thawing and they have this humorous sound attached to them. No, I don't find that funny.

Speaker 1:

I don't find that funny.

Speaker 2:

I have to actually close my eyes and scream, and then my husband thinks that's hilarious, so he has a double laugh from the gag and from my expression In the end. Yeah, I just go away. I just can't watch people on skis and they crash into things.

Speaker 1:

No, because I always imagine that, you know, I have to be the first egg to go and help me with a knee or something is indistecrated, really.

Speaker 2:

No, I don't know. Yeah, I don't actually see myself going to first egg, but I just think, oh God, ouch, I kind of like feel that pain, I don't like it. No, no, I hate that. But anyway, I mean, there's lots of you that like it and OK, that's fine.

Speaker 1:

Because it's designed for a laugh.

Speaker 2:

Designed for a laugh. Yes, if you can, if you find that, for my husband laughs a lot, so I think good for him. He's had a hard day at work. I'm glad if he comes home and has a laugh.

Speaker 1:

Do you laugh at him when he?

Speaker 2:

falls over. Oh God, no, I've got. I would hope he wouldn't fall over. He's got this bad knee as well I would. I would never laugh at him if he fell over, Unless it was something really funny. No, I don't think he'd laugh at me if I fell over either.

Speaker 1:

Unless, it was funny Just because it's on the screen.

Speaker 2:

then, yeah, I think it's something that you think is Obviously. They add all the noises and everything. No, there are those funny noises they add, like if it's a clown nose, yeah, like a noise that. Yeah, I mean even clowns when they used to bash people on the. I didn't like that either. No, I think we're sensitive souls. Yeah, there might be some of you out there, some children. Yeah, really enjoyed it and they would laugh.

Speaker 1:

No, I would sit there the punch and duty things and things like that.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, what were they? They were like little marionettes that were puppets. Yeah, they would hit each other a lot. Yeah, I mean, yeah, they would hit. Was it supposed to be like husband and wife and they were like beating each other up? Very famous, very famous. So we're showing a lot of ignorance here. For any UK listeners, I mean, it's like the marionettes here in Italy, the famous ones and they're very anti-traditional oh yeah.

Speaker 2:

So all respect for you punch and duty lovers, it's just that I remember going to watch one of those little shows in the park with you and we were scared. I think, yeah, we were scared, but that's just how we are. We were just scared and I thought he started hitting I think, jude Would you do which was a little female character on the head with this wooden, and I thought she would hit him on the head or she would hit me. Yeah, anyway, it wasn't for us, and the clowns as well, when they bashed themselves or when they hurt themselves or people throw buckets on their head, that was anything like that. I suppose that's why we're therapists today. But you know, you guys out there, you don't have to fight. I mean, that's great if you find it funny and it's designed to be funny, so it's perfect, you know.

Speaker 1:

Anyway, if you want to see us laughing in person, also come to our YouTube channel, where we have the podcast on YouTube about the English sisters, and please do remember to subscribe. Follow us wherever you get your podcast and have a fun week.

Speaker 2:

Have a fun week Not that funny, yeah, and remember to carry that smile with you.

Speaker 1:

So we want to see lots of smiles and laughs in the comments, lots of loving smiles from the English sisters. Bye, bye.

Laughter as Stress Relief
The Importance of Laughter and Smiling
Fear of Clowns, Punch, and Duty