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Laughter Boosting For Stressful Situations

Merv NealGrowing competitiveness and desire for lofty accomplishments in workplace, academic, sports as well as in the field of creative arts invariably places people in a vulnerable situation, which can generate fear, anxiety and worry and lead to an immensely negative and stressful scenario.

The performance levels are most likely to be affected as rationality gets clouded with stress. It is therefore important to alleviate these circumstances and create an ambience for optimal performance. Laughter can do just that. It has the power to boost positive emotions and enhance self - confidence just within minutes before a stressful event.

The practice of using unconditional laughter to prepare for stressful events is known as 'LAUGHTER BOOSTING' and is gaining popularity with speakers, actors and other performers to prepare themselves for presentations to audiences of all sizes. Hollywood heartthrob Harry Hamlin recently used pre-performance Laughter Yoga sessions to boost his scores on the popular American show ‘Dancing with the Stars’. People are also using laughter boosting to prepare for job interviews and public speaking. Laughter Boosting can assist students to prepare for examinations and also help sports teams to prepare for optimal performance before competition. Cases have been reported where people have utilized the enhanced endorphin levels provided by laughter boosting to undergo surgery without the use of anesthetics!

Here are some people who have benefited from Laughter Boosting:

Dominique Toulet, New Caledonia

I work as a conference interpreter from English to French. A profession recognized for being highly stressful (if you muck up and don’t deliver the message, it means hundreds or thousands of people are incapable of communicating and everybody knows it’s the interpreter’s fault!). I sometimes work at international conferences with heads of states and the like, and they can be a real source of stress, particularly on when the stakes are really high. Since I trained with you as a Laughter Yoga Teacher, I systematically devote half an hour of breathing (the usual five pranayama exercises) and a good half-hour Laughter Meditation on my own before I interpret. I find it boosts my confidence more than any other trick I’ve tried. I arrive at work all flushed and happy, totally calm within and deliver to the best of my abilities with no parasite thoughts, fear, stage fright or whatever negative feeling which could only lessen my performance. Laughter is the best mood and confidence enhancer I know!

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Linda Leclerc, Canada

As a Laughter Yoga Teacher, I tell people that laughter helps to decrease stress levels and relieves tensions. Whenever I feel nervous before meeting a new group or making a presentation, I lock myself up in the bathroom and do my “survival routine” exercises: a few deep breaths, 2-3 minutes of silent laughter, stretching and breathing and then the apotheosis! I do 1 minute of Lion laughter, take a few deep breaths and am ready to go. Every time I do this, it’s almost like a new discovery for me: It really works.

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Teresa Verde, USA

I have a wonderful story from one of the seniors in a retirement community where I have led a Laughter Club on and off for a few years. The senior lady was in a state of high anxiety before going to a hospital for a procedure, which she had gone for in the past and was quite painful. This time, she asked the attending doctor and nurse to take a few minutes prior to the procedure and laugh with her. Fortunately they were willing to do so, as she led them in a few laughter exercises. Not only did she sail through the procedure stress- free but also pain- free! I was so pleased to see a Laughter Club member take what we do and apply it to her life.