Tag Archives: performance

Laughter is the best medicine

Laughter is the best medicine – unless you have an upset stomach.

Fortunately my stomach is doing just fine, because I’m off out tonight to watch Jimmy Carr do his live show – No pressure Jimmy, but I’m expecting it to be hilarious.

When someone is feeling down, low and generally a bit rubbish, laughter can really lift the spirits and get you back to feeling good again. Why?

Well first of all laughing produces lots of lovely hormones in our bodies that make us feel good. Endorphins and seratonins can become elevated which just cheers us up. Literally just the act of laughing.

Don’t believe me – give it a try. Laugh as mightily as you can for a minute or two. Do real ‘belly laughs’ and a few giggles. Even if you start out faking it, you will soon find you are genuinely laughing and that it feels good.

There are many laugh therapists all over the world who use this special aspect of laughter to help people to feel better in themselves. Quite often they will work with groups of people at the same time because laughter is contagious. It also brings me onto my second point about why laughter is good for you.

As a very general rule of thumb, when we laugh out loud we are in company. Now you might think about a time that you watched or read something and laughed to yourself, and you were completely alone. This can happen, but usually if we are alone we tend to smile, or just give a little exhale of air. This is NOT the same. Laughing is often considered to be a social cue to demonstrate to others in a group that we are on the same page, that we understand what is going on and we are participating in it. Have you ever noticed that you laugh much more if you are at a comedy performance than you do if you are watching the same or a similar performance alone on DVD? Being around others and having social interaction is incredibly important for your mental health. I’m not saying you have to be around people all the time to be mentally well, but those who spend more time isolated are much more likely to suffer from mental health issues. Whether you’re naturally an introvert or en extrovert, millennia of evolution has formed you into a social being. How much you crave and accept that social aspect varies from person to person, but we all need to have some interaction.

Another reason laughter is good for our mental health is that it’s distracting. When you laugh you are generally in the moment. Your conscious thought processes are working on whatever it is that is amusing you – you are not thinking about what may happen tomorrow (anxiety) or what did or did not happen in the past (depression). By simply being present in the moment you can distract yourself from a lot of other worries. This gives your poor old brain a break and lets it know that it’s not all about stress and worry.

So, I say again, Laughter is the best medicine – unless you have a serious illness – then maybe a visit to a health practitioner rather than the local comedy club is your best bet.

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How to feel more confident

how to feel more confident hypnosis

Confidence is a bit like air.

When you have it you tend not to think about it, when you don’t it can feel awful.

Social anxiety, performance anxiety and generalised anxiety can all be debilitating, reducing sufferers to people afraid to leave their own homes and with serious esteem issues.

The good news is that it can be overcome.

It takes work, and it’s not always easy, but you can do it.

My advice would be to get professional help – counsellors and therapists can work wonders in this area.

If you’re not ready to take that step, or think you can manage it yourself there are some things that you can do to move forward.

How to feel more confident.

1. Challenge your beliefs.

If you you believe that everyone at the party will hate you – challenge that.

Firstly, it’s very likely that most people at the party will barely notice you. Most of the time we are so wrapped up in our own thoughts and lives that we barely notice what anyone else is doing, wearing or thinking.

Secondly, it’s very unlikely that EVERYONE will have a bad opinion of you, whatever you do. Even serial killers get fan mail. Surely you’re not that bad!

Thirdly, I doubt very much anyone will HATE you. Hating takes a lot of energy. Think about it – do you HATE anyone? If so, were they someone you randomly met at a party?

2. Ask yourself – so what?

If you believe that you will not be very good at something, ask yourself, so what?

What if you’re not very good at it? What will it matter?

Maybe people won’t clap – so what? What if they don’t? Will you die? Will anyone else die? Will it cause you pain?

Maybe they won’t / will laugh (depending on whether or not you’re trying to be funny) – so what?

Maybe they won’t book you to do another gig?

Maybe people will talk about you for a bit?

So what? It really doesn’t matter.

3. Remind yourself that it’s OK not to be perfect.

Nobody is perfect. Let me say that again – Nobody is perfect. We all make mistakes, we all get awkward sometimes, we all drop things, we all get nervous, we all say the wrong things sometimes – and that’s OK.

You are not perfect, and that’s OK.

4. The chances are that the person you are standing next to is feeling anxious too.

Have you ever been in a room, where nobody is talking and you are waiting for someone to make the first move and say something. Guess what, everyone else is waiting for the same thing.

Take the bull by the horns and say something. The relief on the other persons face will let you know that they were feeling the same way and that you have just shown yourself to be the most confident one there!

Check you out!

5. Work out whether you are feeling excited or nervous.

Sometimes when we are waiting for something we start to feel physically different. Maybe our heart starts beating a bit faster, our breathing becomes a bit more rapid, our palms may get a bit sweaty and our mouth goes dry…Am I describing feeling nervous or excited? They’re both pretty much the same, so how do you know you’re not just feeling excited?

Whether you decide to take these steps yourself or get someone to help you to feel more confident, I wish you and yours a happy, confident, fulfilling party season and a fantastic new year.

Go get ’em tiger!

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