Interview with Laughter Yoga's "Giggling Guru"

Shrink Rap Radio Podcast
Shrink Rap Radio Podcast

I’ve just been listening to Dr David Van Nuys on the ShrinkRap Radio Psychology Podcast  interviewing Dr Madan Katarian the originator of Laughter Yoga.

As always Dr Dave is a great interviewer and Dr Katarian is an engaging and giggling guest. Since he first developed Laughter Yoga groups in a park in Mumbai, the Laughter Yoga movement now has 6,000 groups world wide.

The interview covers the beginnings of the practice, how unconditional laughter benefits and a number of stories of how people have used laughter in a variety of situations (including a group of ‘laughers’ trapped in a building during the recent earthquake in Japan).

You can listen to the interview here

The interview and the interviewee are very engaging and I mention it because in the Autumn ChangeCamp on 29th October, Keith Adams  of Voluntary Aspirations will be running the now traditional final wrap up session finishing a day of presentations at the event.

If you enjoyed the interview I heartily recommend the Shrink Rap Radio Podcast which has been going now for six years and has a huge back catalogue of interviews covering every possible aspect of psychology and personal development.

ChangeCamp – October 29th – Newcastle upon Tyne

ChangeCamp feedbackThe Autumn ChangeCamp in Newcastle upon Tyne, on Saturday October 29th is fast approaching.

For those of you who don’t know ChangeCamp is a biannual event for anyone who is interested in psychological change for themselves or the people they work with.

It’s a collection of up to 16 mini-workshops held over the course of one day on all kinds of aspects of psychological change.

Many approaches are represented including: Counselling, Coaching, EFT, NLP, Hypnotherapy, Solution Focussed Therapy, healthcare, Laughter Yoga, and much more. Each workshop is 40 or 90 minutes long, and introduces you to a fascinating variety of ways of changing things for the better.

Here are a few of the workshops on offer on the day:

Counselling And You
A workshop explaining what counselling is and what it is not. How to use counselling skills at work and home. How to find the right counsellor for you and yours. This is a workshop with an opportunity to try out some counselling skills and to explore what you or your family might be looking for in a counsellor

How To Develop Compassionate Self Acceptance.
Compassionate self acceptance is a more robust version of self esteem. Rather than feeling good about ourselves which can be tricky when things aren’t going well we can learn to feel kindly towards ourselves whatever the circumstances. In this workshop you will learn some simple techniques to develop self-compassion and put it into practice.

Reverse Therapy – Psychological approaches to health
Learn how to get well and stay well using simple techniques for listening to your body. By listening to our bodies we can not only ease specific physical conditions such as CFS/ME, Fibromyalgia, IBS, anxiety and depression we can keep ourselves well, improve immune function and increase general well-being.

An Introduction To Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT)
Emotional Freedom Techniques or EFT is a simple self help technique that can help with a surprising range of problems, softening negative emotions, painful memories and some physical issues. In this short introduction you will learn the basics of this simple technique.

These are just four of the workshops that will be happening on the day. The list of workshops will be extended as we get closer to the day. You can find the current list of presentations here.

ChangeCamp is not just about the workshops, it is about connecting with people with the same interests as you in warm and friendly atmosphere and to have a good time.

All this is for just £15 on the door or by booking online and bring some food for a shared buffet meal.

Self-Hate Speech And How To Stop It

Hate speech laws in the United Kingdom are found in several statutes. Expressions of hatred toward someone on account of that person’s colour, race, nationality (including citizenship), ethnic or national origin, religion, or sexual orientation is forbidden. Any communication which is threatening, abusive or insulting, and is intended to harass, alarm, or distress someone is forbidden. The penalties for hate speech include fines, imprisonment, or both.  [emphasis mine]

I work with people who give themselves a hard time. They often have harsh internal voices that tell them

  • “You are useless!”
  • “How could you be so stupid!”
  • “You should have …”
  • “You messed up again!”
  • “No one is going to want you!”
  • “It’s all your fault”
  • “Nobody likes you!”

If someone were to say these kinds of things to you in this way in the street they would probably be considered threatening, abusive and insulting. You might even be able to call the police and have them arrested. But these thoughts are all going on inside your head, who are you going arrest?

Worse than that, if you have been hearing this stuff for most of your life then you might believe what you are being told. As far as you are concerned your inner critic is only telling the truth and you probably deserve that kind of treatment anyway.

Even if the inner critic feels like it has always been there it hasn’t.

You weren’t born bullying yourself.

You have to learn how to do that from your family, friends and school, the important people in your young and vulnerable life who, directly or indirectly, tell you who you are and how you should feel.

If you were lucky you may have grown up in an environment that promoted your well-being and you learned a healthy opinion of yourself.

If you were not so fortunate you may have learned an unrealistically bad opinion of yourself, which your inner critic is only too happy to remind you of.

A sad part of this process of being trained to be self critical is that your parents, friends, teachers and others were probably not doing it deliberately but merely playing out their own programming, passing on their own critical training to you.

Whatever the reason you may now have an inner critic, bully or tyrant who is only too happy to continue threatening, abusing or insulting you. There appears to be no escape because this inner critic is with you day and night, where ever you go.

They make these messages that there is something wrong with you very compelling and believable. Even when you know they are not true you still cannot argue against them.

In my opinion the answer is not to contest the messages but to learn how to disconnect from them and to begin to treat yourself with compassionate acceptance.

Things you can do:

Your inner critic, bully or tyrant can’t be fined or imprisoned but they can be retired, retrained or released.

Image courtesy of sylvar

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