Do you know that we are all born with an infinite amount of laughter? Chances are you’ve never looked at it from that angle, and that’s why you need to listen to my guest, Dave Berman. He’ll be helping us understand the principles of laughter.
Dave Berman is an internationally recognized laughter expert, coach, consultant, author, and speaker. He is best known for producing laughter demonstration videos every day for nearly 3.5 years, his unique blend of laughter and hypnosis called Laughnosis, and exploring the inside-out understanding of life via laughing on purpose. Dave runs the Laughter Gym.
In this episode, Dave will take us through what he does and his perception of different aspects of laughter. Listen in to this episode.
Key Talking Points of the Episode:
[02:07] How Dave ended up in Saigon
[05:11] How different cultures approach laughter
[08:39] Is laughter a good way of overcoming fear?
[11:52] Does the body differentiate between fake and real laughter?
[16:23] How Dave’s works with breathwork, and he applies it in his laughter sessions
[23:09] The difference between laughing online and in-person
[28:24] What’s next for Dave
[33:15] Dave’s daily rituals
[41:37] Three things that bring Dave joy
Standout Quotes from the Episode:
“I think laughter is a great way to discover a huge, really infinite range of gifts that we’re born with, that we just don’t always realize that we have unconditional access to in unlimited amounts.”
“We can explore laughter as a way of discovering anything.”
“You don’t have to be a statistic. You can laugh as many times per day as you want, whether there’s anything funny or not.”
“If we’re going to reach this level of world peace, and, and the absence of psychological suffering, and it’s and it’s just one future if we’re going to touch that many people on the planet, we’re going to need lots and lots of different teaching styles.”
Connect with Dave Berman
Join a 7-day free trial of Dave’s training at https://DaveBermanCoaching.com/join
Other links to stoke your curiosity:
https://DaveBermanCoaching.com/5ways – 5 Ways Laughter Will Change Your Life (2018 ebook)
https://DaveBermanCoaching.com/found – Laughter Lost and Found (2020 workbook and companion video classes)
https://DaveBermanCoaching.com/stressbuster – Low-cost private laughter coaching
https://DaveBermanCoaching.com/pronoia – Weekly PEP Rallies, to experiment with the Conspiracy of Blessings
https://DaveBermanCoaching.com/differences – Differences between Laughter Gym and Laughter Yoga
The Laughter Man, Pete Cann, is on a fun-filled mission to bring the positive benefits of laughter to the world. Since discovering Laughter Yoga, company owner Pete has transformed his business and family life and now wants to share his infectious secrets and get the planet laughing along with him.
If you enjoyed this episode, you should 100% listen to the founder of laughter yoga Madan Kataria talking to the laughter man.
If you would like to be a guest on the podcast, please contact Pete here.
Pete Cann 00:02
Hello, I’m Pete Cann. Laughter leader, positive thinker, and entrepreneur, and you’re listening to laughter and positivity with peak weight each week, I’ll bring you tips and tricks to lead a happier, more positive life. Ready? Let’s go. Hi guys, it’s Pete here from laughter and positivity with Pete and today I’m really excited to have the lovely epithets and confidence Queen Genny. Hello, Jenny, how are you?
Hello, I’m doing very well. Thank you.
Pete Cann 00:39
I’m really good. I’m really good. And I’m, like you said just off air a second ago. I think we I think we’ve done this before. I’m not sure what, when we start diving into your story, I’ll be just I can’t remember if I didn’t press record or not.
Pete Cann 00:55
It’s just a journey. You’ve been on laughter life. We shared laughter a couple of times together. And I just love, love, love your energy. It’s amazing. It’s really contagious. Really infectious. And I just wanted. First thing I always asked is like, how do you how did you discover laughter yoga or laughter as a practice?
Genny Jones 01:16
I mean, I would say I was born laughing because I was born in Sierra Leone, in West Africa, and is always laughter I remember my early childhood. It was filled with laughter You sort of laugh for no reason. It’s raining. You laugh, you cry. And you’re, you know, so that’s how I remember my childhood. And I think laughter yoga, I came. It must have been by accident, you know, when you’re sort of looking through the internet. And you think, oh, that sounds interesting. What’s it all about? Then? I think somebody did a laughter session. I was like, Oh, interesting. I thought, I love to laugh. I’m not a comedian. But wouldn’t it be nice to do this? And then I just saw a course. And I thought, okay, here we go for the course. Yes. And that’s how I that’s how I discovered it. Yes. Yes.
Pete Cann 02:06
How many years ago was that?
Actually, is it was 2016. Okay. Yes, I did the course. And I was quite amazed that there was a course to laugh. I was like, okay, right across the lab. So yes, he was very interested in the course, because I learned so much. Because I was thinking, oh, he just laughed. I thought no, there’s a science to it. There are things he got to be aware of as well. And yeah, so yeah.
Pete Cann 02:37
Amazing. Amazing. Where did you was that in London that you do learn? Or?
Genny Jones 02:41
Well, I did it through United minds. And I did it through online. So, it was I think I did an online session. That was a couple of weeks. I once I did it online, it was a really good course. And then what I had to do then was then start practicing. And it was really good, because the first organization I practice with, I was like, oh my gosh, okay, it was alright. But I didn’t expect people say, oh, what are you doing? That’s a bit silly laughing and all that. So, it took me a while because I expected everyone to laugh at the first session. I felt to be like, oh, you should be laughing why you’re not laughing? You know, that’s not really good. But as time goes on, I’ve learned what I’ve expected.
Pete Cann 03:25
I think that’s part of the thing is, when people are looking from the outside, they just think what, what’s that all about? It just looks a bit weird, a bit crazy. And but there, you know, I think it’s Yeah, I mean, how have you overcome those objections when people say that to you?
Genny Jones 03:42
Now, I’ve learned to let people go, like, I did a session quite a while back. And this gentleman came with his wife, and he sat back and he was like, I’m not going to join this, Your Honor, silly. So, he sat in the back. And he was watching us, and I could watch it in thinking, oh, what are they doing? But halfway through, he took his jacket off. I was like, okay, and towards the end, you could see him tweeting smiling. So, the end of it. I said, well, you smile. He goes, I really like it. I’ll join next time. It’s just initially, it was like was that he said, I just so you’re laughing for no reason. And I had to keep smiling to myself. And he said, I didn’t want to join, but I didn’t want to in the end, you know? So, it was really interesting. Sometimes I’ve learned as well that not everyone is going to be open and say I want to laugh. Because I don’t know what people are going through. So sometimes I say to myself, it’s okay for people to sit back and be observers. And I try not to let it worry me because I think it’s not for everyone. I don’t know what you’re going through right now. So right now, the last thing you might want is a laugh, but just sit down and watch. Yeah.
Pete Cann 04:53
Yeah, I think that’s, that’s important. It’s quite hard at the beginning to do that. I’m sorry. It’s helped me so much. Love is amazing. Everyone should do this. But actually, and then people are just like, No, it’s not for everyone. It’s like, okay, pe Yeah, it’s not for everyone. That’s fine. But you know, for people that are open minded, I think it’s a really, really good tool to for wellbeing massively, isn’t it?
Genny Jones 05:16
Yeah. And it’s true. And I think because of that, that’s why normally I give people like a form before to say it’s okay, if you don’t want to join in so they know what to expect. Especially I find when you do like a corporate laughter session, I did one for an organization, it was all about World Mental Health Day, they had all these renowned speakers and all these scientists and everything else. And then the lady said, Oh, now for something different. We’re going to have Jenny did my laughter session, I could see a few people not having it. And the feedback at the end of it, some people say, oh, my gosh, it was all nice. But why did you bring that lady Jenny in to do that? So, a few people mentioned it. And everyone has said yes, but it was I was thinking, well, actually, it’s not for everyone. And it’s okay, what you said? Yeah. But as I said, it was made of cancellers different people. So obviously, some people were not open to it, and I accept that. It’s fine. And the lady who booked me said, Can is fine, you know, it’s all fine. They had to say because it’s their opinion.
Pete Cann 06:16
Yeah, completely, completely. This is the thing as well, it’s you know, everyone has got an opinion about laughter yoga. So, I mean, how have you found laughter? You know, how does it enhance your life, since you’re learning how to properly run laughter sections,
Genny Jones 06:31
is enhanced my laugh quite, quite a great deal? Because on the serious side, I work as an accountant three days a week, and laughing accountant. But when I do my laughter yoga on a Friday, or Monday, it’s really good. Because it’s basically helped me as well to laugh properly as well. And just to feel good, because I work with figures all day, and it can be quite tense. So, I’ve learned to take a break, and have that one minute or two minutes of laughter, and to bring laughter to the workplace as well, so that people can see although Jenny is serious, she has a moment when she says to everyone stop, let’s go and have enough to break out of people in the work. In the past, people have said, oh, no, this is this is Jenny, like one of the security guards. In one of the places I work. He said, Jenny, I always wait for you to come in. Because I think, what is she going to wear today? And I’m going to see her I’m going to hear her laughing. You know, so some people get used to it a security guard isn’t? Oh, my God, you make it and people say to me, you’re not a normal accountant. How are you? You’re a bit different. And I’m like
I think it’s just important.
Pete Cann 07:48
I mean, I’m the same sort of way it were my old office that we worked at, I used to do laughter breaks. And it was again, so you know, there wasn’t many of us, but people, not everyone wanted to do it. So but I used to do it a bit more playful. And just so rather than going right, we’re all just going to laugh. Right? Let’s pretend we’re on boat. That I just get them involved. But you can see the energy lifts can you straight away when people are involved in it? So, it’s no, it’s amazing. It’s amazing. So, so do you run? You run laughter sessions, then you run laughter? Workshops?
Yes. So, what I used to do before I used to run the canes laughter club. But because of COVID. We then had to stop that. So, my laughter sessions are really done for quite a few charities who run support groups, like on Saturday and dated for Alzheimer’s and dementia support groups. So, I tend to run it for groups. And they tend to call me, and I did online. I’ve been doing it online. This is my Oh, this is my second face to face one. After COVID. Yes, a lot of people just tend to call me because they know what I do, especially in my area. Yeah.
Pete Cann 09:01
Amazing. Amazing. So. So there’s obviously been times where you’ve obviously run a session and are there any standout moments where someone’s come up to you and, and said sort of something that’s really stuck in your mind about the laughter?
Genny Jones 09:15
Yes, I mean, I think when I did one is for it was for Age UK, and I could see some people were just looking back. And an elderly lady. I think she was about 93. She said, Jenny, thank you so much. Since my husband died, I haven’t been able to laugh so much. You made me feel it was okay to laugh. I’m okay to be silly. And that really, really touched me and I always remember the lady, because she said is the first that I could just laugh because I could laugh and there was no joke, but you made me laugh you never saw Yeah, I always remember that lady. Yes, yes. Yeah, no,
Pete Cann 09:55
it’s amazing. Isn’t it so sly and things like that really gives you sort of fuel in your belly to keep you doing more of it because isn’t it? So, you say you got your second in person, you know, how are you? How are you moving from going online to being in the flesh with people again? How are you finding that transition?
I think it’s quite interesting. It’s quite exciting. But on Saturday, they’ve said to me to put on a mask as well. So that’s going to be quite interesting. So that’s the bit I’m thinking, okay. It’d be very interesting to see how it works. I don’t know how it’s going to work. I’m like, Okay, I’m going to be doing it. But I’ve got my Happy Mask, which I’m going to wear. Ah, that reminds me to wear what do you call the visor? But yeah, I might do that. Yeah.
Pete Cann 10:47
I think that might be a better idea is exactly because this is the thing, isn’t it? With the with the laughter yoga, you’ve got to see the smile, and you got to see the laughter and you have to see the eyes as well. So I think when the masks, you know, that I’ve been asked a couple of times with the masks. I’m just like, oh, I don’t know if it’s going to work, right. Yeah, so yeah, definitely wear a fighter. I 100% agree that you need to remember that. I’ll remind you, okay.
I want to look for where is it? Where is?
Pete Cann 11:18
So, what do you say to anyone listening? That was like, unsure about sort of laughter and how laughter can help them?
Genny Jones 11:25
I mean, I would say, you know, because sometimes laughter. You think about, you’ve got to tell a joke. I would say even just go even to your website, the Laughter Man, just look at the Laughter Man. And just have a look and see how it is. And you will find that actually, just by watching it. You start laughing. And I like the way you sort of use some stories as well. So, when you use stories with a laughter as well, you are making sense. Then you begin to think well, it’s not somebody just standing there laughing. These stories are these different things that you do to get in the position that you start laughing. I like what you said. Like before I used to go come on people. Let’s do the laughter yoga.
No, you can’t do that. Jenny people.
Pete Cann 12:13
Exactly. You’ve got to gently feed They’re loving you slowly, slowly and then before they know where they’re just laughing, you know, it’s like, yay, this is where we were going. And having that
Genny Jones 12:23
story as well. I find when people mix a story to it as well. It just brings it laughing Oh, I can relate to it. I’ve got that behind the red
Pete Cann 12:39
lovely you don’t get too many red pills do you look at that when you when you’re doing your calculator at work there with the accountant? Do you just like you’ve got some giggle buttons you go oh, that’s why she’s See I’ve let that work because this is a thing so like you mentioned you know, you’re the job that you’ve got, it’s quite it can be quite stressful. I’m sure there’s quite a lot of pressure to make sure that you get things right so actually being aware that you need to take that time out to have that giggle break or that laughter break is is really useful was really good for you. Have you noticed sort of since taking structured breaks that actually your work life is become better for that?
yet is has especially when I work from home, always make sure more at home that I have that break. Because I’m used to like working for six hours looking at the fingers making sure it works, but I’m thinking No, no, no, no, no Jenny, have the breaks, even if it’s for a minute away from me. And it does really help you know, having that laughter that lifted, and getting those juices laughter juices flowing. It just makes you feel okay, it’s good. I can come back and get on with my work. And we must be thinking, why is she happy with her work? You know, why is she happy? Because when I concentrate? I really concentrate. And when I stop, I stop and just relax. And just now for the sake of laughing and it’s funny she said at work. Working from home I do that with my sons. I don’t know how old your kids are. My sons like 20 and 21 and she’s laughing again mom was sick was so funny. I’m like nothing’s funny. When I think you weird you see out there and you laughing with your friends. When I was doing my session with you that Facebook Live session my son was up there going oh my gosh know
Pete Cann 14:53
because this is a question I get often asked is like, you know, what did my family think of me doing the laughter So, what would you say that you Sons obviously they know that what you just said, but can they see the benefit in you as a person? Yeah,
Genny Jones 15:04
I think initially they used to think, oh gosh, my mom, especially when they were teenagers, a Mom, please don’t go to the school and say you’re going to do a laughter workshop. And don’t wear that hat didn’t come to our school. No, mom. I think because now the early 20s They sort of like when their friends used to come to go look at your mom. She’s got to I think they get into appreciate it more, because they see their friend to say your mom is a laugh, so they’re like, Oh, she’s not too bad. Really?
Pete Cann 15:38
Yeah, it’s, uh, I remember I did a I did a session at my kid children’s school. Oh, yeah. But it wasn’t it was a bit like it was outside in the summer fete and Chloe my wife said to me, she’s like, I don’t I can’t believe you’re doing this Pete and they literally know what no one was listening to me or anything. I’m just like, right, everybody. But on the other side, you know, my kids do look at me. And they sometimes they turn around to me say Dad, you need to laugh because they you know, when I get to that sort of angry time, you know, not always but there’s times whereas parents we you know, we just do you know, as humans we get angry. I think so. Yes. But yeah, but, but sometimes when they say Dad, I think you need to laugh and I’m just like, roar. I don’t know. I relate to that, especially when you’re angry with them. Enough.
Pete Cann 16:46
To Jedi, I always like to ask my guest to run through a couple of laughter exercises. So have you got two exercises that you love doing when you do your sessions?
Genny Jones 16:55
Seriously? My word is that milkshakes. The milkshake laughter I just love it. I just love it. I do the milk and the pig Oh my god. I think I’m not sure enough as a PA
Oh, no secret with a pig.
Pete Cann 17:41
I got I’ve done I’ve done this. I got taught this. And it just made me made me just sent me over the HVAC. So, you know when you do the silent laughter and everyone’s just doing their silent thing that they’re jiggly giggly or whatever. If you then just go like that just everybody just goes
Pete Cann 18:09
when you do milkshake, then Jenny, are you are you are you a two or three? Or?
It depends. I start with a warm then going to getting carried away
Pete Cann 18:39
so, it’s a journey then. So, I this this episode this this podcast is all about laughter and positivity. So always like to find out what positive habits you’ve got. So, have you got any apart from the laughter? What is What are the positive things do you try and do?
Genny Jones 18:56
I mean, for me, because I came from a period where, you know, believe it or not, I was really depressed for about five years. And there wasn’t like, I felt it was really hard for me to laugh. So, I slowly had to do things. And I still do. This is what this happened in 2009. But every morning I still have to do when I wake up in the morning. I look at I meditate. And then you got to sing the boom, boom song. So, I will go wake up and feel happy. Boom, boom, wake up and feel happy. Boom, boom, I feel like dancing around. Boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. And I do that every morning and my kids go, oh my gosh, Mom, stop. So, I’ve got to do that. Then I will do some laughter as well. And then I go to the gym as well. I exercise three times a week. while I’m there, they say to me, you’re always laughing when you come to the gym. So the exercise is so hard at times, I’ve got a laugh. So, I do all that. And then when I come home, I look different people who do like to stuff as well. And I just go in, and I think, you know, look at what other people are doing and just laugh with them. So, I normally have, it takes me about an hour every morning to get into that feel good mood before I start, and I do it every single day. It’s my way of fueling myself with positivity before I start the day, then I set the intention to have a good day, to feel good. And to share laughter because I’ve now filled myself with so much laughter that I feel that I can go to the world and share some with others.
Pete Cann 20:46
It’s amazing, amazing it is so it’s so important to fill your pot up first, isn’t it? And then later, you’re obviously overflowing to the point where you’d like right I could share this that that’s amazing. That’s a yes.
Genny Jones 20:58
Yes. Even when I’m having a shower, I have it. Do you like that one? The giggle shower you put the shower
shower get it?
Pete Cann 21:18
So, So what was something that not a lot of people know about you?
Genny Jones 21:23
What a lot of people don’t know about me? Oh, well, I am into bird watching started it during lockdown. In my garden, I think somebody said What am I gonna do Twitter or twitch or something like that? They said to me. So yes, I love just going into the garden in the morning and just watching the birds, hearing the sounds and just relaxing. So, I love it. And I think it takes me back to the childhood because where I grew up, you know where I was. When I visit my uncle. It was by the riverside, and you could see the birds flying. And you could hear them as well. So, for me in the morning, about six o’clock or five o’clock, I hear the birds singing and it’s so beautiful in the morning. It’s a sickness singing to me. Wake up Jenny. Happy,
happy. Oh, it’s amazing. It’s amazing.
Pete Cann 22:20
Just in case, there’s a there’s an app called clubhouse and there was a guy on there they used to it was I think he lived in Hawaii and he literally have it for add room for one hour just literally put his phone must be on his table. Listening to the bird calls everyone they were waking up in Hawaii. Do you just hear all the different and then you might hear that like a woodpecker? And then like, just because obviously you know, different countries have got different Birdsong, haven’t they so? Yeah,
yes. It’s great. It’s great. Yes.
Pete Cann 22:53
I love that. I’m going to say actually, when I go camping, I’m always pointing out to the kids. I’m just like, Okay, I hear that. You can hear that there’s one that makes a funny noise and you’re just like, well, I’ve not heard that one before. And you know, you find that it’s like this big in the tree just like a hobby.
Genny Jones 23:10
Yes, yes. You did. One of my neighbors did say to me there’s an app I could really get so that I can with the app you can sort of put it on and it will tell you which bed it is I was like,
Pete Cann 23:23
yeah, nice. So, Jenny, where? Where can people obviously people can find you at work as an accountant. They can find you at the gym if you’re laughing but socially whereabouts if they want to, you know, they’re listening to this they think actually, I’d love to come and say hello to Jenny.
Genny Jones 23:39
I love you to say hello to me on Instagram confident Queen Jenny with a G on Twitter is confident Queen on Facebook is confident queen as well. Just do a Google search for confident Queen Jenny with a G and you’ll find the laughter lady there.
Pete Cann 23:57
But VITAS pay. Well, Jenny, final question for you. Then what three things bring you joy.
Genny Jones 24:05
The three things that bring me joy is waking up and see my children, my young people. That brings me joy. The second one is having a network of family and friends who I can relate to. And the third one is when I wake up, and I know today, I’ve got to share joy with somebody. That just makes me feel happy.
Pete Cann 24:28
Amazing. Amazing. Jenny, thank you so much for sharing your time with me this evening.
Genny Jones 24:31
Oh, thank you so much as well. Thank you so much. Keep laughing as well.
Pete Cann 24:36
Thank you so much for listening to laughter and positivity with Pete. To access today’s show notes and exclusive content, please head over to Pete can.com forward slash podcast. Be sure to tune in next week for your next dose of laughter and positivity. Until then remember if Pete Can you can
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