Human behaviour

Why anger is nothing to laugh at

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Jonar Nader sees anger as an important alarm bell. When anger strikes, we ought to stop and assess what triggered it, so that we can do something about the root-cause. Further below is a transcript of the video.

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Here is the transcript:

Female: Thank you one and all.

Female: And again, welcome to you. You know, it’s been a week of joy and wonder and it’s time wrap up now our How to be Happy series with a whole bunch of miserable wingers. They don’t really. I’m only joking. We have looked this week at the spiritual and physical and practical and psychological sides of happiness. So, we welcome Dr. Sandra Cabot, futurist, Jonar Nader, and laughter specialist, Helene Grover.

Sandra Cabot: So, when – when you have something that makes you laugh, a very strong nervous pathway goes from the frontal lobe and temporal lobe as well. A lot of emotional stuff is into the hypothalamus and it generates chemicals like endorphins and it influences the pituitary gland which then influences your adrenal glands which produce more cortisone, more adrenaline. So, it balances your whole endocrine system. And there’s a specialty called neuropsychoendocrinology and it’s fascinating because it really is just at the beginning of discovering how the brain influences the chemicals in the brain such as the pleasure center and the hormones.

Female: And not be sick?

Sandra Cabot: Well, they have …

Female: Can it help our immunity?

Sandra Cabot: Yes. Endorphins actually make us feel happy. So, if you have a good laugh and if you’re happy, that will actually make you happier. So, it’s like a snowball effect.

Jonar Nader: I’ve heard the expression fake it until you make it. But I …

Helene Grover: Yes, exactly that. Your body will do all the things that Sandra just said.

Female: So, up the immunity.

Helene Grover: Yes.

Female: Help us, you know, because …

Sandra Kobo: And also, relieves pain.

Female: Okay.

Helene Grover: Absolutely.

Sandra Kobo: So, if you – if you boost up your neurotransmitters like your endorphins, your serotonin, these going to have a big effect on reducing your pain and inflammation. So, that’s helping the immune system.

Female: Jonar, if we take it from laughter and happiness on the other end of the scale, we’ve got angst, anger. What’s your view on anger and what it does to us, our bodies, and its purpose?

Jonar Nader: Well, I’m more interested in why someone doesn’t laugh. I mean, it’s interesting that we try to help people to laugh and understand the benefits of laughter but I – I go back to the root cause and say, ‘What is it in your day that’s stopping you from feeling happy, from taking control of your life, taking control of your career?’ So, I’m into the root cause. And of course, sadness to me is a very important part of life. So in fact, when someone is sad or angry, I think that’s the best planning. You know, people say, ‘You need to plan. Put your goals on paper.’ The best time to think about those …

Female: But is anger good for us as well?

Jonar Nader: Oh yes. I think it’s great for us because what anger says – now, you know, if anger is something that you can analyze, not something that controls you. So, if anger happens, you stop and say, ‘This is great. The alarm bells have gone off. Now, is the time to assess why.’ Not go down pub and you know, laugh it off but to say, what triggered this? Because this is not the trigger that I will allow into my life. And then take the decision from there. But often, we are told, ‘If you’re angry, say nothing and hold back and be quiet and don’t upset anyone.’

Female: Well that’s a – you’re very familiar with it Helene. As a laughter therapist, you talk to a lot of corporations.

Helene Grover: Yes.

Female: If you’re angry, how to control it. Is that good? Controlling anger, good or bad?

Helene Grover: Well, what Jonar is saying is totally valid. I think it’s very true. We have to analyze, rectify – look at it and see where it’s coming from. But sometimes that can take too long. Go home and do it. Sit down and before you go to bed …

Jonar Nader: Now, you lose the momentum.

Helene Grover: Yes.

Jonar Nader: You know when you write an email to your boss and you want to say, ‘I am sick and tired of you touching me in this way.’ or whatever you want to say to your boss. If you stop and let sensibility come into play …

Helene Grover: Sure.

Jonar Nader: … it’s a good thing because you have to check your legals on that. You have to make sure you’re not going to regret it. But once you go home, you’ve lost the momentum and the courage. And I say to people, ‘If you’ve written an email in anger, just read it one more time and send it because when you get home, you will not have the guts to do it.’

Helene Grover: But sometimes …

Female: You might be fired but I mean …

Jonar Nader: Well, you know, and so be it.

Female: So, you’re saying use anger.

Helene Grover: Yes. I was just saying that sometimes to get you to even – to do that point, to reanalyze that email, have a bit of a laugh. Do something silly. Do something that’s going to trigger your brain into a different type of thinking and then it will facilitate the looking at it more practically.

Jonar Nader: Yes, of course. I mean …

Helene Grover: Be silly first.

Jonar Nader: Be silly first.

Helene Grover: Yes.

Jonar Nader: Look, I’m silly all the time. No one takes me seriously.

Female: What’s your view on anger?

Sandra Cabot: Well, I think anger is very good and I think particularly for women, it’s good to recognize your anger and feel it and express it. And you know, the chemicals that are released in your body from anger were totally different to when you laugh. And that’s what Jonar was saying. We need both and it’s character-building. See, a lot of women when they get angry they suppressed it and then it turns into depression. Repressed anger will become depression.

Jonar Nader: Well, success is about getting things done and people say, ‘I don’t have time.’ So, I have a concept called living by halves. Halve everything that you think is not adding value to you so that you have the time to double anything else that creates value to you.

Sandra Kobo: Like a diet, really.

Jonar Nader: Well …

Sandra Kobo: Well, I’m sorry. Here is your diet.

Female: Diet for the soul.

Jonar Nader: You keep thinking food.

Female: Hey listen, it’s a terrific …

Sandra Kobo: You got to make a good book …

Female: … discussion this morning and I do appreciate Dr. Sandra Cabot, Jonar Nader, and Helene Grover joining us. So well, a very good discussion and maybe again, we can get together.

Sandra Kobo: Yes.

Jonar Nader: Thank you.

Female: Thank you. Okay. Did you know that a person – by the way, a person who studies laughter is called a gelotologist?

Helene Grover: So, I’m a gelotologist.

Female: Yes.

Helene Grover: Yes, oh Helene Grover, gelotologist.

Female: Okay. Next up on Mornings, details on how to win our Sony package and later the sounds of the African drums.

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