Hey, so what do you think of that laughter yoga stuff? At first it seems a little silly, but did you play along? Did you start to have fun? The ho, ho, ho, ha, ha. I was smiling. I was enjoying it, and I felt something when I was smiling and enjoying it, I felt better. I'm going to take off from there and yeah, do something across the next two videos. Let's just start with this, one put on a happy face and I want to use this just to tell you about some cool, interesting psychology that I think you'll find interesting. But it is also relevant to this notion of trying to help ourselves or others to feel better, especially in times of chronic anxiety. Okay, let's jump into here. There's some very famous research that was originally, I mean, a lot of it is associated with Paul Ekman, where they went to these famous islands where there's no media and no interaction with the outside world and they nonetheless asked people on this island, this is one gentleman in specific to wear certain emotions, show what their face would look like when they were feeling a certain emotion. These were the four they were asked to try anger, sadness, disgust and happiness. Again, these people had watched no movies that we watch, nothing except they had no interaction with humans outside of their close community, and yet what you see was a pretty easily identifiable way to do things. Which would you say this is, for example? I think that's anger, sadness, happiness, disgust. We all crunch up our nose for disgust. Okay, and what Paul was suggesting here is that these emotions are universal, that they are part of our basic programming. These are not something we learn as a child, it's just programmed within us. It's universal and that allows us, of course, to recognize emotional states. It's not such a cultural barrier. You know even if someone from another culture, you know if they're angry with you, you know if they're sad, et cetera and so Ekman got really interested in this. He gets really interested in the role that these specific muscles were playing in terms of wearing certain emotions and he and his wife began by creating all these faces and literally learning all of those muscles that were associated with things, and then they could read these, what we call micro-expressions. They learned how to look at someone's face and have a really good sense of the emotion they're feeling. Now, what we're talking about here isn't necessarily this kind of emotion. People were like [inaudible] because we can all recognize that, it was micro versions of this. Let's say you're playing poker with somebody and they're looking at their cards. They try not to move their face, but they may move their face a little bit and Ekman got really good at noticing which muscles moved and then from that reading, what emotion that person is feeling. Do they feel excitement? That probably means they got a good card. Do they feel bummed out? That means they have a bad card and et cetera. You can use that information and et cetera. As Paul and his wife were learning this, though. Oh, let me just say, that notion Paul now has a consulting company where he does this and infact, if any of you have watched the series Lie to me, the main character here is essentially Paul Ekman, except of course, they exaggerate his abilities and et cetera in this TV show. But this is the idea almost of his consulting company, helping people if you have a witness or something and you want to interrogate them, Paul can watch as you do it and give you his insights about whether the person is lying or if they're feeling angry, if they're feeling scared, et cetera. Okay, all well and good. All really interesting. There's a good book called Blink if you're interested into a lot of these things. But I want to take it this other direction, because there is something really interesting that Paul and his wife discovered. One of the things they did as they were trying to understand the muscles that were involved in emotions is they themselves tried to wear those emotions. They would see a face and they'd say, okay let's do the sad face and let's see what muscles, let's try to hold our face sad as long as possible, or let's do a happy face. Let's try to hold our face happy as long as possible. What they discovered was that- It's not a straight line from emotion to the face. Let me say it this way. This is how we think of it. We think there's stimulus, maybe it's something out in the world that we saw, watching the news maybe. Maybe it's a thought that came into your head, but it triggers an emotion in us. That emotion then is displayed on our face somehow. We think of the face as like a monitor on a computer. It just displays the emotion of the system. But what Paul and his wife found was this, it's not just one way like this. When they wore a sad face for long enough, they started to feel sad. If they wore a happy face, they started to feel happy. They learned, in fact, that the face and the muscles of the face actually partly determine your emotional state. Yes, there's the other thoughts, and things that are affecting you, but you can control your emotion by controlling your face. We've got this from Bye Bye Birdie, 1963, "Gray skies are going to clear up, put on a happy face. Brush off the clouds. " This sounds really annoying and somehow, especially if you're angry or sad. Somebody just saying, "Put on a happy face." But it works, like the laughter yoga. Expose yourself to something that gets you laughing, and gets you smiling, and it produces that emotional state in you. Therefore, it becomes an effective way of affecting your own mental state through the emotions. Now, this is good for the individual. It's sometimes hard to hold. You can't just keep saying, "I'm going to go through life with a happy face, I'm going to do this all the time," because something will bother you, and the normal process will kick in. It's hard to override that all the time, but I'll talk in the next video about some ways you can use this fact to give yourself a break from anxiety every now and then. But first of all, let's step away from the individual here and talk about it now again, more at the institutional level again. What might you do? I don't know if any of you guys saw the movie, Patch Adams. There's a good point in this movie, Patch Adams. The point was this was in a ward where young people who were in a bad medical situation were. Robin Williams plays a doctor, and he goes in, and he noticed how depressing the context is. It's like everybody's just waiting for the next kid to die. He thought, "This is not a healthy environment. This is not an environment that produces mental wellness." He started doing things like wearing a rubber nose, and sticking silly things in his hair, and ultimately dressing up as a clown. What he found was, when he created that more happy environment, this is a true story, by the way, the prognosis of the patients got better. They felt better, they survived longer, etc. A little bit of happiness in the context was very instrumental towards creating a better mental health situation. How can you use this if you're a wellness officer or something? Well, you could do the Patch Adams thing. You could try in the hospital itself to bring in some happiness and whatnot. That's going to be tricky if it's a highly stressful situation because when people are doing their doctor and nursing thing, they're right in the middle of it. But when they go to the respite centers, when they get a chance to get away from that, you would really like the context they go to radiate positive emotions, to have smiling faces on the walls, to have comedies available for them to watch in a short period of time, to have maybe music playing that is positive, that tends to have upbeat messages, etc. By surrounding them with positivity, and having them see happiness, they will more likely mirror that happiness through something we call observational learning, "Monkey see, monkey do." We tend to mirror what's around us. If they do that, they will tend to feel better as well. This a real reason to think hard about how you decorate, how you set up a respite center and make sure that everything in there is radiating positivity. That's the best way to help people in that situation. I'm going to jump back to the laughter yoga a little bit in the next video from a different angle. I hope to see you there.