How to Stop Nervous Laughter
Are you one of those people who find yourself nervously laughing in the most inappropriate situations? Does everyone turn around and stare at you when it happens and the room goes silent and you want the ground to swallow you up so that you disappear? Having problems with being unable to stop laughing at inappropriate times is hugely embarrassing yet at the same time, you find that it seems impossible to control. You know that what is coming out of your mouth is the last thing that anyone wants to hear but you can’t seem to stop yourself. This is why learning to stop nervous laughter is going to be so important to stop you from standing out for all the wrong reasons.
Why Do You Have Nervous Laughter?
Before we look at how you can resolve the problem you need to understand why the problem exists. The psychology behind the problem is incredibly interesting because it is not in any way real laughter. The situation that prompts the nervous laughter is not usually an amusing incident but one that makes us feel uncomfortable, embarrassed or even alarm. The nervous laughter becomes a form of coping mechanism to deal with this situation creating emotional regulation.
Think of nervous laughter as a form of a safety valve. You attend a funeral and you feel stressed, upset or highly anxious about the situation. These emotions threaten to overwhelm you so you let out a nervous laugh subconsciously to try and release some of that tension or upset. The people attending the funeral, however, can only hear the laughter and look round disgusted at your behaviour whilst you feel embarrassed and shameful.
This nervous laughter tends to happen in the most inappropriate situations. For example job interviews, first dates or during a big speech. If this is happening regularly and has a detrimental impact on your life clearly learning how to stop nervous laughter is going to be important.
It is worth noting that some medical conditions can also create the same problem such as certain thyroid disorders or the pseudobulbar affect. The latter is what the Joker has in Batman. His need to laugh or let out emotions at inappropriate times is what makes us feel on edge as an audience. If you are in any doubt about the reasons for your problem it is important to discuss your problem with your doctor first to rule out any medical conditions.
How Can You Stop Your Nervous Laughing?
There are many ways to learn how to stop nervous laughter. The key is to find the best method that will work for your particular situations. Everyone will have different coping mechanisms or ways of reacting to situations so you may need to consider which is your best option depending on your problem.
The first thing we check with all our clients is do they also suffer from an anxiety disorder? Social anxiety has been linked with the issue of nervous laughing. If this is the case then work should be done to help the problem with the social anxiety first to lessen the problem.
Nervous Laughter and Social Anxiety Disorder
People with social anxiety disorder have a fear of embarrassing themselves or being judged by others. If they enter a social situation they will already have nerves and anxiety about drawing attention to themselves. As we know nervous laughter acts as a form of safety value to stop these feelings overwhelming a person. This means that people with this form of anxiety are more likely to use this laughter as a form of emotional regulation.
Therapy for social anxiety disorder can make a difference as it will help to address the reasons for the problem and teach better coping mechanisms for the future. Confidence building may also be included in this therapy to help reduce anxiety.
Hypnosis for Self-Confidence Boosting
At Rewire the Mind we use confidence boosting hypnosis to help our clients to feel better about themselves and to feel more confident in social settings. We know that many of our clients believe that they were born shy but in fact, this is never the case. Confidence issues start in childhood usually in response to an incident or person.
Hypnosis to boost confidence uses positive suggestion and visualisation to change the way you think about yourself. The more confident you become the less self-conscious you are which means it may help the situation with the nervous laughter. You can try this yourself by using your self-hypnosis for confidence hypnosis download daily to change the way you think.
Practice Awareness and Use Mindfulness
In many cases, nervous laughter is unconscious behaviour. In other words, you do it and at times you don’t even pay attention to it any more because you are not looking out for it. Practising awareness can help you to notice the situations that you are in that may cause the problem. You may even find it has become almost like a tic or a habit. Something that you do regularly but nobody has pointed it out to you.
In order to learn how to stop nervous laughter, it makes sense to start noting down places, people or situations that cause the problem. When you enter those situations again you are now prepared and can start to put in place some strategies to change what you are doing.
Mindfulness is a great technique if you feel the urge or the need to use this laughter. Start to draw your attention to something else that is near you and focus on that. So if you are in a meeting room start to focus on the texture of the floor, feel the table with your fingertips, think about the seat that you are on and how comfortable it is. As you start to practice this form of anxiety reduction and distraction technique the urge to laugh your just start to disappear away.
Stress Reduction and Breathing
The benefits of deep relaxation and stress reduction are often overlooked with many issues relating to anxiety but they can be hugely powerful in creating positive change. All of our clients are taught to practice deep stress reduction self-hypnosis to calm down background levels of stress and anxiety. The calmer you are the less likely it is that anxiety will be triggered.
The process is really simple as well. There is no need to teach our clients self-hypnosis because a self-hypnosis for relaxation and stress reduction download will do the job just as well. All they need to do is press play and lie back and relax and let their minds wander. The more they practice the deeper the level of relaxation that they achieve. In a relatively short time, this is enough to relax them in their everyday life as well.
In addition to self-hypnosis to diffuse any nerves breathing techniques are also useful at calming a person so the laughter isn’t triggered. A really simple technique is 7/11 breathing. Simply breathe in for a count of 7 and then breathe out slowly for a count of 11. If you do this when the urge to laugh starts to appear it can diffuse the situation.
Therapy for Nervous Laughter
Learning how to stop nervous laughter doesn’t have to be something that you try and do on your own. Sometimes we need a helping hand to make positive changes in our life. Nervous laughter, when linked to anxiety or stress, can be helped with therapy. We use a combination of hypnosis, coaching and NLP to help our clients but CBT is also a useful technique to change habits and reduce anxiety.
Discovering if there are any subconscious reasons for your problem might be useful. This is especially the case if you have tried some of the self-help methods such as the breathing techniques or awareness methods to alter your reactions without success. A trained therapist can make potentially make a big difference especially in cases where your problem is blighting your life.
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