Oak Bay instructor uses laughter to battle stress

Claiming Your Joy workshop runs Sunday in Oak Bay

Matti Anttila leads a workshop Sunday aimed at helping participants claim the joy in life.

Matti Anttila leads a workshop Sunday aimed at helping participants claim the joy in life.

Matti Anttila artificially induces trembling three times a week.

Like the cheetah in the wild, he explains, that stops to take the time to shake off after a ‘fight or flight’ situation. It’s something humans don’t naturally do.

“We tend to hang on to it,” the Oak Bay man said. “If you don’t internalize the stress, life is so much easier.”

This weekend he leads a Claiming Your Joy workshop to share the lessons of stress release based on his years of personal research and six years of leading Laughter Yoga in Greater Victoria.

“It started because I recognized the stress inside myself and treat it with Laughter Yoga,” Anttila said. “The real challenge is we all have hidden stress…. it can come from little and big traumas and internalize.”

Those stresses, new or old, can worsen or create medical issues.

He cites University of California professor and researcher Sonja Lyubomirsky, whose studies show that people who find a way to be happy are 31 per cent more productive.

Claiming Your Joy workshops are designed to help participants be more joyful more often. It’s presented in three segments starting with laughter “to get the fun going” followed by the induced trembling, a stress release process, and topped by a few of Anttila’s techniques from his book The Zen of Joy.

“It is this feeling of joy that is the main building block to more energy, better health and finding more fulfillment and meaning in life and to creating more time to enjoy life,” Anttila said.

The workshop is Sunday from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Heart of the Village Yoga Studio, 2186 Oak Bay Ave.

“After that people can continue if they want to peel the layers of the stress onion,” he said.

Cost is $87, email 88matti@gmail.com for details.