with Heidi Hanna


with Heidi Hanna

Recharge Radio Episode 1 – Yakov Smirnoff

Are you feeling stuck in a stress mess, overwhelmed and overstimulated by the demands of your life? Spread too thin and not prioritizing self-care because you feel like it’s selfish, when so many other people need your help? Well, let’s stop for a moment.


How much can we really help others when we’re just scraping by ourselves? At the end of the day, we’re only really worth as much as we can give, based on the energy we have in the time that we have.

I’m your host, Dr. Heidi Hanna and in this stress mastery podcast, we’re talking to the experts to find out what they do to use stress as fuel for success, and what they do to shift stress in a positive way, when they notice it getting out of control.


Because we’re all human, we all get stuck sometimes and we can learn so much from each other when we take an honest look at the patterns that are hurting us and create new patterns that will help us.

So, let’s get ready to master stress together in today’s conversation!


Key Takeaways:

  • [1:05] Dr. Hanna welcomes listeners to the very first episode and gives an introduction for her guest, soviet born comedian, actor, writer and soon to be doctor, Yakov Smirnoff.
  • [4:55] Yakov shares details on the evolution of his relationship to stress and how he came to feel very positively about it. He shares a concrete example of how he graphically communicated his stress level with his employees, and how it helped communication as well as management.
  • [7:50] Intention, attention, no tension: the equation Yakov learned to use to manage stress, and the power of meditation to find some breathing space between your thoughts.
  • [11:05] Heidi asks if the challenges and high levels of stress Yakov faced in his life – namely growing up in the Soviet Union – were a catalyst in terms of developing a unique perspective and comedic outlook of life.
  • [12:07] Yakov describes how he drew inspiration from his parents to guide him to look for laughter, healthy laughter, in every relationship and recognize it for what it is, a barometer for love.
  • [15:02] Heidi and Yakov discuss LOL: The Law of Laughter – the doctoral dissertation that he is currently researching to obtain his Ph.D in Psychology – as well as some of the other research that has been led on laughter, and laughter yoga!
  • [21:37] Friendships and relationships are Yakov’s go-to stress busters: choosing the people that you will surround yourself with in moments of stress equals choosing laughter and joy.
  • [22:59] Make America Laugh Again, Yakov’s new show is all about laughing together not laughing at what’s wrong, not laughing at: we need to feel safe and playful and face our challenges more effectively.
  • [26:25] Yakov recounts anecdotes on his work with U.S. President Ronald Reagan during negotiations with Soviet Union’s General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev, and the importance of humor in all aspects of human relationships.
  • [30:37] Dr. Hanna thanks her friend and guest and wraps up the show with a last question: what is your mantra?

If you enjoyed this conversation, please be sure to subscribe now for exclusive listener gifts and check out the show notes for links, tips, tools and techniques.


Until next time, please remember that stressing is a blessing, once you know how to use it for good. It gives us the energy and information to fuel positive change if we’re brave enough to look into it, stay open and curious to what it has to teach us, and then adjust our patterns in a way that will give us even more capacity to cope and when. We do that together, we increase the energy we have t bring to the time that we have and we’re better together. So please, be good to yourself, and I’ll see you next week.


Mentioned in this episode:

Comedy for Caregivers clip https://youtu.be/_abI_yVdL2g

Paul Harvey on YouTube https://youtu.be/5OlyD-mDkHM


For more information on Dr. Heidi Hanna:




Dr. Hanna on Facebook


For more information on Dr. Hanna’s guest, Yakov Smirnoff:

Yakov Smirnoff’s website

Yakov Smirnoff on Twitter

Yakov Smirnoff on Facebook

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Stress Master

Heidi Hanna shows you how to understand and transform your relationship with stress, mastering it for good.

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