When Should You Dance Like Gene Kelly?

When It Rains, DanceA child laughs around 300 times a day; an adult, just fifteen.  That is a shocking fact!  And it may go at least some way to explaining why we all feel so much more stress as we grow older.


Stress is a killer.  It is linked to heart disease, stroke and is implicated as a contributory factor in cancer, Alzheimer’s and other serious illnesses.  Yet one stress buster is so easily available. 


Laughter.


Laughter is a natural antidote to stress because in the moment when you are laughing, your brain experiences a natural boost of feel good endorphins, which help give you a more optimistic outlook and act to reduce your stress hormone levels. You physically relax and that improves your mood still further.


Happy people laugh more.  People who laugh more are happier.  It is a self fulfilling cycle.  And just as your experience of stress is what you perceive it to be, so happiness is largely a decision.  You can just decide to be happy. 


 “If you want to be happy, be” (Leo Tolstoy)


So why is it that more people do not make the most of this natural form of stress relief?  Have adults simply forgotten how to laugh?


One of my own theories is that, unless sullied by adults, children look for the good in the world.  They look for fun and seek delight.  They enjoy the moment and laugh at the smallest thing.  And they make others happy too.


“Whoever is happy will make others happy too” (Anne Frank)


And yet as people grow older, they see more of the world that dismays them.  They stop looking for the good in everything.  They stop living in the moment and start living a “jam tomorrow lifestyle.”  They become sarcastic and critical.  They live as if it is a crime to be happy.


If you have fallen into this rut, and who has not from time to time, recognise that you are in a rut.  It is not always easy to climb out and become happier because that means you have to change your mindset.  But if you want to be happier, laugh more and be less stressed, changing your mindset is exactly what you have to do.  So decide to do it.


Start small.  Be grateful for what you have in life.  Tell your loved ones that you love them.  Download my free ebook.  Smile.  And next time you get caught in the rain, do not frown.  Dance like Gene Kelly.


Stress Relief – Just Do It

Stress is largely a matter of perception.  That does not mean that you do not have real physical responses.  The stress fight or flight response is very real.  Rather the way you interpret stress is subjective and varies from one person to another.  You can change your stress levels by changing the way you perceive things.  However, what if you no longer notice it?  How can you change your perception of stress if you are so used to living with it that you no longer realise it is there? 


If this is you (and it is probably most of us), then you need to take steps to manage stress on an ongoing basis.  Stress kills.  Forget about it, ignore it, get used to living with high levels of it and you are setting yourself up for serious health problems.    


If you ignored your car for years, you would not be surprised when it started to break down, would you?  Thought not!


So why expect your mind and body to perform optimally when they are bombarded with high levels of stress over a long time and you do nothing about it?  YOU may have become unaware of your stress, but your body has not.  Never forget stress kills.


But there is a problem (or should I say excuse?)  Stress management programs are typically time consuming, expensive one-off events which get you all fired up and motivated.  You may even have to travel out of town to attend them.  Your commitment to stress reduction at the time, is unquestioned.  But after a while, your motivation dwindles and you lapse back into your old lifestyle.  Stress starts to build again. 


So do it differently. Commit to stress reduction.  Really commit.  If you do not reduce your stress levels, no-one will.  And if you are half hearted about stress relief, don’t waste your time starting.  Much better you keep on just as you are and become less and less efficient in your current life until a heart attack or stroke forces you to take an alternative lifestyle.  Assuming you survive that is…


Or you could take stress relief seriously.  Manage it effectively and you will get better control of your time, be more productive and ultimately happier.  Why not start by downloading my
free stress relief tips ebook?


Stress relief.  Just do it.