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.


Have You Forgotten How To Be Happy?

“If you want to be happy, be” – Leo Tolstoy

I have come to the conclusion that there are some people in this world who are just determined to be miserable and unhappy.  I don’t mean people suffering from clinical depressions or those fighting a seemingly never ending misery. No. I mean those people that seem to want to be forever miserable and who seem to enjoy being surrounded by grief and failure.  These folk find negativity in everything and are never cheerful. 

However, there are also people who appear doggedly determined to be happy no matter what life throws at them.  These people always make the best of everything, despite everything.

I know people in each of these camps. But why is there such a difference?

Happiness is a state of mind.  Unless you are clinically depressed, you can just decide to be happy. Happiness is brought about by positive thoughts. The problem is that, unchecked, many people find it easy to sink into a pattern of negative thoughts and negative inner speak.  This works to make us miserable, more stressed, tired and overwhelmed. 

However, if we choose to stop following our negative thoughts and to make our inner speak positive instead, it has a remarkable effect on our demeanour.  A positive mental attitude lifts your mood, makes you feel more motivated, energetic, happier and generally makes everything seem better than before. 

“Happiness is a habit – cultivate it.” – Elbert Hybbard

Changing your inner speak from negative to positive is not easy.  Let’s face it, not much in life worth having is easy.  But if it’s worth having, it’s worth working for.

So why do so many people seem to choose to have a negative attitude?  Maybe because it’s easier to think that someone else just has it better than we do rather than taking the responsibility for our actions and admitting that we could do a lot more to help ourselves?  The grass is always greener on the other side, but that doesn’t mean it tastes better. 

Every one of us faces many challenges during our lifetime. And just because someone seems to be having a good time right now, it may be that they are just coming to the end of a major crisis, or perhaps they are about to head into another one!  We never know exactly what goes on in someone else’s life.

So rather than wish your lot in life was different, decide to do something with your own.  Think positively.  Train your mind to be happy.   Wearing a smile, however false, actually fools your body into thinking that you are happy.  This causes the release of “feel good” endorphins, which then make the happy state a self fulfilling prophecy. 

So do you want to be happy or not? The choice is yours.  Decide to be happy.  After all, why wouldn’t you?