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.


Is Biofeedback The Same As ECG?

Biofeedback is a scary sounding term.  Many of us may have heard of it, but most of us probably do not really understand.  Yet biofeedback can help to reduce stress reduction through modification of behavior.  Biofeedback works as a way to measure one’s physiological responses to something, and then as a way to control those responses.  

In the case of stress reduction, biofeedback helps the person experiencing stress identify their reactions to it so that they can choose appropriate stress reduction techniques to counter the effects of the stressful situation.

Biofeedback is based on research done by two prominent psychologists and physiologists, Ivan Pavlov (who used dogs to demonstrate the Pavlovian response), and B.F. Skinner, who worked particularly on operant behavior, also known as behaviorism.

Both researchers helped pioneer the way for biofeedback to develop as a way of identifying how individuals react to certain stimuli, for example, tightening their shoulder muscles when they are stressed.

And biofeedback can also help people to learn to change their behaviors to get a “reward”, such as noticing stressful triggers and purposely doing relaxation exercises so that they can keep the stress from affecting them in a harmful way.

Many people learn about biofeedback from a therapist or health care professional who uses special equipment to measure the body’s response to stress.  But more recently, home biofeedback equipment has been developed for people to use with their computer.

So biofeedback can help you identify what triggers stress, what those stresses do your body, and how to modify your behaviors to counteract the effects of stress on your body.  The result is a more relaxed and aware you – one that has learned to catch the stress before it causes you to suffer from uncomfortable physiological responses. 

For stress reduction techniques you can use with biofeedback, download your copy of free stress tips ebook and ecourse by clicking the link!