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    Reduce Stress? You crack me up!

    LaughterThe title of this article seems rather like an oxymoron doesn’t it? Why?  Because reducing stress is no laughing matter.  Or is it?  Well, I say it is a laughing matter because laughter is absolutely a great stress reducer and reliever!

    You don’t have to be a Rhodes Scholar to figure this out. Think about it.  Take a minute and remember in detail the last time you were stressed out.  Do you have a good picture of it in your mind and do you feel it in your body?

    Okay. Now take a minute and remember in detail the last time you had a good belly laugh.  Ahhhh, that was a good time, yes?  It’s a fond memory, it was fun, and it made you feel wonderful, yes?

    Well, which experience did you enjoy more? This is a no brainer, right?  Surely it was the good belly laugh.  The point is, you can keep that funny experience in mind for the next time you find yourself getting stressed out.  It’s a choice you can make when stress rears its ugly head–just do not allow it. Replace it with something that makes you laugh!

    Or, really think about and remember how much better it feels to laugh and enjoy yourself than it does to be stressed. Make the choice. It’s your responsibility. Be aware of when you’re heading into a stress state, and make up your mind you’re not going to allow it.

    Then, go find something that makes you laugh or just remember how you felt when you had that good belly laugh.

    Whether it’s reliving your best fond memory, remembering a good joke, calling a friend who always makes you laugh, or watching funny animal videos, when you feel stressed about anything, just go do whatever it is that makes you laugh.

    When you do, your stress will be gone faster than it came, and you’ll feel a lot better and get right back in the present moment.  Don’t believe me when I say laughter has this incredible impact on you and your health?

    If you need more convincing evidence, here’s a short article from the University of Maryland Medical Center relating to laughter and its positive effect on heart health: http://umm.edu/news-and-events/news-releases/2009/laughter-is-the-best-medicine-for-your-heart

    The point is, there are easier ways to get out of stress and back into the much less scary present moment than altering your state of mind with medications or suffering unnecessarily because you don’t know how to reduce or relieve your stress.

    “Your sense of humor is one of the most powerful tools you have to make certain that your daily mood and emotional state support good health.” ~ Paul E. McGhee, Ph.D.

    So do take it upon yourself to pay attention and be aware when stress starts to creep in at any time. Make the choice to replace it with something much more enjoyable that makes you laugh and thereby reduces or eliminates your stress.  You’d rather be happy and laughing wouldn’t you?

    “Whoever is happy will make others happy, too.” ~ Ann Frank

    Author Bio: Peggy Nelson is a certified professional Life and Personal Development Coach, the founder of www.PeggyNelson.net (formerly Life Your Way Coaching), a published author, and an avid blogger. Her mission as a professional coach is to help people access that part of themselves that allows them to get out of their own way and shift their thinking, release fear at every level, experience personal growth and empowerment, and ultimately create fulfilling, happy, and successful personal and professional lives they love. To learn more about Peggy and what she offers or to follow her blog or schedule a free get acquainted session with her, please visit her website at www.PeggyNelson.net.

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