I’ve been studying people for more than two decades. Not just people watching, but actually studying why people do the things they do. I’ve studied what they like, what they don’t like, what makes them tick. And I have watched something very interesting happen within our society.
Despite all the modern “conveniences” and labour-saving tools available, stress literally consumes most people today! In fact, 77% of our population report they regularly experience physical symptoms caused by stress, according to a government Psychological Association. That’s almost 8 out of every 10 people who experience fatigue, headaches, upset stomachs, muscle tension, changes in appetite and change in their sex drive. Not to mention the accompanying psychological symptoms of irritability, anger, nervousness and a general lack of energy.
This is TERRIBLE! And certainly that is no way to live your life! Stress is an epidemic that affects people of all ages and in all walks of life, and it affects every aspect of life – physical, mental, emotional, financial, relationships, work, family.
Our culture tells us seeking help for such stress-related problems is a sign of weakness… something to be ashamed of. Instead, we are encouraged to fill these voids in other ways – shopping, TV, food, alcohol, sex, excessive spending, whatever makes us feel good.
But I’m here to tell you, running away from stress does NOT make it go away! Pretending everything is okay will not fix a thing! In fact, it actually causes more stress.
There is one way to relieve stress I’ve found that is very powerful, yet usually overlooked! I use this solution in my own life, and I encourage everyone I know, from my personal friends and family to all of our clients, to use it. And it’s so obvious, you’ll never guess what it is…
So, I have a simple question for you today. When is the last time you had fun? Not this, “But Andrew, organizing my garage IS fun!” or “Taking a walk by myself is fun!” I mean REAL fun! When is the last time you laughed so hard, you cried? Or the last time your face literally hurt from smiling so big? When is the last time you felt total joy?
My favorite book in the entire world (the Bible) says, “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.” Isn’t that so true? Laughter really is the best medicine!
Actually research proves laughter relaxes the body, boosts the immune system, releases endorphins and improves blood flow. Not only that, but your body releases endorphins every time you smile, which sends a message of confidence and satisfaction to your brain.
The truth is, sometimes all you really need is to have some fun! Even when you’re going through a hard time, it’s so important to give yourself permission to have fun. And if you’re like me, and you have a hard time having fun on your own, surround yourself with people who will help you have fun! That’s exactly what I do! I have certain people who I have strategically placed in my life specifically for that purpose!
When I feel myself slipping into a “funk” I stop and think, “When is the last time you had some fun?” And I usually find it’s time to schedule some fun. Whether it’s a game night with friends, a party, or a spontaneous movie night with my family, I make sure to actually set an appointment in my calendar.
My friend, it all comes down to this: Stress is way too common in our society today, but it doesn’t have to be part of your life. Stress is a choice. We all have circumstances in our lives that can cause stress, but we each have to either choose stress or stress relief.
Today I’ve given you one simple, effective strategy proven to kill stress! Now it’s up to you to use that strategy. So come on, it’s FUN!
I want you to take just a minute right now to think about who you know who really needs to have more fun in life. Who do you know who always seems overwhelmed, or who is always looking for a way to cope with their stress? It could be anyone from your next-door neighbour to your colleague, your spouse or child, or even a church member. Go ahead and share this message with them right now! This one simple strategy will encourage, motivate and inspire those who receive it, and it will be because you were generous enough to share it. You can forward this email, post this link on social media, or even print it out and actually pass it around today.