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Laugh Off Your Stress … Seriously!
You Can’t Laugh And Still Be Tense
By Zig Ziglar
Laughter is a great stress reducer.
If you have never read Norman Cousins’ account of his experience of self-healing as described in Anatomy of an Illness, I encourage you to do so. When diagnosed with an incurable illness, he brought a movie projector into his hospital room and watched reel after reel of old classic comedy movies, laughing himself into hysterics.
He found he could relieve his otherwise significant pain on a consistent basis through laughter. That practice, along with some other novel therapies, resulted in his healing.
He left his prestigious journalistic career and taught on the faculty of a major medical school about the power of the mind and emotions in healing the body of disease.
Next to love, laughter has been described as the second most powerful emotion we can express.
It has been said that laughter is like internal jogging – it stimulates the respiratory system, oxygenates the body, relaxes tense muscles, and releases pleasure-producing chemicals in the brain.
You cannot:
  • laugh and be mad,
  • laugh and be tense,
  • laugh and be stressed.
Laughter is: low calorie, caffeine-free, and has no salt, preservatives, or additives.
It’s 100 percent and one size fits all.
Laughter is truly God’s gift to humankind. You can get high on laughter but never overdose.
Laughter is also contagious – once it starts, little can be done to stop it.
Laughter never felt bad, committed a crime, started a war or broke up a relationship. Laughter is shared by the giver and the receiver. It costs nothing and it’s non-taxable.
Laughter is a trend-setter. If we can find ways to laugh first thing in the morning, it may in fact set the trend for the rest of the day.
And here's the most important use of laughter I have ever discovered: the ability to laugh at ourselves.
I stopped taking myself too seriously years ago, and it was the best decision I ever made. Don’t get me wrong – I’m still serious about what I do. But not so serious that I can’t be the first one to laugh when I mess up (which happens all too often. It’s why I spend so much time laughing!).
When you’re the first person to laugh at yourself, you leave little room for others to laugh at you.
Zig Ziglar is America’s motivator and inspirational teacher. He is the author of 27 books on personal growth and sales training, and speaks regularly at Get Motivated seminars across the country. This article was adapted from Zig’s book, Better than Good, and was reprinted with permission from Zig Ziglar’s e-newsletter. To find out more, go to
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