Loosen Up

Life is all about changes. One day is not like the other. Some days are stuffed with stress while others are filled with fun. We can’t change the diversity of our days, but we can change the way we react under pressure.

Loosening up helps relieve tension. Why else would couples do the chicken dance at their wedding reception?

Brides and grooms with pre-wedding jitters are advised to take deep breaths, bend their knees, and keep breathing through the wedding ceremony. Why? Because they are tense. However, those instructions are not needed at the wedding reception. The DJ takes over, the couple starts dancing, and their demeanor changes from uptight to carefree. They skip off to their honeymoon in a shower of birdseed and bubbles. All is well.

Then reality sets in. Bills need paying, teeth need brushing, laundry starts smelling, and dinner is burning. It isn’t too long after the chicken dance that the rooster starts crowing, the hen starts pecking, and you both feel like flying the coop.

Wow—how did that happen and what can you do to change it? Loosen up!

Children know how to laugh. Watch them. They don’t just chuckle. They fall over laughing.

Humor therapist Jacki Kwan says, “Children are the humor experts …Adults only laugh 10 times a day, while children laugh 60 times a day. Somewhere through the years …we seem to forget that laughing makes us feel good and washes away the pressures of the day-to-day routine. Unfortunately, laughing and clowning around are problematic issues for many adults. They’re very self-conscious of what others think of them and are unable to let go and have a good laugh. It may take some practice, but mastering the skill of laughter will have enormous payoffs, such as reduced stress levels and an increase in overall well-being.”

Children enjoy acting silly. Adults should loosen up and learn from them. Shame on us for not heeding God’s admonition in Matthew 18:3 (NIV) to “… change and become like little children….” Discovering that little child residing in you and laughing out loud, you may find your spirits lifted immediately.

Laughter lowers tension not only in ourselves, but also in those who live with us. God knows it. He tells us in Proverbs 17:22 (GWT), “A joyful heart is good medicine, but depression drains one’s strength.” Further, He states in Proverbs 15:15 (GWT) “Every day is a terrible day for a miserable person, but a cheerful heart has a continual feast.”

When days are hard and nerves are taut, don’t make matters worse by lashing out at the loves of your life. Think about it. It makes no sense. Has a problem ever been solved in anger? I doubt it. A terrible day only gets worse.

Instead, find an outlet other than a person you live with (or any other breathing being). I suggest you act like a kid. Laugh. Loosen up. Wiggle. Eat chocolate. Dance. Sing a silly song. Do something fun. Go for a walk. Run. Watch a funny show. Take a bath or a shower. Declare a pajama day. Take a hike in the woods. Have a family night. Go on a date. Play until you are out of breath. Spend time with God. Pray. Go off by yourself until you calm down. When life gets so tense you just want to scream, find ways to laugh, relax, and loosen up.

(Excerpted from We All Married Idiots: Three Things You Will Never Change About Your Marriage and Ten Things You Can by Elaine W. Miller, published by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. Used by permission.)

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Your Turn

How do you “loosen up” when things get too tense? Tell us about it in the comments below!

We All Married Idiots: Three Things You Will Never Change About Your Marriage And Ten Things You Can

We All Married Idiots: Three Things You Will Never Change About Your Marriage and Ten Things You Can
Elaine W. Miller

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Elaine MillerElaine W. Miller is a popular author and speaker known for sharing biblical insights with warmth, enthusiasm, and humor. A member of the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, she has brought a splash of serenity to audiences for more than 25 years. Elaine is the author of three books: Splashes of Serenity: Bathtime Reflections for Drained Moms, Splashes of Serenity: Bathtime Reflections for Drained Wives, and We All Married Idiots: Three Things You’ll Never Change About Your Marriage and Ten Things You Can. Her work has been published in Sanctuary—A Devotional Bible for Women as well as several magazines. Elaine and her husband, an ordained minister with the Christian and Missionary Alliance, have led many marriage retreats and counseled numerous hurting couples. They travel annually to Bosnia as a Pastoral Care Couple to missionaries there. Residing in upstate New York, Elaine and Dan enjoy a beautiful life and ministry together. Three married children and eight grandchildren complete their joy.