Thursday, January 26, 2012

Emotional relief can come when least expected

Oh, funny morning. Comic relief can come at the strangest times. Like when you have a guest lecturer during your final class of the day. I don’t know what came over me, but let’s just say my giggle box got turned over. I wish I could have picked a better time, but beggars can’t be choosers, now can they? J

A psychologist spoke to our class today about stress management. As part of her lecture, she requested that we engage in several “mindfulness” activities. I am well aware of the effectiveness of these strategies in helping reduce stress – I often engage in similar activities myself – but for whatever reason, doing these exercises as a class struck my funny bone, and I could not keep it together. I don’t mean I just snickered to myself – I’m talking loud bursts of laughter, the kind of laughter that brings tears to your eyes. I had to leave class because the more I tried to stop laughing, the worse it got.

The exercise that really set me off was the lecturer asked that we all stand in a circle and slowly walk counter-clockwise. While walking, we were to stare down at our feet and pay close attention to the sensory feedback of them hitting the ground. First of all, I was having trouble keeping my balance walking that slowly, and second of all, I felt like we were all animals in a circus activity, and the psychologist leading the exercise sounded like the announcer at the circus. After about the third time of choking out laughing noises and painfully trying to prevent the next outburst, I left the room with an apology and another burst of laughter.

When I returned, the psychologist was leading another exercise. This one involved holding your breath for 5 seconds, and then making a high-pitch squealing noise upon release. She welcomed me back, and unfortunately, I couldn’t even get through one five-second round before the air rushed out of mouth and I was laughing out loud yet again. I tried to leave the room a second time, but the psychologist asked me to remain in the room and used my laughter as an example of how difficult it can be to focus during these exercises. It was brutal trying to remain in class for the remaining 10 minutes. I just had to stare down at my paper because the times that I tuned back into what she was saying, I would hear things like “a clump of soil” and “cracked earth” and “the light on a tree trunk.” Normally, I eat up these types of exercises; today, they seemed so hokie and sent me into fits of laughter. Thinking about it now even makes me laugh.

I honestly couldn’t help it. If you had offered me $1,000 to stop laughing this morning, I wouldn’t have been able to pull it off. But, then again, I needed that comic relief so badly this week, that you really couldn’t put a price on it.

I can't speak for my professors or the guest lecturer, but I must say, I do feel a lot better after attending that class. Embarrassed, but lighter. I’m sure I came across as rude and so immature, but I’d like to think that deep down, the guest lecturer realizes how much she helped me today. It might have been unintentional, but she sure provided me with the stress relief of which she spoke for an hour and a half. So, in a way, mission accomplished...?!

Wishing everyone some good hard laughs going into Friday!


  1. It is a funny thing how the mood to laugh will hit us and any little thing can be perceived as funny. I love it when that happens and I am so glad it happened to you today. I think you needed the vacation from the stress and sadness. I wish I could have been there to see it. I'm so glad you had a good day.

    1. I wish you would have been there, too. I'm sure it would have been contagious! I could have the company of a fellow inappropriate giggler! ;-)

      It seriously makes me laugh even now thinking about the inappropriateness of my hysterical laughter. Embarrassed, too, but mainly just highly entertained. Hopefully, it's not an indication that I've lost ALL my marbles. hehe

      Thanks for the kind words. xxx

  2. I was trying hard not to laugh at your description of the day! It's okay to be silly sometimes. It doesn't make you immature. I am glad you has a relaxing day; even if the relaxing wasnt from an intentional source

    1. Haha! Thanks, Tara! Feel free to laugh away ;-) I hope you have a nice weekend.