I love to laugh. I consider it one of my hobbies. I enjoy being around witty people who have something interesting to say and I appreciate good writing on television shows. Laughing is a great way to relieve stress and it’s supposed to be the best medicine, so I plan to stay on this track.
While I laugh often, it’s only occasionally that I laugh until I am crying. In fact, twice a year since high school I have giggle fit so intense that I convulse, have a steady stream of tears, and can barely catch my breath. There may be a scary medical term for my mental state during that time, but usually just refer to it as a “release of stress.”
In college this often happened after finals week, once I returned home for break. One time I collapsed on the kitchen floor laughing at something one of my brothers said and my mom just went about cleaning up the kitchen. I think she even stepped over me at one point. And for my brothers, getting me to giggle to this point using their clever words became a sport.
Last week after painting a new office space for three days, my two officemates and I headed out to supper with our husbands in tow. A half-hour in to dinner, someone said something to trigger a trio of giggle fits. I don’t even know what was so funny but it struck one chord and then it spread like wildfire. The more one of us laughed, the more the other two followed. The husbands looked at us, looked at each other and shrugged, and then continued eating their meals while we continued to laugh.
The table next to us was less than impressed – yes, we were those people. And yes, that was embarrassing, but there was just nothing we could do about it. We started to calm down and then one of the girls snorted and it started all over again. We screeched for a good 10 minutes, trying to stifle our laughter, but it couldn’t be done.
You know those times when you’re in the moment but you just have to be there to understand what on earth is so funny? Well, that was it.
And do you know what? It was just what we needed. After that the three of us agreed that we felt refreshed and ready to go back to work.
I discovered something that day: that this release of stress through laughter does not just happen to me. Here I thought I was the only person that this happened to.
As the three of us move in to an office space together, I’m not sure what to make of all of the laughing. I trust we will get a lot of work done, but I feel bad for the guy in the office next door.
He’s going to wish the walls weren’t so thin.