When you can’t help but laugh…

When you can’t help but laugh…

I have been taking a course in counselor’s training as part of my studies in theology. The journey is rewarding, but requires lots of emotional energy and is potentially nerve-wracking. The sessions can get intense and stir up deep emotions. And in between sessions you have time to process all that stuff…

I enjoy it!

Really, I do. But the course is taking a toll on me:
When I got back from lunch today, I noticed involuntary twitches in my diaphragm. I had just watched some classic Monty Python sketches.
Stay calm.
The teacher announced the warm-up exercise: “We are going to stretch and relax our facial muscles, so everyone make funny faces in the following way…”
A chuckle stirred. Not now!
“Let us begin with our default position of deep breathing…”
I suppressed a laugh. This is ridiculous, it’s not even funny, why am I on the verge of laughing? Keep it together, Nicole. Breathe. Think of something calm. An Edward Hopper painting, a lonely field, a sad, depressing time in your life…
No? Nothing? Nothing. I wasn’t winning this.
No, no… Retreat!
I got up and rushed to the bathroom. And when I got there, the dams broke. I burst out in uncontrollable laughter. I felt like a hysterical basket case while having fun at the same time. Some way to skip part of a lesson!
Luckily there wasn’t anyone else in the bathroom, or they would have thought I was crazy. I was laughing so hard I had tears in my eyes. It literally took me 5 minutes to get it together again. But finally, when the frenzy ended, I washed my face, took a deep breath, and returned to class.
Was my subconscious trying to tell me something? I think my body was like: enough stuff to process. You need to laugh, now!

Funny how our bodies sometimes take a stand like that. I was glad I listened to mine. Have you ever burst out in laughter when it seemed inappropriate? How do you react to too much stress or to your body’s need to take a break? I hope you can make times for yourself to laugh and rest. And to get you started on the laughter here’s Monty Python’s “Cheese Shop”-sketch. Have a laugh, and have a great day!

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