A psychologist guest speaker named Phil Jorn came to our Lifetime Health and Fitness class yesterday. After his speech, one thing really turned in my mind throughout the day.
As an exercise, the man had us close our eyes and picture the last time we had had a real laugh (of the "ROFL" or "LMAO" sort).
I pictured the night prior to that day. I was texting my friend Angela and we had gotten on the topic of Kurt Vonnegut. I told her I wanted to go on a Vonnegut splurge this summer, beginning with reading Cat's Cradle - however, my phone oddly auto-corrected to "Dradle". I was intrigued by the correction and told Angela I wanted to look into the word.
I searched "dradle" on Google, intending to look only at the very first results. The first results linked to Urban Dictionary.com, and if you, Dear Reader, know anything about Urban Dictionary, you know that it is far from a politically or socially correct, family-friendly source.
Needless to say, it had nothing to do with Cat's Cradle. I laughed like I've never laughed before, since I was half-LMAO-ing and half trying to stifle my laugh as my roommate did homework across from me at her desk.
I took a screen shot of the obscene Urban Dictionary definition and sent it to Angela, whereupon an even more hilarious conversation ensued.
What I learned from picturing this instance of laughter in class yesterday was how good it did actually feel. I didn't reflect on the feeling afterword; instead I quickly continued my studies for the next day (today) and didn't think on it again. But the elation I felt from it was conjured up again during Phil Jorn's exercise, and I felt the gut-tightening bubbly lightness. I was reminded of how few times I had enjoyed that same hysterical experience since starting college in Fall of 2011, and I was grateful of the psychologist's lesson.
A fact he enlightened on us after the exercise: Children laugh on average 400 times/day, while working adults laugh about 15 times. I was surprised by both numbers, but soon was reminded by a few peers that children generally do think everything is funny, and working adults often want to exude a more mature image of themselves to other working adults.
If you're anything like me, though, you don't want to be the average working adult. You want to appear young, and excited and enthused about the world around, taking everything in with an open and happy mind. Laugh when something's funny, and let the people around you (even if they are "working adults") know that it is okay to laugh. You'll make light of the difficult parts of life and make friends easier along the way.