A girlfriend visited a couple of weekends ago and it struck me how much we giggled. Actual, laugh out loud, possible snorting, it was one hundred percent fun. Ever since she left, I feel like the whimsical word of “giggle” has crept into my life, returning something that has been unknowingly missing.
It’s as if my ears have been re-tuned-in to the laughter around me. Just the other day, boys were over and the request came to play Fortnight, since they were so bored. I told them to use their imagination to find something better to fill the time. Within twenty minutes they were rolling-around the family room, putting each other in stitches as they innocently trash-talked about their Monopoly property portfolios. Two hours later I had to drag them away from their real-estate enterprises to eat dinner. Their goofing around was totally refreshing.
A different day, I finished up a sticky morning run and was smiling ear to ear. I was still feeling full from laughing out loud with my camp girls the night before. These women are glued together from a rainy, cold, out of our comfort zone, two night church camping trip. (Click to read about these escapes). Over the two years since, we’ve talked about tensions in marriages, terrible bosses, tough teen parenting and the terrific community we are building.
These spontaneous giggles come from internal joy.
Maybe it’s hard to imagine joy if you are in a stressful season or typically don’t laugh out loud, but I promise its worth a try. Here are some ideas for giggling and jolts of joy:
- Go listen to a kid. They have amazing imaginations – so clear and precise, yet so simple. Ask them about a problem they want to solve. You might get an entire plan of how ice-cream could last longer or way to brush teeth less often.
- Stream an old TV sitcom – the writing is brilliant and the innuendos cliché enough to make the most stoic of us laugh out loud.
- Disengage on the weekends: what are the childhood hobbies that fueled you? Did you enjoy convening with nature while fishing or hiking? Go find a small-town diner for lunch then taking a different way home. Use a paper map and digital camera, but leave the smart phone at home.
- Bring giggling to your office… find ways to lighten up the weekly meeting with new engaging conversation starters – share your new weekend activities and the mishaps along the ways.
The best part of giggling, once you start, it become contagious. Not only on the spot, but continues to replay in your mind day after day. Don’t believe me? Have you ever wondered if a foreign speaker, like the wait staff or the manicurists are talking about you as they sweetly smile and chat away in their native tongue? Well, my most recent joyful interaction was when two Spanish speakers engaged in conversation at church with my daughter. It went something like this … “ah you can speak un poco? Good, then we can talk and your mom won’t understand us!!” She loved being in the inner-circle and pulling a funny on me. And when she told me the translation later, I was laughing too – like laughing out loud for 10 minutes!! They got me. It was good, teasing humor, and I am still giggling as I recount it.