I can’t think of anything that pulls me out of my own worrisome thoughts more quickly than being served up a good old fashioned cup of childlike Giggles! I am talking about that infectious laughter that has tears rolling down your face, your holding onto your stomach, which literally aches because you just can’t stop. You attempt to avoid eye contact with the person who sparked it, inside you are snickering, attempting to breathe, you look up, glance at your friend and it starts all over again. You simply CAN NOT HELP YOURSELF! Anyone walking by senses a feeling of good will, smiles AND they don’t have a clue as to what could be so funny. They just catch the vibe.
When was the last time you felt a moment like that? Are you over due?
I am fortunate to have a therapist that can pull that out of me. Or is it, Can help me to pull it out of myself? Oh! What a wonderfully freeing feeling! As far as I am concerned, half the battle, when I am doing the hard work, is seeing the positive where I once saw a negative. If I can dissolve the severity of a situation with some constructive humor, it deflates the intensity and is less likely to keep a detrimental hold on me.
Yes, I roll up my sleeves, maintain a serious mindset, dive in, search for underlying causes, identify triggers, figure out why I am fighting a dark place, cry and bust my butt to get well. No, it isn’t easy. But, for me the best reward for my hard work is when I can embrace my “self enhancing” humor, laughter and the silliness in me and in my life. That is when I know I am making progress. What helps you identify your progress? How do you celebrate?
I recall a time when finding humor caused quite a conflict. I was taking a CBT class. CBT stands for Cognitive-behavioral therapy. Wikipedia defines it as a form of psychotherapy . “It was originally designed to treat depression, but is now used for a number of mental disorders. It works to solve current problems and change unhelpful thinking and behavior. Most therapists working with patients dealing with anxiety and depression use a blend of cognitive and behavioral therapy. This technique acknowledges that there may be behaviors that cannot be controlled through rational thought, but rather emerge based on prior conditioning from the environment and other external and/or internal stimuli.”
I learned about celebrating my Reasonable tiny steps forward. I even created an acronym for it “RTS”. When the instructor writes her book, she has promised to give me credit for it. I LIKE IT!! If you have never taken a CBT class or workshop, I definitely suggest it. You might be amazed at what you can learn about yourself, who you are and why you think the way you do. Learn to celebrate each degree of your success… As i mentioned earlier, I celebrate with humor and silliness which is why what happened in the beginning of this class caught me off guard.
I truly liked my instructor, she seemed well read on the subject, introduced creative and unique ideas along with innovative theories and loved our input as we shared the contents of overflowing tool boxes with life’s successful experiments. One small problem, she got really upset when we utilized humor in our workshop. There were times she literally scolded us, we felt deflated and about 10 years old. She said humor caused us to deviate from the intended purpose of the class. On one hand I understood what she meant. She wanted us to do the work. She felt we avoided the subject by cracking jokes. On the other hand, the majority of the group of people in this class were familiar with the CBT concept. Heck, one of the people actually ran a NAMI group in another part of the state. We had been on the journey of identifying and overcoming our deep rooted core beliefs for years.
Luckily, we had a gem for a leader. It didn’t take more than three classes, with a quick meeting after the second one asking her to just give it a try. We pointed out that;
- We WERE SERIOUS about learning.
- The reinforcement of our behavior to not reflect negative core beliefs WAS our goal.
- We KNEW from experience that if there was one thing that helped keep us moving forward, it was our sense of humor.
- For the small percentage of individuals that were in the class that were just starting on their quest, we were eager to help. Our humor wasn’t meant to harm but enhance.
She realized after that, if she teamed up with of us, the class might just be even more powerful and successful. What did she have to lose? The decision? It was her class but she was open to give it a try. SHE relaxed and WE went to work AND play!
By the end of our session, twice a week for 8 weeks, she was totally on board. I ran into a few people that took her class after my time with her. I was pleased to find out our teacher/instructor had actually changed her curriculum, it now included more silliness and humor. Ahhh, life is good.
“Steps…one thing at a time…and before you know it…you have reached your goals…lofty as they may be….but you must crawl first…stay with it, determined…keep the end game in mind…and you will accomplish whatever you make up your mind to do.” – Compliments of Zen to Zany.