I recently sat with a client, an awesome woman. A woman with a career and a family, so the realities of her life and mine are sometimes pretty close.
As usual, before diving into the coaching, I checked in with her how she was and what life around her had been since our last conversation… There she is, under-slept and over-worked and she tells me how when you already think you certainly can’t survive on less sleep, the kids gets sick or some other life reality kicks in and tests you on how little sleep you actually can deal with. I told her how my ultimate test in this regard is intestinal flu with my kids in the midst of my work.
And then, something really strange happened: we burst out laughing and could not stop for at least five minutes. Telling each other what the tests are life had in store for us. I could immediately feel how laughing together about the chaos we are sometimes in let us access a deeper level of understanding and trusting each other. I was thrilled to discover that laughing together about something had us connect and also gave her relief of some of the stress that such a situation creates, even when you just talk about it.
This really got me curious about how laughter works and what it can do. My exploration brought me back to my belief that we chose ourselves how we look at a situation and this can turn a negative experience into a positive one. And there are many situations in which tears and grief are necessary as well as a positive look at the challenge and growth that arises from them.
So, I guess, from now on I’ll more often consciously try to look at the funny side of things. Rather than mourning lack of sleep, be grateful that the kids are better now and laugh about me running between my kids, taking their temperature every half hour and forgetting what I measured last time.
As a practice, what are things you can’t change and that really annoy you? What grain of humor can you find in it? And then, just laugh it off!
This might support you – a little TED video…