Emotional Incontinence

Laughing is literally my favorite thing to do. I even love the sound of other people’s laughter. Specifically, baby giggles even though babies laugh at things that are not remotely funny…. babies are dumb. I am a firm believer that any situation can be funny, or maybe that is just my way of dealing with situations that are less than ideal. When my mother passed away in 2014, she requested a Catholic funeral as she had been practicing Catholicism in the final years of her life. I am not in any way knocking the religion but it just did not seem like a fitting send off for my mother who lived life a little on the wild side. The whole thing seemed very formal, much too formal for my very informal mother. Trying my damnedest to hide it, I laughed during the entire funeral. I laughed even harder when the priest started swinging that smoking canister around. I looked at my husband and said, “mom found a way to smoke at her own funeral, this makes so much more sense now.”  People may have thought I was not grieving but they would be very wrong. After crying so much leading up to this day, I was tapped out and the only thing left was laughter. Did you know there is a term for this? It is called Pseudo bulbar affect. Seriously, look it up. The Wiki page also refers to it as “emotional incontinence”. When I read this, I laughed out loud because all I could picture was a brain running around wearing adult diapers, but feeling very confident as it moves through the day running errands, driving carpool, and making dinner, thanks Depends!

Laughter is magical in that is can help soothe a tense situation. Have you ever gotten into a fight with your significant other that ended in laughter? I have. Did you know your brain can detect a fake laugh?  When you hear staged, or deliberate laughter, it prompts more activity in your brain’s anterior medial prefrontal cortex, which helps you understand other people’s emotions. Have you ever had laughter recall? The first time I saw Napoleon Dynamite I did not laugh at all. I was really perplexed about why so many people found this movie to be hysterical. Over the next few days, pieces of the movie popped into my head and I started laughing so hard I looked like an insane person.

You also are more likely to laugh at something if other people are laughing. It is literally contagious.  Gibbler and I have been friends for a decade now. During our first vacation together in 2012 to Jamaica, we needed a reprieve from the sun and ended up in our room watching Ridiculousness on MTV. They showed a video of cat farting that had her in literal tears, I probably would not have found it as funny if it were not for her. That might have been the highlight of our vacation…just laughing in our room. I have pasted the link below, you’re welcome!  My husband is the funniest person I know (please don’t tell him I said that). One of our very first hang outs, we went to see the musical Rent. Now I love a good musical but in my humble opinion, Rent is not one of them. The whole plot is about people who are using drugs, have AIDS, and unable to pay their rent. By the end of it, we were laughing so hard because we could not wait for them all to die. At one point, a girl dies and comes back to life, that sent us into hysterics. I should have known then that he was my person.  He says that my sense of humor is the most redeeming quality I have, and to me that is the best compliment he could ever give me.


What makes you laugh? Who are your favorite comedians? Has laughter helped you through a difficult time? Drop me a comment below!

“With the fearful strain that is on me night and day, if I did not laugh I should die.”- Abraham Lincoln



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