When I go on a roller coaster, every time I want to scream, I laugh.
It’s very simple. You see, I am not a roller coaster girl. I am more of a carousel girl. I like to ride the pretty ponies as they rise and fall gracefully.
The roller coaster doesn’t excite me. I’ve never been one to seek out things that scare me as an amusement. (Except for ghost stories. I loooooove a good ghost story. But not a gory one.) Horror movies, thrill rides, rock climbing – none of these things sound fun.
But, when forced onto the roller coaster by others, I refuse to scream. I know that if I did, the people who were so excited to get me on that thrill ride would be delighted and it would become their mission to get me on another ride to watch me squirm further. Also, I know that if I allow the sheer terror to take over, I will end up trying to exit the ride at a completely inappropriate (and quite dangerous) point.
Thus, I laugh. Whenever the urge to scream pushes itself through my diaphragm, I laugh instead. I give this high-pitched whoop that sounds ridiculously happy to be being frightened in this fashion. Or maybe it sounds like a supervillain celebrating his evil plan. I mean, it could go either way.
And then I get off the ride, sweating and dazed and out of air. I take one final relieved giggle and am able to face the rest of the day feeling okay.
Laughing releases the stress of frightening situations from your body. As you approach your scary task this week, consider laughing when you want to scream. Take some time and imagine the situation, feeling the growing panic in the pit of your stomach. Transform those butterflies into the excitement of a delighted thrill-seeker by pretending to be one. Then, practice laughing to release the tension.