If you've ever been in a situation where you were laughing uncontrollably, you were probably wishing you could stop yourself. Perhaps it was an inappropriate time to laugh, or perhaps no one else found it just as funny as you did. Whatever the reason, it's good to have a few strategies for being able to stop laughing. Follow these 5 easy steps and you'll have just the right knowledge to stop laughing when it counts.
- Prepare yourself. Before entering into any situation where laughing might be inappropriate (like at a funeral or in church), remind yourself that laughing is not okay. Consider it a pep talk before the big game! If you've gone over it in your mind before entering into the situation, then you're less likely to lose control and laugh.
- Take cues from you environment. Look at other people around you to see if they're laughing or even smiling a lot. If you notice that the majority of people are not laughing, then you're going to need to dig deep and try to mimic their behavior. You wouldn't want to stand out in the crowd, so try to follow the crowd.
- Think about something else. As hard as it may be in the moment, in order to stop laughing you may need to change your thoughts instantly. The best way to do that is to think about something sad, something innocent, or even something depressing. You need to get your mind off of whatever it was that made you laugh.
- Shock yourself. If you're trying to stop laughing and you're desperate, you may need to shock your system. You could pinch yourself, bite your lip gently, or cause some other type of pain to yourself (but don't get crazy okay? Tears would probably be just as bad in an inappropriate laughter situation). If you are close to a bathroom, splash your face with water. It may seem drastic, but you may need to turn your focus to your physical self in order to stop laughing.
- Breathe deeply. You may be able to stop laughing simply by breathing deeply. Sit up straight, and take long breaths in and out. This should help to calm you and to help you to stop laughing.
- Give yourself something else to do. If you're focused on laughing, then it may be hard to stop laughing. So why not try to focus on something else, even something simple? You could count to 10 and back again, or try spelling difficult words. Often something simple is all it takes to stop laughing.
- Hide your face. If all else fails, you may need to disguise your laughter by hiding your face in your hands. Put your head down between your knees if you need to, or bury your laughter in the bulk of a coat or a sweater. If you're laughing and you know it's in appropriate, it's best to at least make people think that you've stopped laughing.
It's never an easy situation when you find it difficult to stop laughing. But for your own reputation and for the appropriateness of the situation, you need to dig deep and find the strength to stop laughing! Carry these little tips with you because you'll never know when the mood will strike to let out a good ol' inappropriate giggle.