2018 HA Level III Project Descriptions

Missy CarswellCultivating Kindness (and Happy Habits!)
Missy Carswell, LPC

Which comes first, kindness or happiness? Chicken or egg? Does it really matter? Kindness and happiness, while not synonymous, are synchronistic; I consider them kissing cousins. One encourages the other, both are highly contagious and healthy. The goal of this project was to observe and ask others what constitutes kindness and what happy habits they practice, as well as consult the latest research and thought leaders in the areas of emotional intelligence, positive psychology, humor, health, happiness, kindness, laughter joy and strong relationships and then develop a questionnaire to determine an individual’s “personal kindness quotient.’ It is hoped this quotient will serve as a self-monitoring guide to cultivate kindness and practice happy habits.


Olubunmi DialaTherapeutic Humor Interventions for the Women and Children at the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) Camp
Olubunmi Diala, MB;BS, Associate Fellow NPMCN.

My Humor Academy project took place at the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) Camp in Anguldi, Plateau State from September to November 2018. The women and children at the camp were victims of a humanitarian crisis that had resulted in their displacement from their villages. The project was conducted after they had been in the IDP camp for 3 months with many of them still disturbed psychologically, despite attempts in the initial phase to ameliorate their suffering. For the women, the humor interventions were in four sessions, each occurred weekly and lasted 90 minutes. They reported improvement in cheerfulness and the use of humor to cope with the situation. There were also reports of enhanced well-being. In addition, a party was held for the children in the IDP camp on World Peace Day (September 21st). I was delighted to put smiles on their beautiful faces.


Bev EanesYour Joy Brain Dances
Bev Eanes, RN, PhD, CLL

For my project I chose to write a book. The motivation behind this project is my personal goal of spreading ‘JOY’ as a way to help people improve their health. I delight in the faces of others when I share joy and hope my book will encourage them to share joy as well. Topics included in the book are Dance Joy, Joy in the Pink, Joy in Discovery, Joy in the Element, Joy in Surviving and Thriving, Joy in Animals and Nature, Joy in Gratitude, Joy in Forgiveness, and Joy Unending.


Debra Joy HartTEDx TALK - That’s Not Funny! A 3-P Practice for Grief Resilience
Debra Joy Hart

The project I chose was to successfully do a TEDx TALK, and I did it! To do this, I needed to prepare not only in content, but also to mentally prepare by setting positive affirmations and setting rules about how I might become fully engaged throughout the process. Needless to say, I learned a lot about myself and as a result, would do it all again. My hope is that those who listen, will enjoy the content on how to build resilience and benefit from my talk. https://youtu.be/i0AsRySJQ34 Laughter


Linnea HientzMusac to one’s ears!
Linnea “Nae” Heintz, ABD, LAC, MS, CRC, DT, CLL, OM

Through a review of research, studies show that laughter is a legitimate and powerful form of preventive (lifestyle) medicine, and a complementary option to other established therapeutic strategies for physiological, mental, and emotional health, and more. This research project was designed to use the concept of humor as a vital ingredient to a successful work environment and laughter positively affecting all aspects of a person’s being. By utilizing atmospherics and subliminal influences on the consumer, as well as the employees, in order to measure any changes in sales, productivity, customer overall experience, employee satisfaction, turnover and sick days. Elevator music, also known as Musac, refers to any generic music intended to play in the public establishments, offices, stores, etc. A supermarket chain located across four southern states with nearly a decade of revenue/employee records, in a single blind study, selected 5 out of their 91 locations in which to play low-volume laughter track pulses in place of the typical music tracks for two full years. Through analyzing the data collected pre/post use of the laughter track pulses, results including consistent sales, increased employee satisfaction, decrease in employee sick days and turnover, laughter became infections throughout all five locations.


Mary LaskinTherapeutic Laughter for Chronic Pain Patients
Mary E. A. Laskin, MN,RN, ACNS-BC, Certified Laughter Leader - Expert Level

Kaiser Permanente San Diego’s Pain Management department is an outpatient clinic that offers a six-week Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Rehabilitation (CBTR) program, meeting twice weekly. It is co-facilitated by a Pain and Pain Physical Therapist. Topics traditionally included at our department have been stress management, sleep hygiene, relaxation, meditation, pacing, and exercises to combat the de-conditioning that is common in the chronic pain patient. The topic of Therapeutic Laughter was introduced as a trial during one of the CBTR sessions. The patients’ responses were positive, so it was decided to include it in the curriculum of the CBTR program. It was initially a 30 minute session, but was increased to an hour session due to requests from patients to increase the length of time. It is included late in the program (Session 10 or 11 of the 12 sessions) in order to allow the group members to develop some comfort with each other before participating in the laughter exercises. As part of my project, an evaluation was done by verbal statements from the patients, and a question included the overall program evaluation administered at the end of the six-week program. A separate evaluation sheet was also completed by participants, if they chose. The results of the evaluation form were reviewed and summarized over a one-year period sharing positive responses to the addition of therapeutic laughter to this program.


David MannHumor & Health Day
David Mann, MA, CTRS, Author

The Humor and Health Day was designed to provide people the opportunity to laugh and share humor away from their daily norm. My goal was that participants would step up to sharing more of themselves to loved ones afterwards and feel better about themselves overall. The day was sectioned to include guest leaders who would provide a variety of experiences: glass-painting with humor, appropriate/inappropriate humor, cooking with humor, using stories, props and punch lines to add value to the human spirit and a personality style profile to permit self-growth opportunities. The results were very positive as expressed by both the participants and presenters.


Connie PinoUndercover Positivity (UP)
Connie Pino

Undercover Positivity (UP) is a project designed to silently uplift others with positive energy, thus helping them feel better. I have started this because I want people to tap into their own inner joy, and to project that happiness to others. My hope is to share this UP project with as many people as possible. An example of using the UP technique is as follows: You are at a gas station and you silently send the healing energy (UP) to someone pumping gas across from you. In your mind, you would say, “I am sending you love and healing energy so you will have a wonderful day.” An example of the effect sending an UP message was shared by one of the members in my Laughter Yoga group who has been practicing these techniques. She described her experience while standing in a cashier’s line at the supermarket. She silently sent the UP to the man in front of her in line. As soon as she completed her thought, he turned around and offered to let her go in front of him, which was an unexpected bonus! UP works.


Penny WillmeringUniversity Course: Humor and Disability
Penny Willmering, PhD, Rehab Psychology

One of the major tenets of Rehabilitation Education is to capitalize on the strengths of each individual while diminishing the effects of impairment, societal attitudes and barriers. Research regarding the role of resiliency, social supports, successful employment, spirituality, and relationships in improving quality of life has been abundant, but there is a significant lack of study regarding the relationship between humor and the rehabilitation process. The purpose of this project was to design a university course that explores the concepts of humor, personal humor styles, and the appropriate use of humor. A related purpose was to encourage student interest in researching the relationship between humor, quality of life, and success in the rehabilitation process. It is hoped that this project will, through dissemination to universities, spread knowledge regarding the use of therapeutic humor and to increase interest in humor and disability research.