The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Librarian leads group through laughter therapy

By Benjamin Whiting/reporter

“If you tend to have accidents, run to the bathroom now.”

This warning, issued by NW Campus librarian Danelle Ellis, began Life Is a Laughing Matter: Insane Ideas to Maintain Sanity, a fast-paced, interactive workshop intended to help students loosen up and laugh.

Chortling, giggling and hooting her way through the interactive session, Ellis used a variety of methods to encourage those attending to share her amusement.

“ Find ways to pull laughter into your everyday life,” she said, while providing examples throughout the presentation.

More than 60 students crowded into the small conference room, many seated on the floor because of lack of space.

The students participated in the laughing exercises to varying degrees, some deciding to sit by and watch. Students who did not participate, laughed as the rest of the group picked and squashed imaginary grapes or traced their names in the air with their hips. The latter aroused cackles of delight from the group.

“ Laughter is about finding the joy in everything around you,” Ellis said.

She talked about the value of laughing—even if it isn’t genuine—to those who laugh and everyone around them, referring to studies and examples of people who improved their health through laughter. The important thing was the laughter itself, Ellis said, not what motivated it.

A “certifiably certified laughter leader,” Ellis said she has given many similar workshops at various places. Her passion for spreading laughter began in 2002 when she read a Newsweek article on laughter clubs.

She decided to go to Washington to receive training from the World Laughter Tour.

According to the WLT Web site, the organization originated in 1998. Steve Wilson, the founder, decided to start the operation after meeting several physicians in India who were proponents of laughter as a means of improving physical, mental and spiritual health. Since then the organization has been spreading the laughter and training new “certified laughter leaders” around the world.

More information about the WLT and its founder can be found online at worldlaughtertour.com.

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