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Hart Health Hints: Amusements of August

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Ah, the dog days of summer—vacations are coming to an end, kids are getting ready to go back to school. It’s time to get serious!

But wait!

Don’t forget to keep that summer vacation laughter going as you get back to work. Laughter and lightheartedness can actually improve your health and productivity.

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GIF courtesy if imgur.com

The Mayo Clinic reports short- and long-term health benefits from laughter, like easing in-the-moment tension and boosting your immune system. But, you say, how does that improve my productivity at work?

According to Daniel Wallen, blogger for Lifehack, a few ways laughter helps us be more productive are by lightening the load of workplace stress, drawing people together, and fostering a positive work environment. It also boosts creativity, by—guess what?—easing stress and anxiety that can drain our creative juices.

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How do you laugh more at work? Even if you are having a busy, stressful day, and you don’t feel much like laughing, you can fake it ‘til you make it! At AgingCare.com, Sebastien Gendry, the CEO of the American School of Laughter Yoga, is quoted as saying, “The body cannot differentiate between fake and real laughter. You get the same physiological and psychological benefits.” He suggests laughter changes your physiology by stretching muscles in your face and body and increasing pulse and breathing rate, which sends more oxygen to your tissues.

So, even if it feels forced, practice laughing. Move those corners of your mouth up into a smile and give a little laugh. Find a way to laugh at your situation to help ease the tension of it. Keep laughing this August, and all year round!

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What is your favorite summer activity that makes you laugh? We’d love to hear from you!  Click the big blue button below to see some of HCC’s happy, laughing faces!