Managing office stress with laughter.

We're not trying to pull your leg -- using laughter as a technique to improve office morale, productivity and patient relations is no joke.

Two decades of peer-reviewed research on the benefits of laughter and humor in the workplace bear out the conclusion that there are positive effects of injecting levity into the day.

In the office, laughter can foment increased creativity, productivity and teamwork, even if not every comic remark draws a giggle. Merely an attempt at humor, even if unsuccessful, can carry the same benefits. Laughter helps people feel more in control of their situations, even if those situations seem out of control. Laughing with patients can get them to open up about their conditions, establish yourself as a good listener, and reduce the risk of getting sued.

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