We all want to be happy. Happiness brings with it better health, more satisfying relationships, makes us more creative and attracts positive thinking people into our lives. Since about 1/3 of our life is spent at work, it’s important to find ways to be happy on the job. Although It’s usually easier to focus on the bad things, challenge yourself to focus on the things that make you the happiest
Here are four proven habits to help shift your focus back onto the good things and create more happiness at work and in your life:
Practice gratitude. People who express gratitude on a consistent basis are more optimistic, less materialistic, and more forgiving. Here’s one method of the positive power of gratitude:
Rank your happiness on a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being ‘never’ and 10 being ‘all the time.’ Now each day, write down 3 things you’re grateful for. It can be ordinary or uplifting. After two weeks, rank your happiness again and compare it with your original score. Chances are you are significantly happier because you focused on the positive instead of the negative.
Perform acts of kindness. Giving can be one of the most effective ways to achieve happiness and can also contribute to health and sense of social connection. Try this simple exercise to get started:
Choose one day this week and perform 5 acts of kindness. They can be big or small, random or planned, for a stranger or someone you know. Buying the person behind you in line a coffee or chai tea at Starbucks, or try cleaning the communal kitchen area, or pitching in on a colleague’s project. At the end of the day you will notice how different you feel about your day and yourself.
Foster friendships at work. We tend to be social creatures…even the introverts. Gallup research found that people who had a best friend at work are more engaged and productive. Office Vibe put together an infographic that shares 11 Reasons Why Having Friends at Work Makes You Happy. Take a look and see if any of these resonate with you. If you are trying or would like more friends at work, here are a few things you can do to foster those friendships:
Say hello first; take the initiative.
Find things you have in common by asking open ended questions and then listen.
Eat lunch with other people at work.
Ask for help on a project.
Attend work events (picnics, lunches, softball games.)
Smile more. I know this almost sounds too easy, but did you know that smiling actually lifts your mood, lowers stress, boosts your immune system and maybe even lengthens your life? Dr. Isha Gupta, IGEA Brain and Spine neurologist, says that smiling activates a chemical reaction in the brain that releases specific hormones that increase our feelings of happiness and reduces stress. Smiling can trick your brain into thinking you’re happy which can then activate genuine feelings of happiness. It’s not too hard to figure out what your next exercise is…
Smile! Be more deliberate and smile…? when you meet someone in the hallway at work; during meetings; on phone calls (we can all hear smiles, can’t we?); and
even during your commute to and from work.
We all experience ups and downs in life and work is no exception. Some days are very good, and some days are just plain bad. By implementing these new habits into your daily work life you’ll be better equipped to handle the challenges that come your way and experience more happiness. You deserve a happy life!
Shelly Ryan, WHEN CAREER and BEING ADVISOR®