It might sound a little strange to say that we should be happy at work. After all, it’s called work! However, we spend more time at work than we do engaged in almost any other activity.
If we’re unhappy at work, we’re likely to feel the effects in other areas of our lives, too. Finding ways to be happy at work not only brings you greater productivity and career satisfaction, but will help you achieve greater overall mental, emotional, and physical health.
Not having the best situation, but seeing the best in your situation is the key to happiness. Marie Forleo
Choose To Be Happy
Ultimately, the most important thing we can do to promote happiness at work is to choose to be happy! We all face difficult days and situations, but we choose how we respond to them. We can choose to be miserable or choose to be happy. By practising gratitude, positivity and choosing happiness, we go a long way toward fostering contentment in our work lives – and our lives overall.
We cannot choose our external circumstances, but we can always choose how we respond to them. Epictetus
Happiness is a choice, and it's one that is in your hands. We choose every day whether we will be happy or not. We may have unhappy, angry, or difficult circumstances, but overall we choose how we respond. Will you choose to focus on the positive and stay happy? When we choose to be happy, we focus on the good in our lives, including our work lives.
Make a conscious choice that you will be happy in your workplace, and act on it. Decide what you would need to do to be happy (even if that means seeking other work) and do it. Know that from moment to moment you can choose to be happy or choose to be miserable!
Choose Your Stress Response
One of the things that undermines happiness is stress. We cannot choose whether we will have stress in our lives, though we can limit it. However, we can choose our stress response. We can choose responses like anger or panic, which will make us negative and unhappy. Or we can choose positive responses, such as focusing on solutions, taking a time out, or even sleeping on a stressful decision. Explore different stress responses and choose some that help you stay focused. Learning to navigate stress in a positive way will lead to greater workplace happiness as well.
Do One Thing Every Day That You Love and Enjoy
Taking time each day to do one thing you love and enjoy goes a long way toward fostering happiness. Whether you do yoga in the morning, drink a cup of your favourite tea, visit a funny website, or engage in a rewarding hobby, finding something you love and making time to do it is key to your well-being. It is not even necessary to do the thing you love in the context of work – just knowing it will be part of your day fosters happiness. When we don’t take time to do things we love, our lives become a series of obligations. Taking time to engage in something you love and enjoy activates parts of your brain associated with joy and pleasure, and this fosters an overall sense of mental and emotional well-being.
Happiness does not come from things, it comes from what you do inside. Tony Robbins
Create a Happier Space to Work In
Your physical environment can have a big impact on your frame of mind. There are some beautifully simple steps you can take to create a space that promotes happiness to work in! Find them in our blog post "Create your Happy Work Space".
Over to You
Happiness is a process. Even when we decide to choose happiness, it won’t happen overnight. It must be a daily habit. Seek to continuously make positive changes in your life, and you will find your happiness growing. Adopt a continuous improvement mindset and constantly look for ways in which you can make positive changes. Also, reward yourself for making changes!
Happiness is a journey, not a destination.
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