At Work

Nine things you can do to be happier at work

Do you have that one work mate or friend who is always just…happy? Wonder how they keep it up?

It is tempting to think that happy people are the way they are because they’ve gone through life a little easier, and they did not have to face the dark and challenging times that you had to go through. After all, they do seem to get the good end of everything in your eyes.

This is far from the case. As Abraham Lincoln once put it, “folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.”

Happiness is a choice which you make and is reflected in everything you do. At work, it affects the way you perform, your motivation, your interaction with your colleagues, and how you face challenges.

The happier you are, the more positive these outcomes will be, and the further you’ll excel in your career.

It doesn’t take any single ingredient to make you happy. It takes a decision to focus on the good. So for those of you ready to make the commitment to be happy, here’s what you need to do:

1 Remember, the small things don’t matter

Don’t sweat the little things. Life is filled with them. You can choose to brood and fret about it, or you can choose to go ‘meh’ and move on. Save your time and brain space worrying about something that actually matters. Replaying a trivial incident - like your colleague misplacing your favourite pen – over again in your head is unhealthy. Learn to forgive, mourn the pen a little maybe, and then get a move on.

2 Practise honesty with yourself and others

Be truthful to yourself, and grant others the same respect. Express honesty in everything you do, even if sometimes the truth may turn out nasty. If you are unhappy with the way someone treated you, say so. If you’ve made an on-the-job mistake, own up to your boss and start fixing it. Staying true to yourself, your opinions and your beliefs will not only lead you to feel happier, but also liberated.

3 Don’t focus on what can’t be controlled

When things don’t go as you expected them to, you can end up being severely disappointed. It is not uncommon to set our hearts so much on one outcome, that we lose sight of other possibilities beyond our control. It is important to discern what we can control from what we can’t, and prepare for both of these variables. If things don’t turn out the way you wanted them to, then we suggest you refer to No 1 or No 5.

4 Hang out with happy people

Birds of a character flock together. We tend to surround ourselves with people who exude our opinions and thinking styles. Take a step back and objectively analyse your lunch mates and your groupies. Are they a positive bunch? If so, they’re keepers. Are they haters? Then, maybe hang around them a little less, and find happier characters to make your regulars.

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5 Look for the silver lining

There is always a bright side to every dull outcome. It is up to you to find it and hold on to it. Happy people focus on the positive. Sure, you can have some time to feel down over your setbacks, but don’t let it take over your entire being. Focusing on the silver lining will help you bounce back from whatever defeats you may have just faced.

6 Stand up for yourself

Don’t be afraid to say no, or put your foot down to mistreatment. To be happy, you first need to love and respect yourself enough to set the boundaries for how others treat you. Are you doing too many unreturned favours for others? Stop now. You are just as important as anyone else. Do not take yourself, or let others take you for granted.

7 Avoid comparing yourself to others

Social comparisons are unnecessary, and a setup that would potentially bring you unhappiness. The thing is, we tend to display the best versions of ourselves to others. Similarly, we tend to only view the best versions of the people around us. Each and every one of us have been through good times and bad, and face very different types of problems in our daily lives. Comparing ourselves to the successful version that we see of others hardly seems fair, and is completely unnecessary. Develop your own goals and values, and live by it because it is what you want to do, and not so you can become like someone else.

8 Start your day with happy thoughts

The way you start your day sets the tone for the rest of your 24 hours. Every morning, take a minute or two before jumping out of bed to be recollect and be thankful for all the great things that have happened to you. Remember that time your boss paid you a public praise? Or the time your loved one had dinner prepared for you when you got home late? Take a moment to soak all of that in, and kickstart your day with a positive vibe.

9 Do a daily jiggy

We also recommend shaking your booty to this feel good jingle for 10 minutes every day. Enjoy!


Related articles:

You are more than just an employee

When depression is disguised as underperformance

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