10 Simple Steps to a Happier You at Work

In today’s society, happiness in the workplace seems like a long lost practice, and instead employees are seeking pay raises, promotions and public recognition. It’s almost as if employees are pressured into selecting one or the other, and only in rare occasions does someone hit the career lottery and gets both. That shouldn’t be the case, as studies show that happy employees tend to outperform those that are not happy, meaning there is reasonable evidence to conclude that there could be a positive correlation between happiness and climbing the corporate ladder.

That’s where I come in! As a happiness leader, I am here to offer 10 simple steps to help boost your own happiness – right now!

  1. Plan: Get in the habit of planning out your day/week at work. And stick to it! This helps to keep you on track during the inevitable interruptions, prepare for the day and accomplish more in less time and likely with less effort.
  2. Help: Ask for and offer help! There is nothing wrong with needing a little help from time-to-time, and no one wins if you simply don’t ask for the help that you need. Additionally offer up advice to better assist a co-worker. It makes you look competent, kind and an A-team player.
  3. Email: It’s hard to remember a time before email existed, but if I can pinpoint one thing that distracts employees more so than any other task, it’s email. So why let it bother you?! Close your email and only check it during specific, pre-planned times during the day. Afraid of missing something important? Don’t worry. If something were that time sensitive, you would have received a phone call!
  4. Break: Everyone needs a break from time-to-time. It’s good for the brain, good for the eyes and even better on the soul.
  5. Vacation: Studies have shown that taking vacation increases the happiness of employees, so it makes logical sense that one would use their accumulated time off. Don’t have the spare change to splurge on a Caribbean cruise? Who cares! They’re your vacation days, and you define how you want to use them. Maybe you prefer to sleep in a few extra hours on a Friday, catch up on laundry or just make yourself a delicious cup of coffee – it’s your time off, and you can enjoy that time doing whatever makes your happy!
  6. Choices: Speaking of happy, why do we let the small things bother us so much? We each have the choice to be happy, be frustrated or be sad – choose happiness! It’s so much better in the long run!
  7. Stride: Take everything in strides…inevitably there will be times when you and a coworker disagree; you make a mistake on a big project, or you miscommunicate…these things happen and are a natural part of being a human being. Remember this, and take these instances in strides.
  8. Communication: Be careful with your words. Speak gentler, clearer and be kinder and wiser.
  9. 10/10 Rule: Think about 10 years ago and 10 years from now. What was stressing you out 10 years ago is likely no longer relevant and what will stress you out 10 years from now is likely not currently relevant. Use that perspective when thinking about what is currently stressing you out and keeping you from being happy!
  10. Smile: When all else fails, take a few minutes to just sit and smile – even if you need to force it. You’d be surprised, but it is possible to fool the brain into thinking it is happy simply by smiling. And if your brain thinks happiness, you think happiness!

Some of these may seem easier said than done, but if you stick to this list, you’ll find yourself a much happier, engaged and productive employee…and you may even find yourself with a pay raise or a promotion!

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