8 Tips to Increase Your Workplace Happiness

Treat your negative thoughts as if they were on a mission to make your life miserable and then gather evidence against those thoughts.

~Martin Seligman, author of Flourish~

Research shows that our thoughts become our biochemistry as they flood our thoughts with upper and downer hormones. Two University of Pittsburgh psychologists, counted the ratio of good and bad thoughts in depressed and happy people. Depressed people have one bad thought for every good one; non-depressed people have two good thoughts for one bad thought.

In TheFeeling Good Handbook, David D. Burns, M.D. writes, “The more we learn to counteract the negativity in our minds the more happiness we’ll find room to bloom in our hearts.” A happy person it turns out is not a person with a set of ideal circumstances, but rather a person who possess a certain set of attitudes towards life.
Here are eight tips that will improve your workplace attitude and happiness on the job:

1.      Get Out of Yourself: Choose to be generous towards others. Being good to someone makes you feel good. Practice random acts of kindness towards your boss and co-workers on a daily basis. Kindness fuels positive emotions that can serve as the catalyst that will spark the positive change that you desire to see on the job.

2.      Practice the Duty of Delight: Relish your talents by sharing them with others to help them succeed in the workplace. The sharing of what you know has a way of challenging you to stretch yourself to know more and do more so that you have more to share with others.

3.      Engage in Aerobic Exercise: Numerous studies show how aerobic exercise is a great mood elevator. Get outside on a regular basis and take a brisk walk for 10 minutes. It can do wonders for helping you maintain a calm composure and clarity of focus, especially on your most challenging days. This small act will help you feel better and make it easier for others to approach and work with you on the job.

4.      Be On the Lookout for Good: Make a point of recognizing the good in your workplace. There’s always going to be individuals who focus their attention only on the not-so-good, standout by magnifying the positive that’s happening in the workplace. Specific praise of other people’s work encourages their heart and inspires them to continue to do the same or better.

5.      Find Your Tribe: Workplaces are very social environments. The individuals on your job possess many talents and interests. By reaching out to others and getting to know them, you will begin to identify those with similar ideas and aspirations as you. Creating a support network on the job continues to be a crucial factor in the sustainable success of highly successful people.

6.      Stretch Yourself: Increasing your capacity to utilize and grow your talents in ways that contribute value to the success of your organization expands your sense of purpose and satisfaction as you “know” that your work is making a difference.

7.      Practice Gratefulness: Neuroscientists have proven that every time we appreciate something, we flood our bodies with endorphins, which produce a sense of wellbeing. As the Old Irish proverb states, “Count your joys instead of your woes. Count your friends instead of your foes.” I’ve found that by telling people that “I appreciate you” or that “I appreciate something specific that they have done” helps me to nurture positive and supportive relationships.

8.      Expand Your Notion of Work: Aristotle believed that a happy life was to be found in creating genuine friendships. You will spend a great deal of your time and life energy working. I think it’s smart of you to enjoy it as much as possible.  A positive attitude towards your job reduces bad stress, adds to your wellbeing and can better position you for advancement opportunities.

Remember You Always Have Choices

Everything on your job is not going to go the way that you hope, pray or plan. You are going to experience unexpected challenges and change. This is inevitable. You have the freedom to choose your attitude toward the circumstances that you face on the job. You can choose a way of thinking that helps to solve problems and increase the success of your work group or you can choose a way of thinking that becomes a problem to your co-workers and bosses. You have the power to choose your workplace attitude and in doing so you will either increase or decrease your happiness and success on the job.

Approach each day with the meaningful intention to enjoy your job. For now, it doesn’t have to be the job that you want more than anything; it can be the job that you’re doing right now as you prepare to do better. The important thing is that you don’t allow this time in your life to pass and you fail to make the most out of the here and now. If you choose to do this you will discover as I did, and millions of others have realized, happiness on the job is based on choices and not circumstances. It is my hope that your choice to be happy in the workplace becomes like a contagion and everyone that you come in contact with becomes infected with it, and it begins to spread throughout your workplace environment. You can be a catalyst for positive change and increase the happiness experienced in your workplace.

It’s Your Move ~ Aspire Higher

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