Studies show that your overall happiness at your workplace is beneficial in many ways, from increasing productivity to improving your health. That can be easier said than done! Sometimes, it’s hard to know where to begin making changes to actually make work a more positive environment to be in. Here are a few helpful pointers to get you started.
1. Exercise gratitude. Statistics show that people who exhibit gratitude on a regular basis not only are happier, but have better interpersonal relationships. In two studies, participants that were rated 10 percent more grateful than the average participant’s rating had “17.5 percent more social capital.”
Looking for ways to be more grateful? Keeping a gratitude journal is helpful for some people. Each day, write down five things you were grateful for over the past-24 hours. If that’s not really your style, try simply getting over your hesitation to recognize your coworkers for things they do that you appreciate. Once you start looking for things to write down or offer praise for, you’ll naturally feel more gratitude.
2. Make fewer decisions. Decision fatigue is a very real phenomenon in which making too many decisions in too short a period of time results in the quality of those decisions decreasing. Automating parts of your daily routine helps to remove some choices that need to be made, like what to wear or eat.
Nataly Kogan, CEO of Happier (a digital wellness company), suggests removing yourself from some decisions by first asking yourself, “Is it high impact?” and then “Do I have a strong opinion about it?” If the answer to both is no, leave it to someone else.
3. Establish friendly relationships with your coworkers. A report produced by Virgin Pulse found that a large part of the enjoyment and fulfillment we experience at work is due to the coworkers we have.
“Forty percent of survey respondents named their co-workers as the top reason they love working for their company,” Huffington Post writer Alena Hall summarized. Since you spend 22 percent of your year’s hours with your coworkers, this makes perfect sense! Getting along with the people you work with so you have someone to look forward to seeing every day will no doubt make you enjoy your job more.
4. Create a nest. Everyone feels better in an environment they are comfortable in. Make your space your own as much as you are allowed to by hanging up beautiful art, bringing in your favorite knick-knacks and having a blanket handy for chilly mornings. Making yourself relaxed at the place you spent most of your time at will improve your happiness.
5. Celebrate something! Like being grateful, sometimes being happy is a choice. By having the presence of mind to recognize something happy that needs celebrating, we will exercise our “happiness muscles” and get better at being happy at work. Your attitude will rub off on and inspire coworkers and friends alike to be the best they can be.
By following these simple tips, I hope to be able to get you started with becoming happier in your workplace, and by extension, the rest of your life! Let us know in the comments which technique above is your favorite or if you have a personal favorite you think we should know about.
Erin Hemmelgarn is a senior studying public relations at Brigham Young University. Post-graduation, she hopes to put her degree and design experience to good use by working in social media management and branding. When she’s not putting together case studies, Erin moonlights as a yogi, embroiders her way through her Netflix queue and will gladly beat you at Bananagrams at any given opportunity.