Spreading Happiness at Work
Don’t let the saddest day of the year, January 21st, drag you into post-holiday blues. This is Hunt for Happiness week and I guarantee that you can find it, even at work and even if you are working at home.
Typically, work is a “no feelings” zone. As human beings, we all have a myriad of emotions and those emotions trigger our thinking and our connections to the people around us. My emotional state will affect you, whether you realize it or not. We are wired to connect, and science proves it.
Whether you are reading this article in January or July, try some of the happiness improvement suggestions in this article but don’t ignore other feelings. Being happy all the time is not realistic. We absolutely have to feel our feelings. That is why we have them! But after we feel our feelings, we can choose to hold on to them or to let them go. That’s right, you can choose to stay sad or unhappy or angry. Acknowledge those not-so-positive feelings, and instead of holding on to them and then try this – make someone else feel happy.
When you refocus on making someone else happy, you will release “happiness endorphins” for yourself and for them. Then, take your increased happiness and spread it around some more. You will feel more in charge of the way you think, your job satisfaction will increase, and you will have a positive influence on your colleagues.
Make Yourself Happier at Work
Instead of focusing on “happiness zappers”, try these strategies to increase your office “happiness quotient”.
- Get organized. It’s easier to feel relaxed if your surroundings are in good order. Clear away clutter. Keep supplies and files you use frequently in a spot where you can access them easily. For help with that, read Clear It Off, Clean it Up and Get Organized.
- Engage more fully. You may find your work more interesting if you devote your full attention to it. Look for ways to streamline routine tasks. Listen actively to presentations, take notes and ask follow up questions.
- Stay positive. Focus on the things you like about your job and the people you work with. Remind yourself of reasons to be grateful, such as opportunities to travel or flexible hours so you can attend your child’s soccer games.
- Use your strengths. Identify your strong points and put them to work for you. Whether you’re a good writer or an effective salesperson, volunteer for assignments that will make the most of your talents. Take the Fearless Project Management Strengths Assessment to find your strengths and put them to work.
- Connect with your motivation. Keep in mind the purpose of your work. You may feel a personal affinity with the mission of your employer or feel gratified knowing that you’re providing for yourself and your family.
As you practice these strategies, you will find many, many more ways to raise your happiness meter, guaranteed!
Help Your Colleagues Feel Happier At Work
As you experience more happy moments, spread them around. It will raise the level of energy, commitment and productivity of everyone around you.
- Regard others with affection. It’s easier to have cordial relations with your coworkers if you decide to like them. Think about your feelings for your family and friends and try to extend those positive emotions to everyone you interact with. Find something you like about each coworker and focus on that quality when you engage them.
- Regard others with empathy. The people you find difficult may need the most kindness. Imagine yourself in the other person’s position during a conflict to understand where they’re coming from.
- Be generous with praise. Observe the good qualities and skills that your colleagues possess. Let them know that you appreciate their strengths and contributions. In his book Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff at Work, Dr. Richard Carlson extols the benefits of catching more flies with honey in Tip #24.
- Help out. Pitch in when your coworkers ask for help. Pay attention and notice when someone has extra work so you can volunteer without even being asked.
- Bring rewards. If you are remote, share recipes, tips for great DIY projects, or links to interesting topics. If you are still going to the office, bring food. Food will instantly enhance your popularity and cheer people up. Bring in a bag of bagels. Donate a tin of cocoa or a special tea to the office kitchen.
The way you think about your work can lift your spirits and make you a better coworker. You spend a good deal of your life working, so use these tips to make it a better time for yourself and everyone you work with.