The secret to happiness is having good relationships. But whats the secrets to workplace happiness or satisfaction? What the concept of workplace happiness? We all want to be happier in our lives (personal and professional life), and there has been a ton of research into what makes us happy, and I’d like to teach you “how to be happy at work?”
It’s up to each of us to be accountable for defining what happiness looks and feels like at work and then to take one brave step forward to making that change. There’s nothing worse than the feeling of unhappiness at work.
Can we be happy at work, even if we hate it?
My answer? No job is meant to make you unhappy, period. I’ve worked with enough adults on employ-ability and vocational programs who were emotionally destroyed by negative, belittling, unhappy, stressful and one-size fits all ‘institutional’ work environments. The subject of happiness, and more specifically positive psychology, is something I’m personally trying to learn more about.
However (and believe me it’s a BIG however) there are a few things that you can do toreclaim your sanity and happiness.
Define your own definition of work happiness and satisfaction
What does being happy mean to you? What about work satisfaction? Is it flourishing? Is it belonging and feeling valued? Is it achieving? Is it seeing a task to completion? Seeing a customer or client smile, is that a priority? Everyone has a different definition of the word happiness. Start with these questions as a baseline. Is there anyway you can bring them into your current role? Even if the boss and management couldn’t care, do you care enough to take full accountability for your happiness?
“90% of your long-term happiness is predicted not by the external world, but by how your brain processes the world. If we change it, if we change our formula for happiness and success, we can change the way we affect reality.”
Changing how you measure happiness and how you define it, you can achieve it.
Many of us are guilty of thinking that our job will make us happy. We are also guilty of thinking if we can just get that promotion, achieve that sales goal, get that brass ring, then we will be happy. I am no different; I thought when I started the world’s first Customer Experience consultancy it would make me happy!
However, when you use these targets as a measurement for happiness, you doom yourself to never being happy. Why? Because the instant we get the promotion, hit the sales goal or grab the brass ring, we move the target. Like the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, happiness moves out just a bit further, just a bit out of reach.
Add to it that we tend to focus on the negative as a general rule, and you can see how happiness becomes an elusive concept.
Are you in good health?
Many positive psychology experts connect health with your emotional well-being, suggesting that the better your general health is, the happier you may be. According to a white paper “Think Better Neuroscience: The Next Competitive Advantage, by Steelcase a research company, numerous studies have proven that movement boosts attention by pumping oxygen and fresh blood through the brain and triggering the release of enhancing hormones. While the physical and emotional benefits of movement are well-established, neuroscience has proven it also enhances cognition. So, take time out during your work-day or after work to do some form of exercise, it lowers stress levels, increases focus and generally boosts the serotonin in our brains making us feel happier.
Focus on the positive.
Let go of all your negative thoughts…. such as “it’s hard to find anyone,” “why don’t they see how good I am,” and “no one will ever love me.” You have a lot of great qualities that make you so worthy of anyone’s love and attention. Others do notice you and appreciate you. There is love all around you. Let it in. When you let it in and focus on the positive, you change your vibration and open a door for the law of happiness at workplace.
Don’t pick up the phone on the first ring
“Instead of picking up the phone on the first ring, breathe and wait until the third ring,” Salzberg says.
By waiting for those two rings, you’re adding in much-needed breathing space into an action that would otherwise just be a reaction.
Be your best
At what you do. Look for ways to give it your all. Hate the bosses and management? Then do it for customers and clients. Start setting your own high standards. Being the best is not competition, it’s about recognizing and being proud of your own skills and abilities. Use them. Excellence, the tiny things will make you happy, even if the company doesn’t raise a smile.
Happiness is subjective and what works for you may or may not work for another
Which is why it’s so important to be aware of what makes you feel happy at work. Most people who are happy at work enjoy what they are doing and are using their strengths on the job. As a communication and workplace strategist, I define strengths not just your skills and competencies, although you certainly need those to get the job, rather strengths are what energize you, your internal motivators. This allows you not only to do your job, you feel energized by it which ultimately leads to sustained peak performance. Gallup research shows “People who use their strengths every day are six times more likely to be engaged on the job and three times more likely to be happier with their lives in general.”
No two days are ever going to be the same
What I learned from the bank was I approached each day in the same way. I had already decided how the day was going to go before I even got there. At every opportunity see each day as a new day, each interaction and communication as new, every event as new. I’m asking you to take a massive mindset shift, you can do it, you are much stronger than a role or what you ‘do’, you and I can choose how we want to feel and our state of mind in a second.
Do anything, what makes you happy
Lastly, if you are still struggling, make a list of what you loved doing as a kid, what brings you joy and is considered priceless, like making a new friend, working on a detailed project, brainstorming ideas, learning something new, dreaming about the future, being a cheerleader, helping others, accomplishing a goal, or being the leader. Go ahead, try it, you might discover a few forgotten strengths – what makes you feel energized, motivated – that’s the happiness inside you that you didn’t know existed. Enjoy.
You’ll have an idea of the outcome you’re hoping for, which will make the day feel much more under your control. Focusing on the negative doesn’t lead to the right things. It not only makes you feel unhappy, but it can also lead to losing your job.