The Advisor

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Secrets of Happiness at Work

By Jennifer Kelly, Coast2Coast Training


Work is where we spend much of our time, and how we feel at work affects how we feel in our personal lives. Research has shown that being happier at work is associated with multiple and varied benefits. Overall, happier people experience greater well-being at work and in their personal lives (Lyubomirsky, King, Diener, 2005).


People who are happier at work are more

- resilient and energetic

- likely to be in good health

- engaged with others

- productive and motivated

- invested in the organization’s goals


Thus, being happy at work is good for you and your organization! Positive psychology researchers have determined that happiness—including happiness at work—can be enhanced through behavioural and cognitive changes called “positive interventions.” Below are three positive interventions you can begin immediately to boost your happiness at work.


Change your mindset


Research shows that 40 percent of personal happiness results from how you think and that adopting optimistic thinking practices can improve your mindset.


Intervention #1: Create a “mindset mantra” to recite throughout your workday. Customize it to your needs. For example, if you are feeling overwhelmed at work, develop a mantra about managing that stress—Today, I will recognize I can only do my best.


Intervention #2: Think about your work in the larger scope of things: how does your job contribute to a larger process? How does your role help or make a difference? How does the work you do impact the goals of your organization? Reflect on and write down your responses.


Change your interactions


Research shows that you can improve your interactions with colleagues simply by changing how you interact with them.


Intervention #1: Show appreciation to your colleagues even for small things, like collecting information for you or helping you with a document. Be specific about what they did to help and share the result/outcome of that help.


Intervention #2: Consciously choose to leave behind office cliques and gossip. This means minimizing your exposure to it, choosing to focus on the positives of a challenging situation, and expressing curiosity (I wonder why…) rather than judgement (They just won’t let up!) toward colleagues you may be frustrated by.


Cultivate gratitude


Research shows that completing a gratitude exercise once a week can boost happiness over time.


Intervention #1: Using a special notebook, record the things in your work week you are grateful for. Examples may include supportive relationships with your colleagues, opportunities you were presented with, or just having a good day.


Intervention #2: Buy a glass jar to keep on your desk. Record on a piece of paper one thing that went well for you each day, Monday to Friday, and put your notes in the jar. On Friday, go through the notes. Notice the immediate uplift in mood from seeing how many things went well for you during the week.

Like any new habit, working on workplace happiness takes effort and practice. The result? Improved well-being, more energy, better professional relationships, and decreased stress. Now that’s something to be happy about.


Source: Positive Psychology Products B.V



Jennifer Kelly

Coast2Coast Training

Jennifer is a certified Positive Psychology coach and the co-owner of Coast2Coast Training (C2C), a coaching and training business specializing in workplace and personal wellness. Jennifer is also a certified instructional facilitator and designer.