• So you want to be happy at work? Well I want to live in a subtropical paradise, sipping piña coladas with the reincarnation of Bob Marley. It ain’t gonna happen. Living in the real world doesn’t mean your nine-to-five has to be an ordeal, however. There are plenty of people for whom tomorrow morning’s alarm marks the beginning of another thrilling adventure, rather than an outbreak of hives. Here are some simple things you can do to perk up your day.

    So you want to be happy at work? Well I want to live in a subtropical paradise, sipping piña coladas with the reincarnation of Bob Marley. It ain’t gonna happen. Living in the real world doesn’t mean your nine-to-five has to be an ordeal, however. There are plenty of people for whom tomorrow morning’s alarm marks the beginning of another thrilling adventure, rather than an outbreak of hives. Here are some simple things you can do to perk up your day.

  • 1. FIND WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY:  Before you do anything else, you need to understand what makes you happy. Don’t worry if you don’t know what your passion is. Instead, try out lots of different things, to figure out where your skills and interests collide.

    1. FIND WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY: Before you do anything else, you need to understand what makes you happy. Don’t worry if you don’t know what your passion is. Instead, try out lots of different things, to figure out where your skills and interests collide.

  • 2. SLOW DOWN:  Chill. Breathe. Relax. Unless you’re performing CPR or defusing a bomb, the speed with which you go from task to task won’t mean the difference between life and death. Besides, slowing down a little may actually make you more productive. ‘We spend too much time reacting instead of actually creating stuff and thinking about how to do things differently,’ says management guru Charles Handy.

    2. SLOW DOWN: Chill. Breathe. Relax. Unless you’re performing CPR or defusing a bomb, the speed with which you go from task to task won’t mean the difference between life and death. Besides, slowing down a little may actually make you more productive. ‘We spend too much time reacting instead of actually creating stuff and thinking about how to do things differently,’ says management guru Charles Handy.

  • 3. BE KIND:  According to research in the Journal of Social Psychology, participants who were asked to show daily acts of kindness for ten days were significantly happier than those who weren’t. Just remember: smiling and holding the door open are good; hiding all the cookies in your coat pocket and then eating them when you think no one’s looking, not so much. You know who you are.

    3. BE KIND: According to research in the Journal of Social Psychology, participants who were asked to show daily acts of kindness for ten days were significantly happier than those who weren’t. Just remember: smiling and holding the door open are good; hiding all the cookies in your coat pocket and then eating them when you think no one’s looking, not so much. You know who you are.

  • 4. BOND WITH THE TEAM:  You don’t have to be friends with your colleagues, but it does help if you’re friendly. A smile and a kind word can go a long way, so share the love.

    4. BOND WITH THE TEAM: You don’t have to be friends with your colleagues, but it does help if you’re friendly. A smile and a kind word can go a long way, so share the love.

  • 5. DON’T NEGLECT THE REST OF YOUR LIFE:  ‘Love work, get a life,’ says Henry Stewart, author of The Happiness Manifesto. ‘The world and your job need you well rested, well nourished and well supported.’ Set aside time for hobbies, friends and relationships. And don’t forget – whether you’re at the pub with your friends, playing football or on a hot date – to turn off your notifications. Checking your emails when you’re with company is just rude.

    5. DON’T NEGLECT THE REST OF YOUR LIFE: ‘Love work, get a life,’ says Henry Stewart, author of The Happiness Manifesto. ‘The world and your job need you well rested, well nourished and well supported.’ Set aside time for hobbies, friends and relationships. And don’t forget – whether you’re at the pub with your friends, playing football or on a hot date – to turn off your notifications. Checking your emails when you’re with company is just rude.

  • 6. MAKE COMMITMENTS YOU KNOW YOU CAN KEEP:  Failing to follow through with commitments is one of the biggest causes of stress and unhappiness in the workplace. Plan what you need to do, be realistic and allow yourself a little cushion.

    6. MAKE COMMITMENTS YOU KNOW YOU CAN KEEP: Failing to follow through with commitments is one of the biggest causes of stress and unhappiness in the workplace. Plan what you need to do, be realistic and allow yourself a little cushion.

  • 7. HEALTHINESS=HAPPINESS:  Healthy mind, healthy body. Getting plenty of exercise, drinking enough water and eating well help raise your energy levels.

    7. HEALTHINESS=HAPPINESS: Healthy mind, healthy body. Getting plenty of exercise, drinking enough water and eating well help raise your energy levels.

  • 8. ASK FOR FEEDBACK:  Being unclear about where you stand and how you’re doing at work leads to unnecessary stress and anxiety. Unless your boss is an unapproachable cave troll, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t ask for the occasional update about your progress so you are clear about your contributions and development.

    8. ASK FOR FEEDBACK: Being unclear about where you stand and how you’re doing at work leads to unnecessary stress and anxiety. Unless your boss is an unapproachable cave troll, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t ask for the occasional update about your progress so you are clear about your contributions and development.

  • 9. IF ALL ELSE FAILS, QUIT:  Look, if it’s not working then it’s not working. If none of these tips are making you feel any better, deep down you probably know the score. If it's not you but the job itself that is the cause for your woes, then it might be time to search for greener pastures.

    9. IF ALL ELSE FAILS, QUIT: Look, if it’s not working then it’s not working. If none of these tips are making you feel any better, deep down you probably know the score. If it's not you but the job itself that is the cause for your woes, then it might be time to search for greener pastures.

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9 simple ways to be happy at work

by Adam Gale
Last Updated: 22 Feb 2018

Images: Shutterstock

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