Here are 7 ways to be happy at work:
1. Decide to be happy.
Some say that we have lost connection with our inner source of happiness, making us miserable and dependent on external situations, relationships, and other factors to be happy. This is why even companies offering great perks, free gourmet food, in-office gyms, vacations, and flexible work schedules cannot guarantee that all their employees are happy at work. The first step in the search for workplace happiness, therefore, should begin with a dose of positive psychology. Break the habit of choosing to be miserable and make a conscious decision to be happy.
2. Don’t be fixated on work.
Never put all your eggs in one basket or make your career the centre of your life. It is important that entertaining, educating, and relaxing activities form an equal part of your routine to maintain sanity and high energy. Give your life some character – start a side hustle, play a sport, or pick up a social cause – and you’ll realise that your day job isn’t the be-all-and-end-all of your life, but just a way for you to make money and find meaning.
3. Keep your body and mind healthy.
A well-rested, hydrated, and nourished body produces higher levels of dopamine and serotonin, and helps you be more productive throughout the day. Aim for 6 to 8 hours of sleep every night, add raw vegetables and fruits to your diet, and drink lots of water. Work on liberating your mind by making small changes to your thought process. For example – wake up with a smile, remind yourself that you cannot control everything around you – your perspective is what makes situations good or bad. Having control over the mind makes it easier to accept hurdles at work, to find solutions to tackle them, and to eventually find happiness at work.
4. Communicate, often.
Communication is key to solving any problem. Talk to your manager or a senior colleague about why you are not completely happy at work. List your goals and career progression plans, ask for their advice, be prompt to give and receive feedback, and work on your flaws. Find or set up a support group in your organisation to help other employees with their problems, work on projects together, bounce ideas off one another, or even plan virtual gaming nights and team outings. Open communication with colleagues can help you learn from their experiences and thereby help you accept or deal with things that make you unhappy at work.
5. Mission, objectives, goals, and achievements.
It always helps to list short-term and long-term goals. Goals are amazing reminders of where you want to be and where you are in your journey. If on any day you feel unhappy at work, looking at your long-term dreams, and reminding yourself of how motivated these dreams make you feel, will always bring you back on track. Tracking progress is also as important as setting goals because progress highlights your capabilities and achievements – another strong motivator. Keep a journal with a checklist where you list your achievements, strengths, weaknesses and compliments, and treat yourself each time you reach a goal.
6. Allow yourself some personal time at work.
No matter how hard you try, and owing to the ubiquitous nature of technology, you cannot keep your personal and professional life separate. That’s why many startups allow you to choose your work hours, bring children and pets to work, work from home (the new normal), or work on side hustles for a few hours a week. If you’re in one such organisation, cheers! If not, speak to your manager about your problems and the support you need from the team to be able to handle whatever situation you are in. It can be something as simple as setting aside an hour every day to work on personal stuff.
7. End your day on a positive note.
Sounds simple, but it isn’t. Our brain tends to remember more negative situations than happy ones. Take 10 minutes before you wrap up work to accept the bad and be thankful for the good. If you truly want to be happy at work, consciously and constantly remind yourself about the good things in your workplace, so you can wake up with a smile and get to work happy. In an article in YourStory.com titled “The Road to Happiness is Paved With Positive Storytelling”, our Founder, Akhil Kakkar, states that a “positive spin on our own narratives makes our lives feel more meaningful and provides us with a strong sense of happiness.” So, at the end of your workday, remember to put a positive spin to the story of how your day has been.