David Dellman, MS, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Five Things You Can Do to be Happier at Work Today

It’s easy to get frustrated, to feel overwhelmed, or even incompetent in our work. Self-doubts creep in; maybe you made a costly mistake. Many refer to these times as “bad days.” But, when too many bad days accumulate, they can overshadow the good and leave us demoralized, disengaged, and wondering if the grass might be greener elsewhere.

We can combat the frustration by creating some simple habits.

Smile

When I was in sales, my sales manager taught me to smile even when I was on the phone. He told me that clients could hear me smile, and they can. When we smile, we instantly change our mood. You cannot move in two different directions at the same time. A smile puts you in the course of a good day instead of a bad one. If others are around, a smile will have an impact on them as well. You will become a morale elevator in your office when you make a habit out of smiling.

Gratitude

The next time you are at work, take a moment to look around. Does your office have a beautiful view, are you reasonably compensated for your work, do you enjoy at least some of the people in your office?  These are only some of the things you could pause to be thankful for each day. No matter who you are or where you work, there is something about your situation for which you could be grateful. When you focus on gratitude, you empower yourself to be happy in your work.

Walk

The benefits of walking are well-known walking can extend your life, elevate your mood, and help you manage your weight. You will sleep better and feel better. But it is a great way to set a new course for your day. I often walk during my lunch break. People around the office complex often tease that they could set their watches based on my walking schedule. When I have a particularly challenging problem, I find that walking clears my head and that a solution often emerges during my walk. I always carry a pen and paper. It is too easy to lose a good idea when we don’t write them down.

Meditate

Meditation is focus to the exclusion of all else. Any all-consuming task can be a form of meditation, but deliberate meditation will yield benefits for you well beyond the workplace. Few workplaces are ideal settings for intentional mediation. It is best to practice in a quiet place and at a time when you will not be disturbed for at least 15 minutes. Focus is discipline. At first, your mind will wander; this is normal. Simply pull your focus back. Eventually, the habit will become natural, and then you will find you look forward to your brief meditation at the beginning or end of each day. Meditation is one of the best stress management devices available. I find that meditation in the morning helps me manages the stresses of the day most effectively. When I have meditated, I am more patient, kind, and understanding; all attributes that will make any workplace a better place to work.

Celebrate your relationships

We are not islands. Even if you are self-employed or work primarily from home, you likely interact with people of the course of your day. A familiar face, a sympathetic co-worker, can make an unbearable situation bearable. Be that person for your co-workers, be the person you wish you knew at work, and soon you will be surrounded by such people. 

You can be happier at work.

Give some or all of these suggestions a try, and I know you will be happier at work and at home.

Take care,

David Dellman