Do you look forward to Friday afternoons and dread Monday mornings, or do you jump out of bed during the working week eager to start your day? If it’s the latter it’s likely you are happy at work, which means that an article by Positive Psychology could put an even bigger smile on your face.
It reveals a study that shows those who enjoy their work are 12% more productive than unhappy colleagues, and are more likely to enjoy good health. Furthermore, they are likely to be more successful in the long term and be liked by colleagues.
While this is great news if you are happy at work, what can you do if you need to boost your mood? How can you help yourself feel happier so that you too can feel more relaxed and boost productivity?
As September brings International Week of Happiness at Work, discover 10 simple ways to feel great while working.
1. Start on a positive note
The way you start your working day can affect how you feel at work for the rest of it. Research by Psychology Today studied the moods of customer service representatives and found that feeling good at the beginning of the day created a virtuous cycle for the remainder of it.
Those who started in a bad mood reported a vicious cycle as their bad mood continued. By taking a few moments to enjoy something in the morning, whether that’s your morning coffee or commute to work, you could then feel happier for the rest of the day.
2. Make fewer decisions
It’s said that Steve Jobs wore the same outfit daily so that he wouldn’t spend energy deciding what to wear. Decision fatigue is a reality as every one you make can help deplete your cognitive resources.
With this in mind, consider how you could make fewer decisions. For example, decide what you will be having for lunch each day this week, and stick to it.
3. Play music to give yourself a boost
It’s long been known that music can help improve the way you are feeling. According to one article in the Independent, studies showed that music helped boost people’s mental wellbeing through the Covid lockdown.
With this in mind, it will come as little surprise to learn that playing some of your favourite songs while you work could help make you feel better about your day.
4. Give colleagues a hand
A lesser-known way to feel happier is to give someone a helping hand. If you help a colleague, you’ll not only give yourself a mood boost, you’ll also earn the respect of that colleague and others around you.
Helping co-workers can help to create a virtuous cycle, happier.com reports, so if you have a quiet period, ask those you work with whether there is anything you can do to help them.
5. Get out into the fresh air
Whatever the weather, going for a brisk walk or choosing to commute to work and back on your bike could help boost feelings of wellbeing. According to the Mayo Clinic, physical activity stimulates brain chemicals that can help you feel happier, more relaxed and less anxious.
6. Only make commitments you can deliver
One cause of work stress and unhappiness is failing to keep commitments. This means that only agreeing to tasks you know you have time to complete could help reduce your stress levels, meaning that you’re more likely to enjoy the work you do.
Being organised and keeping track of your progress with other tasks means you will better understand whether or not you have the time to finish another task in the time you have been given.
7. Know what’s happening at work
Not knowing what’s happening at work, or feeling as though you’re missing key information about the company you work for, can result in feelings of volatility, dissatisfaction and being undervalued.
By making it your responsibility to find out what’s happening with colleagues and other departments, you will feel better informed and able to cope. It could also enable you to make important decisions about projects you are working on, as well as your career.
8. Try meditation to relax
One study performed by Harvard Medical School and the Bender Institute of Neuroimaging in Germany, found that participants who started to meditate were better able to keep their emotions in check.
As such, taking time in your lunch break to don noise-cancelling headphones and set the timer for 10 minutes to meditate could help you feel happy at work.
9. Smile – whatever your mood
Studies have found that just by smiling you can feel happier. Whether it’s natural or forced, smiling forces your brain to interpret it as a positive physical reaction and will then recognise whatever activity you’re doing as being enjoyable.
Wearing a big grin while you work means you’re likely to feel a lot better about your day, even if you are writing a dreaded report you’ve been putting off for days!
10. Drink plenty of water
Instead of drinking coffee regularly, drink water. Not only will you save money, you will also feel better physically, which could help you feel happier.
Replacing your mug of coffee with a tall glass of water on your desk will help keep you hydrated, which could help ensure you keep those nagging afternoon headaches away.
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We hope you enjoyed this month’s blog and find it useful if you are looking to boost your mood at work. If, on the other hand, you would like to discuss your finances, your retirement strategy or how to get more from your money, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01234 713131.