How to be Happy: 5 Simple Ways to Increase Your Happiness at Work
We all want happiness, it’s a universal goal. Ask even the most pessimistic person if they want to be happy and I’m pretty sure they’d answer yes, even if their behaviour suggest otherwise.
What makes each of us happy varies, for some it’s their career, for others it’s growing a family, for others it’s travelling the world. One simple shared goal, many meandering destinations.
And yet there are many common things we can do to bring us all happiness.
Here’s 5 I can think of……
1. Work in an environment that supports your happiness
Environment has a big influence over our mood and wellbeing.
Work is one of the biggest ‘spends’ of our time so choosing how you spend that time is important. If you know you need interaction, collaboration, vibrancy in your day then don’t choose to work in an office where the loudest noise is the hum from the computers.
Likewise, if crowds drain you and being around people all day gives you a headache then choose an environment where it is peaceful and still.
Managing your environment will have a direct effect on the energy you bring to work and ultimately your wellbeing. So get to know your environmental needs and be on the lookout for ways to work which matches these.
2. Play to your strengths to increase your wellbeing
When we use our strengths, we get to experience work that feels easy. It can be challenging but a fun challenge, one that gets your brain working and your energy flowing.
If you’re working outside of your comfort zone and having to use skills that don’t come easily to you, you’re going to be in a state of stress or mild anxiety. Prolonged periods of time spent in outside of your comfort zone is going to feel exhausting particularly if you don’t line up the right support to help you.
People can make more progress playing to their strengths than they can overcoming any perceived weaknesses. Many savvy professionals learn to use their strengths to overcome their weaknesses.
Here’s an example
I have a talent for focusing. When I’m working on something challenging, I work best when I have dedicated time to really zone into it. Getting into a state of flow and blocking out everything that is going on around me feels easy. This strength combined with my ability to solve complex problems and deliver simple summaries and solutions go hand in hand.
However, I find planning and organising incredibly draining. I used to be chaotic – particularly in my personal life, but now (needs must with 3 young children) I’m a lot better at it. My strengths are key to this.
I have to tap into my ability to focus and problem solve when I do any form of planning and organising. It’s like I have to treat it as project in itself.
When I see others who can plan and organise like its breathing (Mum, Sister, Husband – basically anyone in my family that isn’t me!!!! I admire it, and them)
So, knowing your strengths, actively seeking opportunities to use them and identifying how you can use them to overcome any perceived weaknesses you can increase your happiness at work.
3. Surround yourself with the right people
Like #1, you spend so much of your time at work why choose to spend it around people whose company you don’t enjoy?
People make all the difference to the happiness we feel at work. We can all relate to the fact that people leave line managers not organisations. There is a lot of truth in this.
Having worked with hundreds of clients helping them to ignite passion in their careers the people they work with comes up time and time again. It’s a reason people leave and it’s a reason they stay. So, surround yourself with people you want to be around and if you raise your head up and don’t see those people then maybe it’s time to find where your people ‘hang out’
4. Align your work with your values for increased happiness
Do work which aligns to your values.
If freedom is important to you then work with an employer who provides you with flexibility and autonomy – or work for yourself! I’m a great advocate of this one!!
Perhaps honesty and integrity are important to you? If so, choose an employer who shares these values and who does business ethically and responsibility.
If you know that you need to make a difference to others in order to feel fulfilled then be sure to do work which meets this need. Perhaps that’s with an employer who provides plenty of opportunities for volunteering, or whose purpose is about making a difference in the world.
If you aren’t sure what your values are then I offer a £99 one off focused coaching session which can help you identify your values and understand what you need to be fulfilled. You can find that information here: Next Career Move Clarity Session
5. Do the inner work
If you can tick off lots of environmental factors such as great people, good boss, lovely working environment, work that honours my values and you still find yourself unsure, uncertain and lacking happiness at work then maybe it’s something else getting in your way.
Beliefs play a big role in how much happiness we let in. For example, if you’re a working parent and you enjoy your work, but you’re torn by the guilt of not being at home for your children this can stop you feeling the happiness you deserve form your career.
Beliefs such as “I shouldn’t work so much” or “I should be at home raising my children” or “I’m a bad parent” could be reframed into “It’s important for me to enjoy my work if I’m going to be away from my children”, “I am a role model for my children” “It’s important that my children develop a healthy attitude to work” “I can be a great parent and a working professional”
When we do the inner work, we can let more happiness through.
So, there you go, 5 ways to increase your happiness and wellbeing at work.
If you like this blog, you may also enjoy some previous posts such as Values: Your Secret Weapon to Finding Fulfilment. and Being Authentic: How to set yourself free by being yourself
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