How to be happy at work

Getting through work can often feel like a struggle. Even people who absolutely love the work that they do sometimes feel unhappy at work. Discover some ways you can put achieving happiness at work at the top of your daily to-do list.

You’ll find many ways to combat feelings of unhappiness at work and make your work-life balance as good as the rest of your life.

Get enough sleep

You can have a better day tomorrow by getting to bed early tonight. When you’re well-rested, you focus and think better. You can fully engage with clients or colleagues. You’ll be less likely to be grumpy or unhappy at work if you have had a good night’s sleep.

Start the day right

Wake up early. Give yourself enough time to get ready for work without having to rush. Enjoy a bit of “me time” before the rush starts. Have a good breakfast, something that will keep you full and fill you with energy.

Do a bit of exercise. Sometimes heading to work knowing that you’ve already accomplished something for yourself that day can give you a huge boost of morale.

Give yourself enough time to get to work without rushing. Try to arrive 10 minutes early so that you can settle at your desk, make yourself a cup of coffee, and not feel like you need to immediately hit the ground running. Starting the day late and stressed out about getting started is not a good way to begin the workday.

Change your mindset

Hating your job is not something to brag about. Being unhappy at work because your colleagues, friends, or family are too is not a good reason to constantly look for the negatives.

Think differently about what you do each day. Think about the positives of your job. Stop complaining in the break room. It’s amazing how simply changing your mindset and speaking positively about your job instead of negatively can bring you so much happiness at work.

As a bonus, if you’re happier at work, you’ll be more productive. When you’re more productive, you’ll feel more accomplished, which, you guessed it, makes you happier.

Decorate your space

We spend more time at work than anywhere else, so why shouldn’t we take care to decorate it the way we do with our homes? Make your space somewhere you want to be. Whether you have an office to yourself or simply a desk of your own, decorate it as much as your company policy allows. Make yourself comfortable with a chair you love. Add photos or pictures that bring you joy. Turn it into somewhere that you don’t mind spending multiple hours of your day.

Bring your pet to work

Talk to your boss about bringing your pet to work. Many offices have started to realize how much more productive and how much happier they are when they have their pets by their feet.

Studies have shown that bringing your pet to work can decrease stress, improve office communication, and increase job satisfaction.

Have a sense of meaning

Research has revealed that people who feel that their work has a meaningful and positive impact on other people find being happy at work more natural than those who don’t feel that their work is meaningful.

Don’t think your work has meaning? You don’t have to change the world with your daily tasks. Simply helping your colleagues can boost your happiness at work. Knowing that you are doing something to help even one person in a positive way can give your job meaning.

Find a work friend

People who have friends at work say that they have more fun at work than those who don’t have friends at work. They also feel that going to work is more worthwhile and much more satisfying than those without a work friend.

Get to know the people in your office on a more personal level. Invite a few people out for drinks after work on a Friday. If you head to work each day knowing you have an ally and people you can laugh with at lunch, you’re much more likely to enjoy your time in the office.

Leave personal problems at home

Sometimes, it can feel nearly impossible to leave personal problems at the door when you arrive at work, but doing so is vital to helping you learn how to be happy at work.

The key is to focus on your required tasks for the day. If you focus on the work that needs to be done and can admire what you accomplish during the workday, you’ll be better at forgetting your personal problems until you need to leave for the day.

If something truly interferes with being happy at work, speak to your boss and ask for a vacation day or two to sort out whatever you need to handle.

Eat healthy and stay hydrated

Pack your own lunch or find local places that have healthy options for lunch. Pack fruit or other healthy snacks to eat during the day when you are feeling a dip. Avoid the vending machines and sugary drinks, both will only cause your energy levels to crash later. Eating well throughout the day will keep your energy levels up, keep you from getting cranky, and make sure that you are happy throughout the workday.

Drinking plenty of water is also vital to keep you focused and energetic. If you’re dehydrated, you could feel tired or get a headache.

Don’t multitask

Despite what many people think, multitasking isn’t effective. In fact, multitasking often wastes more time than it saves. It decreases your concentration and can eventually affect your creativity. Trying to juggle too many responsibilities can cause stress and affect your mood throughout the workday.

Instead of getting stressed over trying to complete 10 tasks at once, focus on one task at a time. By completing single tasks well, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment instead of relief over having done it.

Get up and move around

Whether you’re standing up at your desk and stretching, taking a walk around the block, or walking up and down the office stairs, get the blood pumping a few times a day. Even if you already fit exercise into your day outside of work, sitting down all day is not good for your productivity or your happiness.

Play your favorite music

If you’re allowed to, make a playlist that you think will make you smile and be good background music while you work. Put some headphones in and enjoy your favorite tunes to bring you a bit of happiness at work.

Change up your routine

Sometimes you can feel unhappy because you feel as though every day is the same. If you feel like you’re in a rut, change up your routine. If you usually take the bus to work, ride your bike or treat yourself to a taxi. If you usually drive, take public transportation. If you always bring the same sandwich for lunch, spice it up and make something totally different. Choose a different coffee shop that you’ve never been to for your afternoon pick-me-up drink.

Simply changing up your routine can make you feel a sense of adventure and bring you more happiness throughout your day.

Smile

Yes, it’s that simple. Smiling is directly linked to being happy. If you’re feeling frustrated or upset at work, smile. Laugh out loud. If you need something to smile about, search for cute cat or funny dog videos.

Quit

If you try all these suggestions and you’re still not finding happiness at work, it’s time to look at your employer, your job, or possibly your career. You don’t want to spend the rest of your life doing a job that you hate in a work environment that makes you miserable.

If the job you’re doing is not only affecting your happiness at work, but also your mood when you leave the office, then you should start looking for a new job. Leaving a job that makes you truly unhappy is crucial to your mental and emotional health.

Learning how to be happy at work is something that is entirely in your hands. That happiness is about setting a positive mindset, about doing work that makes you feel accomplished, and about making sure you balance work time with personal time outside the office.

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