22 Tips on How to Find Happiness at Work

We all have our good days and our less average days. Moreso for people who really dislike their jobs. No matter what, there are proven ways on how to find happiness at work, and here are 22 of them.

We’ve all heard the saying ‘happiness is in your mind’, well it has been proven to be true. A leading researcher in positive psychology and author of bestselling book, Authentic Happiness, Martin Seligman, describes happiness as having three components, being pleasure, engagement, and meaning.

  • Pleasure is the “feel good” part of happiness.
  • Engagement refers to living a “good life” of work, family, friends, and hobbies.
  • Meaning refers to using our strengths to contribute to a larger purpose.

So now that we know the ingredients to be happy, how can we find happiness at work? Here are 22 ways to do just that.

22 tips on how to find happiness at work

Get walking before you start your work

For some, this could be as simple as getting off at a bus stop or train station further from your work place than normal, and walking the rest.

You could even just arrive ten minutes earlier, and walk around the block before you enter the office. Exercise stimulates the chemicals in our brains that lead to feelings of happiness and well-being.

Take moments to be mindful

Mindfulness is proven to be a good tool to avoid depression and unhappiness. Try taking a few minutes during the day to close your eyes, breathe and relax.

You could even try to concentrate on drinking that glass of water. Notice how it enters your mouth, and the sensations it brings. This is another interesting way on how to find happiness at work.

Eat healthy at work

We all know that although easy to get, junk food has no nutritional value. Try making lunch before you leave home or bringing in a few pieces of fruit, rather than that chocolate bar.

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Healthy eating will prevent dips in your blood sugar, which can negatively affect your mood. A light and healthy meal will make you feel more alert and happier generally.

For more healthy tips, read our post on 57 Great Ways to encourage employee health.

How to find happiness at work

Photo: Mr.TinDC, Flickr

Bring something personal in from home

We all like to feel connected to our greater lives, even when at your desk. Try bringing in a photograph of your family, or your favourite coffee cup. Even the smallest of things reminds us what makes us happy.

Reflect on the week

Set aside 10-15 minutes at the end of the work week to think about how you went. Don’t just focus on the negative either; think of the positive wins that you had during the week, no matter how small they may seem.

If you are focusing on how to find happiness at work, it is important to think of the positive instead of the negative.

Have a tidy desk

The old saying ‘messy workspace, messy mind’ seems very true!

There is nothing better than starting the work week with a tidy work environment. This has been proven to make you more relaxed and in control of your workload.

Step outside

Taking a few minutes to go outside and breathe in the fresh air can do wonders. Take a break from your desk and vow to get some air and sunshine.

This really helps to wake you up and refresh your mind, and is a great way on how to find happiness at work.

Dress professionally

I’m not sure about you, but I feel better when I have spent a few moments to dress and prepare myself professionally.

Get a haircut, be cleanly shaven and swap that old t shirt for a business shirt – this is an amazing way to feel more confident and happier generally.

Be forgiving

Holding a long time grudge can affect you both physically as well as mentally, according to many experts and recent research.

Acknowledge that something annoyed you, but let it go. Forgiving others will make you happier and you can definitely find happiness at work just by letting go.

Smile more

What better way to find happiness at work by smiling. Smiling is infectious! Try smiling a few times a day to co-workers.

It’s amazing how many will just instantly smile back, and for some unknown reason, all of this just works on your mind to make you feel happier.

Ask for regular feedback

Requesting feedback form your direct manager is an important part of lifelong learning, and is great to solicit a few compliments as well.

Knowing your purpose in the organisation is a strong motivation, and ticks off the ‘meaning’ we spoke about earlier in this article.

Choose happiness

Quite often, just concentrating on trying to feel happy can make the world of difference. When you feel stress coming on, take a moment to take a deep breath and let the stress wash away.

Choosing happy is harder than it sounds, but can work wonders!

Keep a to-do list

We all know that feeling of being overwhelmed on occasion. Keeping a simple to-do list on your computer, phone or even a piece of paper, can do amazing things for your mood.

You’ll see that you don’t have as many tasks as you first thought, and there is a great sense of achievement marking them as complete as you go.

Greet your colleagues positively

Don’t be the office grumbler. Make a point of wishing co-workers a good morning or good afternoon, and ask them how they are going.

Positivity like this ensures you attract similar positive remarks back, which all helps to lift the spirits.

Leave your personal problems at home

You should try and do your best at keeping your work and home lives separate. Personal problems are just that; personal and they don’t have a place in the office, so it’s important to work on ways to keep them out of there.

You are, after all finding tips on how to find happiness at work.

Compliment your co-workers

How often does a colleague do something that impacts your work positively, yet you never thank them? Probably a lot more than you realise. Take a moment every day or two to say a simple thank you to those around you.

For a bigger deal with recognition, see our post, 7 awesome methods for employee recognition.

Understand your purpose

Sure, we all know what our role is at work, but do you understand the purpose of your role in the grand company vision or mission?

If not, make sure to ask! Knowing your meaning in the bigger picture is known to make a huge impact on both your mood and your productivity.

Tips on how to be happy at work

Photo: thephotographymuse, Flickr

Avoid negativity

Do you have co-workers who approach you and complain about topics in their work? Ask them to not voice their negativity to you, and avoid that grumpiness.

Be mindful of not doing the same to others in order to find happiness at work.

Focus on the wins

Just about every day, we do something great. It may be small, such as making a colleague their favourite drink, or getting that report done before it is due.

Take a moment every day to think how you have impacted your company positively that day. Work harder tomorrow to do even more.

Offer actionable and detailed feedback

Another tip on how to find happiness at work is by asking for feedback. Just as you should ask superiors for their feedback, don’t be afraid to offer your feedback to others.

Always be sure to deeply consider their position before doing so, in order not to offend with any negative opinion.

Have pride in what you do

Those with pride in their work have better outcomes, and are generally more positive.

Take a few moments of extra care and attention with that next task, and work on improving your work over time.

Get a good night’s sleep

Many studies have shown over again and again that sleep matters. Sleep and mood are closely connected; poor or inadequate sleep can cause irritability and stress, while healthy sleep can enhance well-being.

Get into a good routine of sleep, and squash those poor emotions.

In Summary

These are just 22 tips on how to find happiness at work, no matter how much you feel that your job sucks. Remember to choose happiness over negativity, and be mindful of your mood.

Enjoy a good night’s sleep tonight, and don’t forget to exercise and eat well!

Good luck!

Miles Burke

Miles Burke

Miles is the founder of 6Q. He is passionate about peer-to-peer recognition, company culture, employee engagement and wants every workplace to be the happiest it can be. Miles is also MD of Bam Creative, an author and public speaker.