Healthy Hump Day: Practice Being Happy Everyday

Posted: May 20, 2016  

“Like working out or eating healthy, being happier is something you have to choose to work on. It’s a skill that takes practice,” says Nataly Kogan, CEO of Happier Inc.

New research reveals that there are specific and even easy things you can do to feel more positive at work—and they don’t require massive changes. Like dieting or exercising, you just have to choose to do it.

Kogen cites 5 ways that you can practice being happy:

  1. Start the day on a good note. Make a point to do something in the morning that makes you feel good. A University of Pennsylvania study analyzed the moods and performance of customer service representatives. The representatives that were in a good mood in the morning were more productive during the day. Savor your coffee, get some fresh air or read the comics in the morning paper.
  1. Make fewer decisions. Take the day off from deciding on a few things like what you are going to eat for lunch or what you will wear. Autopilot can be a good thing once in a while. Steve Jobs wore the same black turtleneck everyday just so he did not have to spend his energy on that decision.
  1. Help a colleague.  You don’t have to do anything big. Grab a drink for a co-worker when you go to get one for yourself. Or go bigger and offer to help with a project. The hardest part, making it a regular thing. Maybe put it on your calendar with a reminder for a while. May sound silly, but, it will be your cue until it becomes a habit.
  1. Make progress and acknowledge it. One of the most compelling causes of positive employee morale and happiness at work shared by Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer in their book, The Progress Principle: Using Small Wins to Ignite Joy, Engagement, and Creativity at Work, was feeling like you’re moving forward and making meaningful progress. Each day before you start working, jot down 3 things you want to accomplish. Before anything else, complete these three tasks and cross them off your list. At the end of the day, look back and acknowledge your progress. With larger projects, stop and acknowledge the completion at each step.
  1. End each day with a pause and be grateful. Think about something positive that happened that day and write it down. We are more apt to remember the negative things, so make a point to recall the positive. Connect this pause to something you already do such as pushing in your desk chair as leave for the day. Even better, share it with someone. It can be affirming for both of you.

Need a pick-me-up? From the mouths of babes:

by Kathy Reynolds, HR & Compliance Specialist