By Amita Patel
Work can suck. I’m not going to tell you to get a new job or be grateful that you have one. Instead, I’m going to share some tools to make it suck less. But first, let’s clarify something: Happiness at work is often correlated to having a sense of meaning. That doesn’t mean that you should work at a nonprofit or be a doctor. In fact “meaning,” more often than not, is what we bring to the job rather than what we find at the job. And that involves being present.
So, without further adieu (in case you’re reading this at work!), here are 7 Ways To Find Happiness at Work. They’re easy, actionable, and cost you nothing.
7 Ways To Find Happiness at Work
- Set An Intention. Before you start a project, meeting, or conversation, ask yourself: “What is my intention? What do I most want to see happen from this?”
- Notice Your Tension. Notice how you’re holding something in your hand, such as a pen or cup. Are you holding on tightly? Sometimes, we hold onto things so tightly that it exacerbates our tension without us realizing it.
- Exhale It Out. Many of us suffer from “Email Apnea.” Simply put, it means we hold our breath as we’re checking & writing email like a bomb is about to go off. Focus on creating a rhythm of calm & steady breaths.
- Practice Kindness. Perform a simple act of kindness every day: Hold an elevator door, thank someone sincerely, or listen to someone mindfully without distractions.
- Observe Your Feelings. If you’re feeling irritated toward a co-worker, pay attention to your irritation and not the story of WHY you’re irritated. What does the feeling actually feel like in your body? Where do you feel it? Identifying and feeling irritation as it starts prevents you from taking an action you might later regret.
- Help Someone. As Aung San Suu Kyi says, “If you’re feeling helpless, help someone.”
- Recognize Others. Think about the people who make your job possible, such as a housekeeper, building staff or fundraiser – and thank them. (Yes, as a former fundraiser I think this is especially important!)
“Being happy at work is possible for all of us, anytime and anywhere, with open eyes and a caring heart. We need only to take the first step.” –Sharon Salzberg
So if you’re done being miserable, it’s time to follow these 7 Tips and get happy!