Learn a New Skill: 4 Tips to Increase Your Happiness at Work

Two million Americans quit their job every month because they have antagonistic bosses, not enough recognition, or unfavorable corporate politics. With foreboding deadlines and high-pressure presentations, it’s easy to focus on your frustrations while your stress levels skyrocket. When you become frustrated at work, you probably pull your hair out of your head when you hit rock bottom in the board room.

Workplace happiness is rarely measured through qualitative and quantitative measures, and little did you know that there are many ways to assess and increase your happiness in your job. You can have weekly check-ins with your manager, keep a log to rate your level of happiness every day at the office, or you can journal about your feelings at work. Amy Wrzesniewski, a professor at Yale University, says that people who find meaning in their work are more likely to be more happy and successful in their jobs.

Workplace happiness is essential to your emotional well being. When you focus on your happiness, you experience improved productivity, reduced stress levels, and overall pleasure. Companies like Facebook, Google and AOL invite specialized corporate trainers to visit their office to teach employees about workplace happiness. If your company doesn’t have the budget for these trainers, you can be proactive and take charge of your own happiness at work. To increase your happiness at work, here are four tips you can apply instantly:

Inject Fun into Your Work Routine

You can listen to music if you’re working on an extensive Excel spreadsheet, you can create a healthy competition amongst your sales team, or you can suggest an after work activity for your colleagues like kick ball or happy hour. There are many ways to make your job more fun. Take responsibility and brainstorm 10 ways you can make your work more fun. Work does not have to be boring!

Keep an Honest & Open Dialogue

When you begin to feel frustrated or angry with your work, schedule a meeting with your manager or supervisor immediately. In these meetings, discuss your frustration and offer several solutions to make your situation better. Bottling up negative feelings can be detrimental to your workplace happiness, so don’t do it! If you need help to determine a solution, ask your boss or consult a colleague. Chances are they have been in your shoes and can offer a positive solution to turn your frustration into happiness.

Focus on Exercise and Nutrition

How do you feel after eating a hamburger with french fries and milkshake? Sleepy, unproductive, or lazy? People who exercise and eat healthy tend to be much happier and more productive at work. You can take a 10 minute walk every two hours, use a standing desk, or you can sit a on an exercise ball instead of a traditional desk chair. Even though you are busy, it’s important to take breaks and keep your body moving.

Make sure your nutrition provides energy and keeps you focused. Trade your hamburger for a home-packed salad, or exchange your caffeinated venti double mocha latte with a piece of fruit with Vitamin C. You can also pack vegetables and lean protein snacks to munch on throughout the day. Pick one habit to change in your exercise and nutrition plan, then assess how that affects your happiness at work.

Praise Your Teammates and Employees

You are more likely to become more memorable and favorable amongst your colleagues at work when you compliment and recognize the people you work with. According to Dale Carnegie, the author of How to Win Friends and Influence Others, you can increase your social influence by offering sincere praise to your teammates. Here are three examples to praise your teammates and employees:

  • “Sally, great job meeting your sales quota! I know how challenging it was to close that deal, and I really appreciate your time and dedication to help the client find the best solution.”
  • “I’m very pleased you took time outside of the office to work on this report for the CFO. Let me treat you to happy hour after work today.”
  • “Wow, you presented your ideas so clearly and thoughtfully at the board meeting today. There is no way the CEO is going to turn down your proposal, and even if he does, you did an incredible job.”

Now it’s your turn! When a colleague does anything that deserves recognition, go out of your way to make sure she is rewarded with a compliment, gift, or bonus.

Take Personal Responsibility for your Happiness

If you’re unhappy, determine how you can change your situation and be proactive! Can you take on a new project? Can you try one of the tips presented above? Can you challenge yourself with exciting professional development? At the end of the day, your boss is not responsible for the way you feel. You have the choice to be happy or miserable at your job. In my opinion, work is way more enjoyable when you look at the glass half full. Do you have a technique to increase your happiness at work? Let us know in the comments below! 

Max DuBowy is a content specialist at OpenSesame. His content is featured on Amazon, OpenSesame, LifeHack, and The Science of People. He is also the founder of Your Success Launch, helping entrepreneurs, creative professionals and businesses achieve happiness through positive psychology. Max holds his BA in psychology from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.