happy hours at work

All too often, we all find ourselves staring at the pile of paperwork in front of us in utter exasperation. The next time you find yourself sinking (deeper) into this pool of negativity, take a moment, remove yourself from the situation as much as possible, and take some notes.

Happiness is largely a choice

It really is up to you. Studies have shown that at least 40% of our capability for happiness is within our power and ability to change. That 40% of your happiness is determined by what you think and do. Focus on the aspects of work that you like, find co-workers that you enjoy spending time with, limit your interaction with office sharks, and avoid negativity. That way, Mondays will be less painful. Your choices at work largely define your experience.

The right attitude (usually) does the job

Negativity limits, constrains and tears you down, but don’t let it take a toll on how you treat others and your work. You might think that you are simply being honest in pointing out the flaws of a project, but realize that your negativity can suck the energy from those around you. You can always voice your dissent or your opinions, but it’s always about the attitude that you deliver the comment with. Remember that there is a bigger picture in focus and that you are a part of a team. Your attitude matters.

Adjust your workload

Prioritize your work-list; only make commitments that you can make. Keep a to-do list or a planner with you at all times if that’s what it takes. If your workload is exceeding your available time and energy, make sure to ask your supervisor for help and resources. Stop yourself from being overwhelmed; you don’t want your brain to take on the fight-or-flight mentality at work. Remember that happiness brings success more than success brings happiness.

Seek solutions

Negative people see obstacles. Positive people look for solutions. Instead of pointing out a challenge and waving the white flag of surrender, use that adrenaline rush from all the stress to bring your own ideas to the table. How can you fix the situation? What strategy can you take for the best outcome? Staying positive at work is not about ignoring the problems you see; it’s about changing the way you see them. There is a reason why you added ‘problem- solver’ to your list of skills, so go do that.

Communicate more, and well

Talk to your co-workers. Share more than just office gossip. Your thoughts on what can be done for budget control is just as important as someone else being fired. Rather than collectively complaining about work, talk about what everyone’s plans and expectations are of the company; their fears, success, and perceived failures. Update your boss on your plans and know what he/she expects from you. Make sure that there isn’t any misunderstanding. Communication is key.

Be professional

That means using tact and diplomacy, stating facts before feelings, and finding ways to get the job done – even when it’s uncomfortable. You may feel like refusing a proposal because you are not in good terms with the person, but take in account of the actual content of the proposal and how it would impact the company’s future. Negativity comes from a place of emotion: frustration, anger, disappointment, etc. Find a way to keep those feelings aside. It is your responsibility to act professionally in the workplace.

Quick Facts

• Bertrand Russell once said, “One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one’s work is terribly important.” Don’t take your work too seriously!

• A 2009 study has proved that negative thoughts are more powerful than positive thoughts, with a ratio of 3:1. In other words, we need three positive thoughts to counteract the effect of one negative thought.

• A smile can actually change your brain chemistry, naturally making you and the people around you feel more positive. Science shows that happier brains work better!

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