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How to Train Yourself to Be Happier at Work


Being happy at your job doesn’t necessarily depend on the job itself – it has more to do with how you perceive your work. We’ll take a look at how professionals can train themselves to be happy at work by simply changing their mindset.

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(Photo Credit: maveric2003/Flickr)

It can feel like there’s a secret formula or potion that people who genuinely love their jobs have discovered, that the rest of us aren’t aware of yet. However, as it turns out, being a happy worker has more to do with how an individual perceives his or her work.

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A 2013 Gallup study, State of the American Workplace, “estimates that actively disengaged employees cost the U.S. between $450 billion to $550 billion each year in lost productivity.” Some of the reasons employees are “actively disengaged” and dissatisfied with their jobs are due to negligent managers.

But it’s somewhat unfair to place all of the blame on an employer for person’s perpetual discontent at work. There comes a time when the employee should be held accountable for his or her own happiness in the workplace because, as psychotherapist and author Jude Bijou, reminds us, “Behavioral change is the bread and butter of happiness.”

Making small changes in your attitude and outlook can drastically improve your overall happiness. Here are a few things you can do to find more satisfaction in your professional life.

1. Make routines a habit. Create consistency in your daily life so that you feel more in control and organized. Read more about the benefit of incorporating routines in your schedule here.

2. Practice thought-stopping. Negative thoughts only take up mental space and hinder your productivity, so stop ruminating on things you can’t control or change and focus your efforts towards more positive thoughts and actions. If you feel a negative thought coming along, then take a “happiness break” and get yourself back on the happy train again.

3. Lend a helping hand. Booker T. Washington reminds us that, “Those who are happiest are those who do the most for others.” There is something about giving unto others that makes you feel better about yourself — something money cannot buy. The next time you find yourself dreading your job, try lending a helping hand to a complete stranger or even a co-worker and see if your spirits aren’t lifted.

4. Meditate. Sitting in quiet contemplation and reflection has major health and well-being benefits that venting simply cannot parallel. Read more about the healing powers of meditation, here.

5. Don’t take things personally. Miguel Ruiz, author of The Four Agreements, states, “When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.” The suffering that Ruiz is talking about relates to the stress, negativity, and ruminating thoughts that contribute to a decreased level of happiness in your life and your work. Therefore, in order to be happier, you must not let the actions or opinions of others affect you negatively. Brush it off and move on to things that matter.

Remember, you have more control over your own job satisfaction and overall happiness than you think, so stop letting negative thinking get in the way of your career dreams — they’re still very attainable. Making small changes to your thought process can drastically improve the gratification you receive from your given career.

Tell Us What You Think

What have you done to improve your overall happiness at work? Share your thoughts on Twitter or in the comments section below.

Leah Arnold-Smeets
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