I recently watched a Ted Talk by Shawn Achor (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLJsdqxnZb0) about how happiness can lead to not only better mental and physical health, but also more productive workplaces. Shawn argues that happiness in any given situation is a choice, and that by making that simple choice, we are setting ourselves up for success. Happy employees are healthier, easier to coach and even more productive.
The happiness argument has been made by many a public speaker. But often I’m left wondering – if the choice to be happy is so easy, why is it so hard to follow through? One might argue that it’s because complaining is so engrained into our lifestyle. Misery loves company, and we have trained our behavior to match that sentiment. So in this month’s blog, I want to share some of my tips and tricks for making workplace happiness the norm around the CU water cooler.
Practicing gratitude is something so easy that makes a huge difference in your outlook. Whether you call it focusing on the positive, being thankful, or looking on the bright side, gratitude is an easy way to train your behavior towards happiness. Recently my family has taken to actually filling out a white board with the things that we are grateful for. Putting what you are grateful for in writing is a very powerful tool, and reading what others are grateful for is often an eye opener.
It comes as no surprise that helping someone else just feels good. Its why many of us decided to start a career in the Credit Union system, where volunteerism is a key value. Make sure that you are taking advantage of volunteer activities promoted through your work, and truly enjoy that good feeling when you’re done. Helping someone can be done on a small scale too. Lend a hand to a coworker struggling with a project, take a minute to help a neighbor carry their groceries, even paying for the person in line behind you at the drive thru can leave you feeling cheery all afternoon.
Get Enough Sleep
As Andrea Phippen mentioned at our SYL retreat this summer, it is very hard to practice emotional intelligence when your physical needs are not being met. Being well rested helps you to have patience, maintain your engagement in tasks, and yes – be happier. Don’t worry about making big changes overnight, just try and adjust your sleep window by 5-10 minutes at a time. Little changes make big differences.
As we go into this busy season following summer holidays, make sure to take the time to focus on the positive. Little steps towards happiness can bring down our stress, make us more productive and even… happy 🙂
Shout out to the BCYoungLeaders for sharing the Achor Ted Talk with their community. Connect with them on Twitter @BCYL or online at www.bcyoungleaders.com