3 ways to be happier at work

Whether you’re relatively happy or curse every day you have to go to your (insert expletive) job, most of us can stand to create a happier experience at work.

Key word… create.

As in.. we aren’t completely powerless.

Our satisfaction at work doesn’t rest in the hands of our boss, CEO, HR Manager, or anyone else.

It rests within us.

Why am I sharing this with you today?

Because I’ve noticed more people lately expressing extreme frustration at work, to the point that it pains them to have to go another day.

This is exactly where I was 2 years ago.

I was craving freedom, expansion, passion, and just anything but being stuck at that desk solving the same ridiculously tedious problems that in the grand scheme of life, didn’t even matter.

Maybe you’re unhappy too, and thinking about what to do next.

Should you look for another job? Is it easier to tough it out?

But you need the money, and finding a new job takes time and energy, which you probably don’t have because you’re so stressed out!!

Well I can’t tell you what’s best to do. Only you can figure that out. But I can share some tips with you that helped me greatly.

It’s all about creating the most enjoyable experience for ourselves.

Because when we’re really stressed out, we don’t think clearly and we don’t make good decisions.

Before we can decide what to do about our job, we have to try to make it as enjoyable as we can. 

It sounds so simple, but for me, I never would’ve come to that conclusion on my own.

At times my job aggravated me so much that it never crossed my mind to try to improve the situation. How could it possibly improve when it felt downright horrible?

But trust me, it can, and I’ll tell you EXACTLY what to do!
Tip #1
Have more fun in your free time.

How are you spending your time outside of work? I never used to do anything in the evenings except work out, cook dinner, and read a book. It never occurred to me to make plans on a week night!! Who does that??

That’s when I started taking Tai Chi classes and having friends over for dinner. It made the week feel so much more fulfilling. I wasn’t just living for the weekends anymore.

I recently had a client who started getting up an hour earlier so he had time to work on some personal projects before going to his job.

He started his day feeling accomplished, and noticed his stress level decreased at work.

If you can relate to waking up in the morning and dreading that you have to go to work, then there might be a better way to welcome a new day. Even just reading a book or writing in a journal for 20 minutes can improve your mood.

Tip #2
Take better lunch breaks.

I used to live so close to work that I’d just go home on my lunch break.

Even though the change of scenery was nice – it felt so good to physically get out of the office – I was left alone with the stress of the morning’s events.

I asked myself what would feel better. I wanted to socialize. Socializing = laughing = lower stress.

So I started eating lunch at work with my co-workers.

I also suggest varying your lunch breaks. Sometimes I sat in a quiet corner (or outside) to read. Sometimes I went for a walk or made lunch plans with someone.

Ask yourself what you need, and switch it up!! This is your free time too!

Tip #3
Connect with your coworkers.

When I was first challenged to do this, I began to notice how much chit chatting went on around the office, yet I was never much a part of it.

I was always so heads down and focused, and quite honestly, had a bit of a stick up my butt.

I made a conscious effort to show interest in those around me and to get to see them as human beings rather than just people who send me problems to solve.

If I had a question, I’d go walk over to them rather than sending an email.

Over time I felt my frustrations fade, which allowed me to focus more on getting work done, rather than venting about it. I looked forward to seeing everyone each day and getting to know them a little better.

If you have any guilt about talking non-work talk on the clock, just know that our brains naturally need a break from work about every hour. So you might as well use that time to solidify relationships with the people you see every day. It just might help you be a better.. whatever it is you do 🙂

Your Turn: Which of these 3 tips are you willing to commit to this week?  Comment below, and then share your experience after you’ve made the effort. Remember, the more you can chill out, the easier it will be to assess if it’s really time for a career change.

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