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How to be happy at work

So you’ve got your dream job but you sometimes find yourself feeling de-motivated or fed up? Don’t worry, everyone goes through stages like this: the important thing is that you recognise your feelings and, instead of just feeling unhappy, you take positive steps to improve your mood.

If you just wallow in your unhappiness, you will really struggle to get out of that negative mind set. Luckily, you can make some small, easy changes to your work life which will have a beneficial impact on your outlook and will mean you look forward to coming to work rather than dreading it.

Personalise your workspace

Your desk is where you will be spending the majority of your time, so it’s important that it is a productive working environment. Keep it clean and tidy and get rid of the clutter — a messy desk will have a detrimental impact on your mood and productivity.
It’s also a good idea to personalise your desk to make it feel like your own — this could be with a framed photograph of loved ones, a potted plant or decorative stationery. Giving a desk your own touch adds an element of permanence as well as making the environment feel comfortable and homey.

Take a break

It’s important that you make sure you actually take a break at lunchtime instead of skipping it to work through it. Get up and move away from your desk — going for a walk (especially when the sun is shining) will lift your mood as it will provide a change in your environment, give you fresh air and get the blood pumping.
Prepare a lunch to eat too — if you have something tasty to look forward to, it will encourage you to take a break from your work.

Stay healthy

Getting a good night’s sleep the night before will help you to wake up in a positive mood and mean you are energised for the day ahead. Doing exercise will really give your mood a boost too because, as well as increasing your energy levels and helping you to sleep, it releases ‘feel-good’ chemicals such as endorphins which will reduce anxiety and make you feel happy.
If you often feel hungry throughout the day, take some healthy snacks you can eat such as yoghurt, fruit or nuts and seeds.
It’s vital that you stay hydrated throughout the work day too. Having plenty of drinks will keep you refreshed and will help ward off headaches. Getting up to get a glass of water or make a cuppa will also give you the chance to stretch your legs.

Positive feedback

It’s always nice when someone compliments you or gives you appreciative feedback about your work, so why not do it for others? Not only will it make them feel good, but it will foster a positive working environment and make you feel happier too.

Lend a hand

If a colleague is struggling with a task, or you know you have the skills or knowledge to provide support on a project, volunteer to help out! Helping someone out will give you a sense of belonging as well as creating a more productive, supportive working environment.

Set small goals

If you feel swamped with work and daunted by the week ahead of you, break down your work into small, manageable tasks and set yourself a few to complete each day. This will help you to keep on top of your workload and make you feel more productive as you are able to tick off small tasks. Being organised and able to keep your goals in sight will decrease stress levels.

Be proactive

Is there something you are struggling with or don’t like? Do something about it rather than complain or suffer in silence, whether it’s asking for help or speaking up. Otherwise you will end up feeling bad that you can’t do something or sit mulling over negative feelings.
This goes for pursuing opportunities to develop yourself personally and professionally and asking for feedback so you know what you do well and where you can develop.

Surround yourself with positive people

Avoid toxic people who will drag you down with gossip and negative conversations. Making an effort to get on with and talk to people will be a massive mood booster as you will know there will be people to turn to if you need support.
Also, being able to make friends with colleagues who share similar interests and backgrounds to you will minimise stress as you have people to talk to who understand you and your feelings.

Don’t compare yourself to others

This goes for all aspects of life really. But if you are constantly comparing your successes and failures to the work of others, then you will never feel happy.

Leave your work at work

Some jobs can prey on your mind long after you’ve left your desk for the day. As difficult as it can sometimes be, switch off at home and do something you enjoy as a reward for your hard day of work! This can be something as simple as going to the gym, reading a good book or going out for a meal with friends.