5 Ways to Boost Your Happiness at Work

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This past year many have become more emboldened to express their desire for greater work/life integration that protects against burnout and mental health issues. According to Deloitte, 65% of employees and 81% of the C-suite say that improving their well-being is more important than advancing their careers. Well-being has become a top priority for all.  


We're sharing 5 ways to be happier in the workplace [and life] that take less than 10 minutes and can be done virtually anywhere. 


1. Practice Gratitude


Give specific, unsolicited feedback [or, as we say, feedforward] to a colleague once a day. Make it more meaningful to them by sharing the “why” in a way that makes them feel seen and heard. It never fails; gratitude benefits both the giver and receiver while building deeper connections. 


2. Try Spontaneous Meditation


We all know the benefits of meditation have been scientifically proven, yet people still haven’t found time to add it to their schedule because they’re “too busy” or “not good at it.” The truth is there’s no such thing as being bad or good at meditation [that’s why it’s called a practice!]. To get rid of the blocker, we can reframe what meditation is to its simplicity: bring attention to your breathing. In and out. When we make it spontaneous, that means you can do it anytime during the course of a day when it comes to mind. In the car, at your desk, at the grocery store. We can reap the benefits of meditation throughout the day because we’re not waiting for the “perfect” conditions to do it. 


3. Turn Criticism into Curiosity


We’re all too often our worst critics when it comes to a decision we could’ve made differently or something we said or did, somehow believing there could’ve been a better outcome. The truth is that we really have no way of knowing if the outcome would have improved, so instead of criticizing ourselves for something unknown, we can treat it with curiosity. 

  • Ask ourselves, “What might I do differently next time,” instead of dwelling in the past. 

  • Give yourself permission to fail to take risks and learn from them without avoidance. 

  • Shift your mindset to progress over perfection.

Being mindful that we can be gentler on ourselves brings less stress, more ease, and happiness.


4. Embrace Tensions


We’ve all experienced unpredictable, uncomfortable situations in our lives. The last two and half years were a testament to that. Instead of defaulting to the mode of sweeping things under the rug — where your body can physiologically store stress and wear your mental and physical health down over time — embrace the tension in a more thoughtful way:


Breathe and describe what the tension is [sometimes it helps to write it down].

Address and identify your emotions, knowing you have a right to feel them, no matter what anyone else thinks or says. Ask yourself whether the tension is within or outside of your control. If it’s outside of it, work your emotional state towards acceptance. If it’s within your control, think of ways you can mindfully [not emotionally] act that can bring about a better circumstance for yourself and others involved.


5. Nurture Your Greenhouse


As parents, partners, and leaders of our work/life, we naturally want to take care of others, which means we often neglect what it means to take care of ourselves at the same time. We hear all these different forms of self-care, but the most important step is to test to see what’s most helpful and valuable to you.


Take 5-10 minutes a day to make yourself that petri dish and test something new. Take a walk outside. Call friends or family you haven’t connected with in a long time. Try spontaneous meditation or journaling. Treat yourself to something you haven’t had since you were a little one. 


The point is the most important work you’ll do is the one that you don’t get paid for. It’s the work on yourself, for yourself. It’s the time of testing and understanding how you can nurture your greenhouse with self-awareness and confidence you’re living a peaceful and fulfilling life. 

Looking for more ways to be happier + human at work? DH offers onsite & virtual solutions to help build a thriving workplace for people & profits. 

People Strategy Sessions

About the Author

Jenn Lim

Jenn Lim is a global workplace expert, bestselling author, speaker, executive coach and the CEO and Cofounder of Delivering Happiness [DH], a company that grows purpose-driven organizations with more profitable and sustainable approaches to business. Jenn launched two bestselling books—Delivering Happiness in 2010 and authored Beyond Happiness: How Authentic Leaders Prioritize Purpose and People for Growth and Impact in 2021. Together they’ve sold over a million copies and have been translated into 30 languages, impacting people and workplaces worldwide.

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