With approximately one-third of our waking hours spent at work—and another third presumably spent thinking about it—there’s no question that where, how and with whom we work plays a significant role in our overall well-being.
“Being happy at work is key to being happy in life,” notes Shane Lopez, Ph.D.
, Gallup senior scientist and research director at Clifton Strengths Institute. “Lots of different domains in our life hinge on it. If that work domino doesn’t fall into place, it’s hard to make the most of your relationships or be your best self. So you have to make sure you’re as happy as possible at work.”
Gallup’s numbers show that only 30 percent of U.S. workers are truly engaged and like their jobs. Of those, a mere 1 percent claim to love their jobs. Of the other 70 percent, about 40 percent say they are not engaged at work, and 30 percent are actively disengaged.
Maybe you used to love your job, but the thrill is gone. Or maybe you never felt much love for it to begin with. Regardless, there are many ways to improve things.
Take a moment; take a breath
Mindfulness and other forms of meditation
have been found to be extremely effective in helping relieve stress and can change the way you feel about your situation.
Remove the toxins
Avoid engaging in negative conversations, gossip and backbiting.
Doing something for someone else will make you more grateful for your own situation. Many companies offer volunteer opportunities, or you can look for a cause you feel particularly passionate about.
Keeping your brain stimulated can help improve your feelings about your job. Don’t have time for a class after work? Set Google alerts for your area of work so you can keep up with industry trends. It may give you new ideas for innovating on the job.
Focus on the positive
Keep a work journal, and each day write down one thing you did well or that went right
. It will make for great reading on days when you’re feeling down.
Gallup polls show that people who laugh and smile are more engaged at work.