Thanksgiving is supposed to be a day of “thanks,” but sometimes, between long hours, deadlines, and office politics, it isn’t always easy to be “thankful” for your job. While there are times when it’s necessary to move on to different employment, in many cases happiness at work begins with a better attitude! The following tips – from Shawn Acor, author of The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology that Fuel Success and Performance at Work – should help. (For more about Shawn and his book, visit his website: http://www.shawnacor.com
Think about work as a sprint not a marathon. After two hours of continuous work, your brain function actually slows and your body starts to rapidly accumulate stress and strain. The secret to beating this pattern is to take strategically placed energy breaks throughout the day. Split up your work day into short sprints of 90-120 minutes, then take time for 5 minutes of recovery. You’ll feel more positive and see a big jump in your concentration and productivity.
Train your brain to scan for the good. Say three things you’re grateful for twenty-one days in a row and you can literally re-wire your brain to be more positive.
Brighten your environment. Everything around you—from the color of your walls to the mood of your coworkers—affects the way you think and feel. Surround your desk with pictures and objects that prime you for positivity—your mood and your brain will thank you.
Use your words. Neuroscientists have discovered that verbalizing thoughts can act like a wet blanket on the fire of negative emotions—the simple act of putting emotions into words immediately decreases their magnitude. Keeping a weekly diary also enhances your decision-making skills and improves your progress towards goals.
Invest in people. Smart people do stupid things during times of stress, like shutting down their social networks to focus on work. The greatest predictor of success during stress and challenge is the quantity and quality of your relationships. Strong social bonds enrich our daily lives, give meaning to our work, and even improve our physical health. Take time to strengthen these connections in your life.