Being unhappy at work isn’t just “one of those things” you need to put up with, and we want to help transform that mindset with these few easy changes.
Look at it this way: if we said that from now on, exactly half of the pizzas you eat will be covered in ingredients you hate, you’d be shocked. Why, then, should you be spending what feels like half of your waking hours doing a job you don’t like when millions of people love what they do?
The good should always outweigh the bad. You shouldn’t be made to eat a tuna and pineapple pizza when someone else is having one with barbeque sauce and chicken. What we want to do is show you how to love tuna and pineapple, and no longer dread your 9 to 5.
Have a carrot at the end of a stick
Spending your time at a job you don’t like is always going to be stressful, so we recommend thinking about the carrot at the end of your stick when you’re staying late or having a busy day. What are you saving for? What are you looking forward to? You might not care about the company you’re doing the work for, but you will care about the car or holiday you’re putting the money towards.
There’s nothing wrong with working a job just for the pay check; we all need a roof and food. However, if you really want to start genuinely enjoying your job more, we recommend trying to get more out of it than just a pay slip at the end of the month.
Get pleasure out of purpose
In Happiness by Design, Paul Dolan speaks about how we derive pleasure from purpose, and this is directly important to how we should approach work. Doing the bare minimum isn’t great for the company or team you work in, and “just enough” will start to mentally make you feel inadequate. Inadequacy usually leads to anxiety, paranoia can swiftly follow, and then you have a cocktail for a terrible working environment.
Instead, you should try harder than ever at your job – especially if you hate it. Positive peer reviews and promotions will reward the work you put in, which will make you feel more positive, and that positivity could snowball from there into something considerable.
Hard work and happiness breed confidence, so even if you still don’t like the place where you work, there’s nothing stopping you from taking this new found conviction to go and knock another job interview out of the park and move into somewhere completely new. Sometimes a fresh start is all you need.
Turn your co-workers into friends
Walking in to an office full of people that you don’t know and aren’t friendly with can make work a lonely experience. However, if you socialise with your co-workers and make an effort to speak to them, then you might even start looking forward to work because you’ve got Emma that you can speak to about the match at the weekend or David who you can chat with about the latest episode of your favourite show.
We recommend, even if it means leaving your comfort zone, that you go to as many work outings as you can. Drinks after work are always good at making everyone feel more comfortable around each other, but even going to something like a light yoga session at lunch could be the start of a routine to bring you and your colleagues closer together.
A nod and smile in the hallway is, relatively speaking, a small gesture – but it can make a workplace seem so much more welcoming.
You and your space
If you have a desk, something as small as tidying it can do a lot to change your mind set. If you have papers and rubbish all over your work space, you will start to feel cluttered and swamped; physically and mentally. The process of throwing away everything you don’t need can feel very relieving and almost like a detox.
Personalising your work space can also help make work more enjoyable. A picture of a loved one, a little Buddha or even a plant you can look after all help make your area feel yours; we can forget how important individuality is sometimes, especially if you’re worried about becoming part of a bigger corporate ‘machine’.
It’s not just a coincidence that we’re writing about how to be happier on a Laughter Yoga Blog, and we fully believe that Laughter Yoga can be a great way to help you deal with the stress that work might burden you with. If you’re still wondering “What is Laughter Yoga?” or you want to know more about the benefits, you can find out more on our website here.