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7 Science-Backed Secrets to Being Happier at Work and in Your Career


Jun. 23, 2015 Psych Central

Studies show that people who are most satisfied at their job point to a wide range of features from friendly co-workers, a positive company culture, good pay, and high-quality management to fringe benefits like work-life balance and feeling valued in the workplace. However you define happiness for yourself, one truth remains: your mental health is as critical — if not more important — to your long-term success as the hours you log at the office. When people feel happy and valued at work, the generate greater results. They’re able to focus and succeed at the job at hand, while remaining resilient in the face of challenges that arise.

Here are some practical tips you can start using today to increase your career happiness:

1. Turn off Facebook.

Social media, especially Facebook, can be like a black hole that sucks you in with its endless updates, wasting your time and zapping your focus. No matter what web browser you use, you can quickly and easily install a tool to quiet your newsfeed or remove it all together, allowing you uninterrupted serenity to think and create – two essential elements for happiness at work.

Even better, consider doing a social media detox for a month to see the impacts it has on your overall well-being and productivity. You’ll be amazed by how much more you can accomplish and how much better you feel without the deluge of posts cluttering your desktop (and mind).

2. Define your “why.”

Think about what work means to you and why you do what you do. Is your job a means to earning enough to transition to freelancing and travel the world within three years? For others, their drive may be rooted in a broader mission. Does your job allow you to make a positive impact for a cause you’re passionate about?

What we find personally meaningful and how we go about achieving it differs from person to person, but research shows that identifying your “why” is key to staying happy and productive on the job. When you feel overwhelmed or unmotivated, ask yourself the following: “If I could only share or teach one message to one group of people, what would my message be?” To figure out what you find meaningful and inspiring in your life, grab the “14 Powerful Questions to Find Happiness” free printable workbook.

3. Institute a mandatory laughter policy.

It’s often said that laughter is the best medicine, and it turns out that it’s an effective productivity booster, too. A good belly laugh can have a soothing neurocognitive effect, flooding your brain with chemicals that reduce your body’s natural stress response. You could try working a viral BuzzFeed clip into your lunch break or interject a funny quote to lighten the mood during a presentation.

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