One Small Change: Instant Workplace Happiness

Research shows that happiness boosts workplace productivity and improves health, so companies have a vested interest in the happiness of their employees. But, because Americans spend most of their time at work – an average of 2,080 hours a year – every employee has a vested interest in their own happiness.

Factors like leadership, salary, benefits, and sense of purpose can improve happiness in the workplace, but they can not produce happiness, and are not factors completely within your control.

Abraham Lincoln once said, “Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” So when you feel unhappy at work, take control and decide to find the silver lining in your current circumstances. Make the choice to have a positive outlook, no matter what. Chances are, you will instantly feel happier.

Having trouble looking on the bright side?  Try these five techniques the next time your outlook’s gloomy:

1. Make a list of three positive things in your life and post it at your workstation. Refer to it when you need a pick-me-up.

2. Make someone else happy. Mark Twain wrote, “The best way to cheer yourself up is to cheer somebody else up.” Do something to make someone’s day, and it just might make yours.

3. Take a walk in the sunshine to change your scenery. A change of scenery can help change your perception.

4. Change your stance. Hold your head up high in every circumstance and you will see more clearly.

5. Focus on something that brings you joy. Read a book, play a sport, or volunteer in your community to refocus your outlook on something positive.

Tell us how you improve your outlook in our comments section below.


  1. Cwcomment

    These little tricks sound great. I’ve found using this power of small is really helpful while at work and when looking for a job. It can put you in a good frame of my mind if you list your positives every day; it’s a great way to have a list of accomplishments in your head during a review or a great way to explain your activities since your last job.

  2. Lisa C Box

    I have found listening to my favorite music especially with ear phones helps lift my spirit s. To let go and dance freely or even just moving in rhythm helps even more. If I can get myself to write out my feelings or about anything that is on my mind, it ALWAYS helps not only to get to what might be bothering me but also writinf or typing it, releases the negative. It is as if the paper or screen is a sponge and soaks it right up.

  3. Phyllis B. Powers

    These tips are great. I find that if I help others it always helps. When you give others what you want, it will always come back to you. I try to focus on things that I am thankful for and not dwell on the negitive.

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