Your Best New Year’s Resolution: Increasing Happiness at Work

Joshua Scott — January 17, 2017

A good chunk of January is behind us and, in all likelihood, that means at least a few of our New Year’s resolutions have been lost or forgotten. It happens to everybody. But we had an idea: perhaps this year it would be prudent to focus on something that’s harder to give up – like work!

You see, we spend a lot of time with clients at corporate events and catered lunches around Chicago. Our goal is to make them happy with our food. Even though we can’t be around them all the time, we still want them to be happy. Work can be tough, but it’s where we spend a huge portion of our lives, after all. Why not resolve to be happier and help others be happier?

How? We thought we’d share a few easy tips:

SEND A THANK YOU EMAIL EACH DAY

One of the great joys of human interaction can be found in sincere gratitude. Not only does it make someone feel good to thank them, but it makes you feel good at the same time!

In his TEDx talk, psychologist Shawn Achor talks about the power of simple positive habits to improve one’s happiness. One piece of advice? Send a positive email praising or thanking someone you know for 21 days in a row. Easy, right? If nothing else, it’s a good way to reconnect with people in your personal or professional life.

 

TAKE A MOMENT TO MEDITATE, FREE OF DISTRACTIONS

Ask yourself, how often do you take a break from work only to jump onto social media or browse the internet? If you’re like many people, when a moment of peace arrives you frequently distract yourself with something to occupy your mind. Instead, you could be using that time to meditate and clear your thoughts.

Mental health writer Jeena Cho describes the benefits of meditation in raising happiness levels, especially when it comes to work. Simply spending a few minutes each day in meditation can have real effects on your attitude and sense of calm – a perfect way to mentally prepare you for stressful projects and unexpected problems.

BUILD REAL FRIENDSHIPS AT WORK

Humans are social creatures. Most of us don’t thrive without social connections and relationships .It may seem obvious, but in fact, having close friendships can make us happier, according to a study from the University of Nottingham.

You don’t have to be the office social butterfly to make a friend (unless that’s your style). Here are some easy ways to start connecting:

 

  • Strike up a conversation with someone you don’t know too well.
  • Ask to sit with somebody or a group of somebodies at lunch.
  • Try to find someone who can teach you a new work skill.

Eventually, you’ll make a friend in a coworker or colleague who makes your day much more enjoyable.

EAT A HEALTHY LUNCH

One of the best ways to boost your mood is by eating the right foods. Nutrients such as magnesium, omega-3s and vitamin B can improve the way you feel, and eating a healthy mix of proteins, fiber, and carbs at lunch can keep you from feeling too bloated or sleepy in the afternoon.

Of course, a delicious, healthy meal that you don’t have to cook is even better. If you want an awesome corporate lunch and you’re in Chicago, consider Northern Fork’s healthy catering and drop-off services. (We’d be remiss if we didn’t at least mention it.)

growth mindset

ADOPT A GROWTH MINDSET

They say that attitude is everything, but what does that mean in terms of being happier at work? According to the Happiness Experiment blog it’s about cultivating a mindset focused on growth. In other words, rather than perceiving yourself to be at some static limit, focus on how you can continue to grow as a person and a professional.

Encourage yourself to learn, embrace new challenges, and get better at what you value. By doing this, you can continually find satisfaction in how you’re progressing. And remember, failure is okay because it means you’re growing and learning! And that, friends, leads to happiness.