Education, study and knowledge

Well-being at work: how to motivate ourselves

What are we talking about when we talk about happiness? There are many people who talk about (and sell) the idea of ​​happiness. In fact, this seems like a fad, akin to being thin or not eating meat. But like everything in life, we must go to who really studies happiness to know what we are talking about: psychologists.

The different theories point us aspects such as economic well-being or social connections, among others, as those that most influence our happiness. Of course they are important, but how does happiness affect our work environment?

We spend most of our lives at work and, on many occasions, We do it with an emotional tone, let's say, neutral.

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Happiness in the work context

If we work, we can get excited about certain projects and we can even feel moments of intense connection with our team. There are moments of happiness. But, in most cases, this state occurs by chance.

Normally we do not associate work with happiness, and this is the beginning of the problem. If we randomly ask several people in a work situation, it is likely that they will tell us that happiness is constituted by having a job, that they consider themselves lucky for it. And that, as long as that is so,

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be happy while working it is something rather secondary. We already do other things to be happy, they would tell us.

But, by not associating our work with possible happiness, are we not denying an important part of our life? Going to work happy even seems somewhat obscene. It is not well seen that someone can manifest it; the softest you will receive are comments regarding your luck, as well as much less considerate ones.

Greater well-being at work, higher performance

The most curious thing is that research on happiness in the workplace they show to what extent their influence on productivity and health are enormous. Those who are happy working, perform more and have fewer casualties.

A poll conducted by Gallup in 2015 shows that only 32% of American workers reported being “actively involved” in their jobs. The majority (52%) did not feel involved and 17% considered themselves totally disconnected from their work environment.

We will have to do something, don't you think? Much of the problem is boredom. Doing the same thing over and over again is a guarantee of being there permanently. Boredom and happiness do not add up together, these are the first changes to make. Seek the opportunity to learn new strategies and tools, facilitate mobility between departments of the company, looking for common places to exchange ideas... seem to be some of the best antidotes to combat boredom and promote well-being and enthusiasm in the company.

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The trap of the work routine

Another factor that is directly associated with happiness in the work environment has to do with routine. Leaving the office at breakfast or lunch time, having meeting spaces with colleagues from other departments or companies, power our brain to stay in an active tone. If, in addition to this, companies dedicate part of their time to promoting exercise and Mindfulness, the effects would be spectacular. It already happens in companies that do so.

Reducing the times of endless meetings, adjusting them to an established schedule and with a moderator who is in charge of distributing the shifts, is also a powerful element to dissolve boredom. Short presentations. Short questions. Short cycles of tasks. This seems to be the key to keeping your happiness muscle in shape.

And smile. Doing so is closely linked to happiness. It may seem like a no-brainer, but it's like spreading a rumor: if we smile, we are having an effect on those around us. There will be those who resist - even actively - but will have to succumb or find themselves isolated.

Boosting happiness at work

Undoubtedly, we will always have someone who will tell us that if we are not happy with the work, we will leave it. It is a very respectable option. Complicated in these times, but possible. However, it comes from a point of view according to which happiness comes from the outside. Therefore, it is better to change the scene than to change ourselves.

If your option is to try the latter, I propose some ideas that may be valuable to begin to turn this around happiness in the work environment. This applies to any job reality that we want. In some it will be more complicated, but it is achieved with dedication and conviction. Plus, if all levels of the company are convinced of it, it will be much easier to do.

1. Know what makes you happy 

It seems easy to assess whether or not we are happy, and to what degree we are. This does not mean that we do. But what does seem more complicated is define what makes us personally happy. We are different, unique, so it seems logical that each of us have, to put it that way, our own “happy footprint”. That which makes us intimately happy.

This not only has to do with the work environment, although everything is undoubtedly interconnected. Knowing what makes us happy and collecting it in a list to be aware of it is one of the first exercises that we propose.

Let's keep in mind that happiness includes both pleasure and purpose, and it is not only the positive emotion that we assume. Let's write both. What makes us feel pleasure and what makes us feel actively involved in something.

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2. Build happiness actively in your work environment

Happiness doesn't just happen. We don't just need to be aware of what makes us happy, passively. We need to build it. Make it happen.

It is not easy, especially when we are very busy. It's like finding the hole to go to the gym. But once you do, you can't live without it anymore! Start small with the little ones things that connect you with a sense of purpose and belonging. It could be having breakfast with a friend on your break to do it, taking care of a plant that you have brought to the office, listening to music while preparing a report… these are little things that add meaning to your surroundings labor. You make it yours.

These seemingly small changes can have a very significant impact on how you feel at work. You are building your little environment of personal happiness at work. You can start by thinking about what you would like to change from now on. Make a list with what depends exclusively on you, and another that may contain proposals to reach a consensus with your colleagues, or propose it to your bosses.

3. Look for opportunities that make you feel purposeful

In most cases, we may not have the opportunity to choose what we want to do, the projects we want, the people we work with. Let's find a way to get involved in what is assigned to usIn addition to not failing to show who directs us what our interests would be, what projects you would like to be in.

In a way, it is about transmitting interest and involvement. If we do it in something that we have been assigned, what will we not do in something that would also excite us!

4. Know what gives you energy and what doesn't

In this we are also unique. For some people, collaborating and working with others to solve challenges makes us feel alive. For others, being able to pay full attention to detail and see it from different points of view creates a sense of flow. There are those who prefer to work in a team and those who do not. Consider what makes you feel more energetic, it is essential that you know. Also what does not. Because, in some moments you will inevitably have to do it.

Paradoxically, when one knows both, they perform better - and they are happier - both in situations that we like the most and in those that we are not enthusiastic about. By being aware of the latter, and eliminate negative expectations towards them, we relaxed, and we found ourselves surprisingly much better.

  • You may be interested: "Perfectionist personality: the downsides of perfectionism"

5. Identify what makes you unhappy

Of course this is not a bed of roses. There are times when it seems like everything is going wrong. A bad day, marked by an unpleasant situation, can make us feel really miserable. Even if we try to change it, it will happen. But we must not think that a bad day means a bad life. On the contrary, recognizing the bad moments will make us appreciate the good ones even more, and work to enhance them.

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