Are you too busy for happiness?
"The greatest success we will achieve will not be money
or how high we climbed on the corporate ladder,
it will be happiness." ~ Dale Allen
Happiness is often how we define ourselves.
In your own way (usually unconsciously) you continually assess your happiness in all that you do.
How often do you ask yourself, or sense, am I happy with:
- my work?
- how I handled a conversation?
- my financial situation?
- how I take care of myself and others?
- the impact I am having?
- my marriage?
- my parenting?
- my social life?
As your sense of happiness fluctuates throughout your daily life, take notice of how fantastic you feel relative to how productive you are. (If you need convincing on the relationship between these two, Google studies on happiness and workplace productivity).
Life isn’t always easeful but wouldn’t you rather get back to happy as quickly as possible and when you need it most?
Here are 5 happiness hacks!
1) Silence your inner critic.
The voice you listen to matters. We are often too busy to be aware of the thoughts that are leading to how we experience all of life’s joys and its craziness. Have you made it a habit to tell the negative committee in your head to take a seat? Here's how to do so:
Stop Time Traveling
When we are stressed or overwhelmed at work we often ‘time travel’. Time traveling is thinking and talking that keeps you reliving the past or defining a future that does not yet exist.
We live in the past by saying things like: "I should have done this" or "could have done that" or "I wish I would have…".
Or we live in the future by saying things like, "I'm never going to be able to do this" or "they will always be: better than me, harder on me, unreasonable, difficult," etc.
How many times have you found yourself time traveling, jumping between past and future, diminishing your time and energy available to work with what’s going on in the present moment?
Why does being present matter? When our thoughts and dialogue are traveling from the past to future we are often criticizing ourselves or others which has a diminishing effect on our happiness, well-being and our drive.
To stay present, catch your thoughts when you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed and see if you are talking about the past or future. If you are, stop the time travel with this one question: What is one thing I can do right now, that will make a difference?
You can also turn any complaint or criticism you have into a request for action. (more on that in a forthcoming blog!)
2) Take a 1 minute breath bath.
Just a simple breath is essential to feeling happy at work and beyond, as breathing is well known to reverse your body's natural reaction to stressful conditions, which will help you manage negative emotions more effectively. Conscious breathing also changes the speed and nature of your thoughts. This simple exercise will help you go from chaos to calm and confident, in 1 minute.
Something as simple as smiling can improve your happiness at work because it releases feel-good messages and chemicals like dopamine and serotonin, telling your brain to be more happy. This relaxes your body, lowers your heart rate and blood pressure, making you feel calm and helps you to resist depression and other mood disorders. (Bye-bye stress :)
Smiling is also contagious and can cause co-workers to smile as well. Have a happy-brain party at work!! (Noone has to know what you’re smiling about ;).
4) See beauty.
When life is overly full and busy, hold a vision of something wonderful in your mind.
Focus on the most beautiful moment you can remember: vacation, last party you were at, a relationship, that time you laughed so hard that your belly hurt, anything.
At work, think of a really satisfying accomplishment or someone in your work environment who has had a positive impact on your life.
5) See the good.
Acknowledge yourself and/or someone else for something that has been done that was inspiring and brought happiness or relief to you. Find just one thing and let them/yourself know.
When you access more happiness your stress diminishes. For deeper learning on how to work through stress and tension in healthy ways, join other leaders in the Ultimate Leadership Experience: a conscious leadership training course in Ottawa/Gatineau, Canada, that will positively change how you manage daily pressures and demands and achieve results with others. We guarantee it!