We all have our own stories playing out but the general end is to become “happier”, whatever that means to you. With Covid-19 affecting everyone in some way, our chapters had a plot twist. Our normal and presumably happy life’s changed over the past year. Family, friends, social life, and work have been turned upside down.
This is one hell of a rollercoaster, but we have to hold on and open our eyes. We must allow ourselves to be happy, as it stems from our health, friendship, community involvement, creativity, and, specifically, your job, career, and business. Our work consumes a large portion of our time and we can easily grow frustrated, but there are tactics to overcome and a strategy to simply be, happy.
“Happiness is a state of mind. It’s just according to the way you look at things.” Walt Disney
STARTING ON THE RIGHT FOOT.
How you start your day off resonates with the rest of the day. A better mood can produce increased productivity and communication with customers and co-workers. So take it on yourself to do something in the morning that makes you feel good.
Enjoy your morning coffee, tea, or water. Take the 5–10 minutes and actually enjoy the moment to yourself. Don’t rush it and gulp it down, this is your time to do nothing else but appreciate the little things.
Take a walk. I have recommended this to friends and it truly helps me with my thoughts and stresses for the day to come. Getting fresh air in the morning is a great way to create some wellbeing in your life. You can also do this in the afternoon if you’re in a rut.
MAKE FEWER DECISIONS IN YOUR DAY.
Whether you’re the CEO, customer rep, or entrepreneur you make a decision. Decisions take brain energy and decision fatigue is very real. That why sitting in front of a computer all day leaves you drained even though you barely moved. So put some of your decisions on autopilot. Whether it is your food, clothing, or when you will answer your emails, create a system, and certainty.
If you think about it, our brains crave certainty. They start predicting our patterns and the benefits of having a few predictable patterns in healthy. Think of when Covid-19 disrupted our work and life norms…our emotions and stress spiked. So create or re-creating certainty in your daily work life from due dates, meetings in a calendar, working agreements, and establishing what you will do if a project derails. Your brain will thank you and you’ll enjoy the day a little more.
OVERRIDE YOUR BRAIN’S NEGATIVITY BIAS.
Something does not go as planned or did you make an innocent mistake and now you can’t stop thinking about it? Repeated negative thoughts like this can make your workday very unpleasant. Almost similar to a trap this is very common thanks to the brain’s negativity bias. Our brain is hardwired for greater sensitivity to unpleasant events and situations. Thousands of years ago this was useful to avoid predators and rival tribes, but today this mechanism undermines your happiness at work.
We need to flip the script. We often talk about how horrible your workday was because a client dropped you or the internet went out during your Zoom meeting or whatever. The first thing out of our months is usually negative and we need to train our brains to do the opposite.
First, focus on one positive event. Then maybe at the end of the workday try to share a rose, thorn, and bud. The roses are positive events, experiences, or feelings from our day, and the thorn is negative, and the bud is a new idea that has blossomed or something you are looking forward to knowing more about or experiencing. Maybe even find a friend to keep you accountable and do this exercise with you.
ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR PROGRESS.
The feeling of moving forward and making meaningful progress causes positive morale and happiness whether at work or in your personal life. Even if you had a bad day, but can cross off or see you accomplished a few things, you’ll feel better.
Try adding a new route to your morning. Write down three items you want to get done today and try your hardest to finish this before your day gets crazy. Cross them off once you’ve finished and then at the end of the day look at that list. It can also prove to be a great reminder for important items that you may forget to focus on throughout the day. The task can be a very small portion of a much greater project, but the importance is in just starting.
END THE DAY WITH GRATITUDE.
As learned earlier, our brains have a negative bias. So it can be difficult to remember anything positive during the day naturally. But the simple way to do this is by thinking of something you appreciate during your day and writing it down. Do this regularly and you’ll probably feel more optimistic and overall feel better.
We are all very busy, so creating a new ritual can be difficult and at the least annoying. So an easy way to accomplish this would be to connect it to something you already do. For example, before you start your car to leave work or before you walk in the door of your home you have to think of something good that happened that day. Then write it down.
These techniques and routines are all very helpful in creating a happier life but, you need to be consistent. Nothing good is going to happen from doing it once. Persistence is key. Though Covid-19 has wreaked havoc on our life it also has given us time to be with ourselves a little more. More than most people are comfortable with, but coming out of this event we hope that we have grown. Grown to have more gratitude for what we had prior and acknowledge how important it’s to be conscious about our happiness and wellbeing. Events and situations are usually out of our control, but the way we react is on us.