Positive psychology is an approach which helps to make life worth living. Some people say they can still have a happy life even if they don’t feel positive at work. However, since we spend on average a fifth of our time at work, they might want to think again!
Happiness is defined as a mental or emotional state of well-being which is characterised by positive or pleasant emotions. Considerable amounts of research in the positive psychology field advocate that success can be increased by the positive generated by happiness. More and more companies have started to reap the benefits of utilising positive psychology in the workplace, in particular a more engaged workforce which leads to higher productivity leading to increased profit.
To achieve positivity at work, check out our 10 top tips below!
Research has found an enhanced level of happiness occurs among employees who feel their voices are being heard. Having the freedom to be creative and innovative can motivate employees to share ideas and thoughts. In terms of well-being, the motivation and feeling of satisfaction gained from being creative can increase an individual’s positivity. Appreciating own strengths and using these in a creative way can significantly increase employees’ happiness.
2. Express Gratitude
Gratitude is being thankful for the good things that happen in our lives. In the 1990s a famous ‘Nun Study’ found a difference of 7 years life expectancy in nuns who reported more positive emotions than those who did not. This has since led to a new field of gratitude research. Keeping a ‘gratitude journal’ i.e. writing down the things you appreciate most, encourages one to consciously think about everything they have to be thankful for. When used over a few weeks these have shown to increase life satisfaction ratings.
3. Help Others
‘Helper’s High’ is the euphoric emotions released after a person performs a good deed for someone else. Researchers found that, in people who spend a few hours a week doing voluntary work, 96% reported feeling happier and 73% reported feeling less stressed. The same pattern of results is found when people perform a daily act of kindness for someone else. Just by committing to one act of kindness a day for ten days, people reported a significantly higher level of happiness.
4. Ask for Feedback
How do you respond, process and use the feedback you receive at work? Try to be proactive and ask for feedback frequently. Be it positive or negative, feedback can help you understand your performance at work from others’ perspectives rather than just self-assessment. Feedback should never be seen as negative, rather a platform for improvement and self-development.
5. Be Mindful
Mindfulness is the process of focusing attention in the present moment rather than thinking about the past or ruminating about the future, which can cause anxiety. Mindfulness is linked to greater psychological well-being and those who score highly on mindfulness scales also show lower levels of anxiety, depression and negative affect and higher levels of vitality, self-esteem and optimism. This is a powerful skill which can be used in any aspect of life to become a more positive person.
6. Be Proactive
Go to social events, meet and network with new people, and look for opportunities! Apart from learning from friends and colleagues, attending public activities and meeting new people can bring you new insights and inspirations. You might get unexpected results – a referral, a job offering, or even an invitation to do business together. Who knows?
7. Forgive Yourself
Dr. Fred Luskin found that learning to forgive can lead to higher self-efficacy and optimism and even levels of blood pressure and stress are reduced. This does not only involve forgiving others, but also forgiving ourselves. A lot of the time we can blame and direct anger on ourselves but it is important to step away from self-blame by allowing ourselves to process the consequences and move on. Being resilient is a skill, and we should learn how to forgive ourselves and bounce back from mistakes and challenges, which can make an enormous change to our emotional state.
8. Learn to say ‘‘No’’
According to Conservation of Resources Theory, individuals obtain and protect valued resources such as social support and self-esteem. When tasks accumulate, these resources can deplete and stress or burnout can occur, which can then lead to a negative workplace. Don’t be afraid to make kind rejections when you are unable to handle additional tasks, your subconscious will thank you for it.
9. Make High Quality Connections
Research by Diener and Seligman showed that those who reported the highest levels of happiness in their sample had close links to family and friends and commitment to spending time with them. It is important to place emphasis on developing social skills, interpersonal relationships and having good social support in order to increase happiness. Don’t hold back, talk to colleagues, friends or family – be more social and maintain your connections.
Remember to smile. Think about how easy it actually is, you can change others moods by giving away a simple smile! In turn colleagues will influence others and by the time you know it the whole workplace will be smiling. A positive workplace is so important to help overcome negative feelings. From now on, start smiling everyday, and spread positivity around your workplace!