Celebrate Happiness at Work! Next Monday is International Happiness Day. Yes really.
In 2012, the United Nations (UN) declared March 20 to be observed as the International Day of Happiness. Its aim is to recognize that happiness is a fundamental human goal, and calls upon countries to approach public policies in ways that improve the well-being of all people. Its aim is to connect people, brighten lives, and bring attention to the many many reasons we all have to be happy.
All over the world people will be hosting Positive Flash Mobs, and posting pictures to social media. They will be sharing how they will be celebrating happiness, they’ll be taking challenges and doing kind acts for others. Oh and so much more.
We’ll be posting on our Facebook pages (https://www.facebook.com/ReturnOnHappiness/)
https://www.facebook.com/joannabrandi/ be sure to “LIKE” the pages, so you can see both our workplace themed thoughts and our personal leanings towards happiness.
You can also join me on Linked In https://www.linkedin.com/in/joannabrandi/. Watch both places for our mini webinars on How to Make Your Workplace a Happy Place.
Here is a list of the other must see and experience sites:
http://www.dayofhappiness.net – Here you can get your Action Pack – this has dozens of fun things to do, lists of happy things, and many more URL’s to explore.
http://www.actionforhappiness.org/ – Join the movement and get a bunch of free resources like the Ten Keys to Happier Living.
http://www.happyacts.org/#challenge – Stop here to take the challenge, celebrate happiness and be part of global mosaic telling people what makes YOU happy. WOW! What a way to spread the happy vibe.
https://projecthappiness.com/ – another robust resource for learning about happiness and enjoy happiness habits memes for every day of the week.
Have FUN exploring all these sites and the ones they lead to.
And for my two cents on the subject read on. I’ve spent over 12 years studying and teaching happiness in workplaces around the country. Positive happy work cultures create companies customers love. When customers love doing business with you they come back, buy more and bring friends (oh yes, they post their happy pictures using your products and services for all the see.)
The benefits of a happy culture are many – more productivity, profit, problem solving, creativity, innovation. Better health, safety, resilience, openness, stronger loyalty and yes, fun.
According to Dr. Martin Seligman, known as the “founding father” of positive psychology with whom I studied to become a Happiness Coach, there’s plenty of evidence being happy can have far reaching business benefits.
Happy employees create happy, loyal, referral generating customers by creating positive experiences they want to come back for. Ultimately, happy employees are resilient employees who create resilient companies – companies that can withstand the challenges of an ever changing, increasingly competitive marketplace.
To get started at adding happiness to your customer care tool kit, it helps to practice eight happiness factors that are in your control. No matter what personality you were born with, no matter what your circumstances are, you can boost your feelings of happiness by taking charge of these eight factors:
Despite what people say, optimism can be learned. It’s about perspective, how a person chooses to interpret and explain what he experiences during the day. We’re continuously making choices about how we explain the world to ourselves. If something challenging occurs and you think, “Just my luck. Bad things always happen to me,” you are reducing your happiness. You can increase your happiness simply by choosing to think, “Hmmm. There must be something good about this situation – what could it be?” The power of optimism is not to be minimized – evidence shows that optimists live nine to ten years longer than people who are not optimistic.
Willingly and deliberately take moments throughout the day to feel gratitude, and to express it to others. To get businesses on board with this idea, I advise clients to start an “employee gratitude journal” in which everyone is encouraged to write down something for which they’re grateful every day. You’ll be amazed at how powerful this inexpensive, quick and easy exercise is in creating a positive work environment and helping to transform your culture.
- Letting go of ill will toward others and oneself
Surrendering resentments and regrets, and making peace with the past clears the way for happiness to be felt more often and more deeply.
Improve your self-talk.
It’s important to transform your self-talk from negative and punishing to positive and energizing. When you make a mistake and find yourself thinking, “You idiot,” you know it’s time to take a deep breath, and ask yourself a question like, “How can I use my smarts to make this better?” Positive self-talk diffuses stressful situations, and when the brain relaxes it is more creative and better at problem solving.
Get in the “Flow.”
Is there any activity, interest or hobby you enjoy so much that you lose all track of time when you’re engaged in it? That state of being where you forget about everything else is called “flow.” Being in a state of flow actually increases your happiness. It’s when you feel like you are “one with the music.” I get there every time I give a speech or training.
Being “in the moment.” The great thing about savoring is that you can do it before an activity by happily anticipating what’s to come, you can do it while you’re enjoying the activity, and you can savor your memories afterward. Savoring is a powerful tool! I practice my savoring activities with dark chocolate (um, I’m savoring the thought of my first piece now.)
This is another tool for shifting your perspective. Look at a stressful situation as if it were an actual photograph, and think about the dozens of ways you could reframe it. You can crop it, enlarge it, make it smaller. Whatever you do, you’re creating a different view and perspective of the same picture, which can help you to transform negative feelings and responses to a situation into positive, happier ones.
Build on Strengths.
Research shows that enduring happiness comes from spending time in one’s strengths – having the opportunity to do the things one does well even better. Identify your strengths, then deliberately and creatively build on them. Evidence shows that over time, this skill works better at creating lasting happiness than antidepressants.
When you choose to be happy you’re choosing to create and work with a powerful business tool.
Happiness restores humanity to the workplace so that everyone thrives in every way. The emotional well-being of employees and customers is directly linked to a company’s profitability and resilience.
Even better – study with me and learn how to Practice Positive Leadership every day!
Be happy and enjoy the rewards! AND Enjoy International Day of Happiness!
Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.
– Mahatma Gandhi