Opinion — 02 September 2013

Some of us really enjoy our jobs; some of us don’t. It’s reality.

If we don’t like our jobs, some of us have the option of finding employment elsewhere. However, let’s be realistic — in this economy it’s hard enough to find one job. Sometimes we have to settle for something we don’t really want to do just to make ends meet. We may not ever get the wages or the hours we want. We may not get the office with the huge window or the promotion we think we deserve.

Even if we are not happy with our jobs, there are ways we can achieve happiness at work. Happiness starts by changing perspective. If we constantly focus on the things we don’t have, we don’t invest much time in looking for the good in the things we do have.

You can change your perspective with the following tips.

  1. Take breaks.bigstockphoto_Office_Work_2500703Far too often we get bogged down with assignments, eat lunch at our desks, and even put off going to the restroom just to complete a task. Breaks are healthy and they are important. Go outside and get some fresh air, take a short walk, or walk around your building. By getting up and moving you are allowing your mind to rest and your body to relax. If you are unable to leave your workspace, take a moment to slide away from your work and focus on something pleasant. If that’s still not an option, go to the restroom. You are guaranteed at least several minutes of uninterrupted, unquestioned time there.
  2. Create your own space.Most of us spend more time awake at work than we do at home. If you are going to spend the majority of your time at work, make it as personal as the environment will allow. A personal touch can really give you something to smile about. Even if you don’t have a “workspace” you can personalize your locker or car in your own unique way that provides a place of relaxation for you.
  3. Practice mindful breathing.One of the great things about breathing is that you can do it anywhere and it’s free. Just sit in a quiet place, close your eyes, slowly relax all of your muscles, and focus your attention on your breathing. Breathe in deeply and out slowly, being mindful of how you become more relaxed. You can also try a variety of breathing techniques and see which ones work for you.
  4. Surround yourself with positive co-workers.If work alone isn’t stressful enough at times, we sure do not need negative people in the mix. Stay away from negative people and negative thinkers. Surround yourself with those who are able to uplift you and find the best in most situations. If we surround ourselves with negativity, we too will become negative. Positivity breeds positivity.
  5. Step away from the work.Most of us are overworked. You may feel like taking a vacation will only be counterproductive because you will be further behind when you return. The reality is that we all need a vacation. If a vacation isn’t in your budget, plan a “stay-cation.” If time off isn’t an option for you, then make sure you leave work at work and go home to enjoy non-work related activities on a regular basis. It’s great to be a hard worker, but even better to have a balance.

We may not all be where we want to be, but we can make the best of where we are.

Written by Donna White. As first appeared in PsychCentral.


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