(By David K. Williams)
“It’s tough to be unhappy when you’re outside running, playing, and sweating. Exercising helps us not to sweat the small stuff—the little things that annoy us and take us off track from happiness. Another note: after exercising and sweating, please shower before returning to your workplace. This has a direct effect on the happiness of those around you.“
Did you know there are 11 ways we can make ourselves happier, and they are backed up by scientific research?
Our team tried out the popular productivity blog Buffer’s list of scientific suggestions this week and we added our own unscientific data to the mix. We spend a significant portion of our lives working, so why not do all we can to create a positive and enjoyable experience in the workplace?
We had some fun with it and hope you enjoy reading it. Feel free to add to the list with your own ideas on how to be happy.
1. Exercise More
It’s tough to be unhappy when you’re outside running, playing, and sweating. Exercising helps us not to sweat the small stuff—the little things that annoy us and take us off track from happiness. Another note: after exercising and sweating, please shower before returning to your workplace. This has a direct effect on the happiness of those around you.
We also believe that eating healthy is a key happiness factor. Traditional “comfort foods” laden with white flour and sugar might not be making you happy. We are not experts, but we do believe a healthy diet of natural foods increases the happiness factor.
2. Sleep More
Nothing helps you sleep at night better than an honest day of hard work. For employees with growing children, pass on this one. You aren’t going to sleep for 18-20 years.
3. Commute Less
It makes sense to us and it helps the environment. Plus, it allows you to accomplish the next item.
4. Spend More Time with Family and Friends
Become friends with your work associates and you’ll spend even more time with those you care about. Believe that people are doing the best with the current resources available to them. Stop wasting time judging your coworkers.
5. Spend More Time Outside
We come up with our best ideas not in offices, but while we take walks, go out on the lake for sales board meetings, and play ultimate Frisbee.
6. Help Others
If you’re depressed, stop thinking about yourself and go serve someone else. We become naturally upbeat, energized, and happy when we can see happiness radiating from another human being.
7. Practice Smiling – It Actually Alleviates Pain
We suggest taking this one up and laughing to eliminate the pain.
8. Plan a Trip (Even if You Can’t Take One)
Our receptionist rides a stationary bike so that she “could take a trip and never leave the farm,” as she puts it. She travels a few miles each day while talking to our customers and greeting guests. She also eats fresh fruits and vegetables from her garden and walks a mile outside each day. She’s the happiest person we know.
9. Meditate or Enjoy Soothing Music
We’re more likely to listen to music than meditate. We are passionately curious about life. Music lifts us up. We may be tech-geeks, but we can still rock and roll with the best of them.
10. Be Grateful
Our energy is increased when we add a little gratitude to all that we do. We are elevated by the opportunity to serve, uplift, and support others.
11. Get Older
Life gets better on the other side of 50.
As we mentioned, each of these ideas is actually supported by science. If you have the desire to see specifically how and why, you can see the research on each of these 11 elements (yes, we included a bonus).
Scientific data aside, when we look back on our lives, most of us remember the good things, and the tough parts fall away. We remember the friendships and the good we tried to do in the world. We realize there is no such thing as an ideal boss or a perfect company. We are all in the process of doing the best we can.
We are eager to hear your thoughts as well. What makes you happy? We welcome your additions and comments below.