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Have you ever considered how to create more joy at work? Huh? Joy at work? Is this a joke? If work wasn’t work, we wouldn’t call it work, right?

Well, work might not always be sunshine and lollipops, indeed, it might sometimes seem like the deepest, darkest, most inescapable imaginable bog. Yet even in the pit of all pits, there are opportunities to make things just a bit better. Beyond the “feel good” aspects, joy can even be a boon to business. Start with the smallest of things. Take action; you have nothing to lose, and potentially a lot to gain!

Simple Steps to Create Joy at Work

  • Smile. That should be simple enough. But make it a genuine smile, and not one of those gritted teeth grimaces. Find something positive in the day or the situation, and smile. Smiles are contagious; start an epidemic.
  • Say “thank you,” and mean it. You don’t have to be gushing. Be on the lookout for the small favors you receive every day, from a document dropped off in your office in person, to an offer to help you carry an armload of packages. You probably already say “thank you” automatically, but take a moment to really appreciate all the little gracious gestures that are offered during the day.
  • Make something nice happen. Bring in doughnuts for the gang, or make the first pot of coffee. Remember birthdays and circulate a card for everyone to sign.
  • Indulge in something silly. Add a goofy toy to your desk accessories, or get creative with the sounds on your phone or computer. Cut up a sticky note and add funny mustaches to the pictures of your kids on your desk. Buy a yo-yo and practice during break time. You might find a hidden talent!
  • Look to the bright side. No matter how crazed things are, somewhere there is light at the end of the tunnel and a rainbow following the storm. You will prevail. Ride the waves and refuse to be pulled into the undertow.
  • Be kind to yourself. Appreciate yourself. You are worthwhile. Don’t be pulled down by circumstances or the negative opinions of others.
  • Appreciate others. Look for the good in every person, and celebrate it. Tell others what you admire in them, and make their day!
  • Stop, breathe, and take a break. It’s hard to be joyful when you’re physically and internally racing. Hit the brakes. Give the adrenaline time to subside and your pulse time to normalize. Take slow, deep breaths. It only takes a moment. And when you’re thinking, “I don’t have time for that!” that is precisely the time a break is most needed.

It doesn’t take much to enhance happiness. Little things can go a very long way. The workplace can be stressful and pressured. There are impossible deadlines, demanding clients, unexpected crises and overall disasters. Take steps to break through the pressure. Take just a bit of time and a bit of energy, and invest in creating joy at work.

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