How to Be Happier at Work in 2016

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Happiness at work is on the rise, with 86 percent of US employees reporting job satisfaction in 2014, the most recent yearly rundown available. The Society for Human Resource Management noted satisfaction levels were up 5 percent from the previous year, and you can boost it even further in 2016 with a few easy yet essential ways to increase your own personal happiness levels on the job.

Start with a Ritual 

Starting your day with an enjoyable pre-work ritual and a smile can go a long way toward making you happier throughout your entire workday. Your morning sets the tone for the day ahead, Time says, and starting out on a happy note can help the happy tune keep playing all day long.

PsychologyToday adds the act of smiling activates neural messaging related to health and happiness in your brain – and smiles are also contagious. Walk into the office with a big grin on a regular basis and see what happens.

Give Your Space a Makeover

Your office space should be functional, sure, but Inc says it can bring a dose of delight when it’s also personalized and organized. Photos of family, friends and pets can give you a happy burst throughout your day, while keen organizational tactics will eliminate the daily frustrations that can come from not being able to find, well, anything. Besides, a clean desk makes the workplace seem less harried and frantic.

Take your Breaks

Even taking a moment between tasks to take a few deep breaths can work wonders for rebooting your creativity, competence and cheerfulness, author Sharon Salzberg says. Go one step further, literally, by actually getting up and moving around the office during regular intervals. Any type of activity can help alleviate stress, increase happiness and decrease the risk of health woes associated with sitting around all day long.

Reward Yourself

Keep tabs on your progress, and habitually reward yourself for a job well done. Rewards can be a dinner out with pals, buying yourself something nice or simply taking a moment to reflect on how incredibly awesome you are at your work. Authors Teresa Amabile and Steven Karmer found the feeling of moving forward and making progress was one of the key factors in employee morale and happiness.

Show Appreciation to Others

Showing appreciation works on several levels. It makes you feel good to praise others, and they feel good receiving the praise. In fact, a Harvard study found people who were thanked or praised enjoyed an increased sense of self-worth which, in turn, prompted them to be more helpful to all those around them.

Bosses can show appreciation with employee certificates and awards. Workers can show appreciation for their fellow colleagues with cards, small gifts or a lunch on them.

Practice Acceptance of Others

Whether it’s a mean boss, a whiny worker or a colleague that just won’t stop gabbing, you don’t have the power to change the people around you. What you do have the power to do is accept them for who they are, or even put yourself in their shoes to help understand why they display their idiosyncratic behaviors.

Just as you started your day with a smile, you can end it just the same by taking a quick moment to reflect on everything good that happened. It’s tough to be grumpy at work when you realize how much good comes out of the workplace, with you as a meaningful, contributing force.