While there’s so much talk about happiness, and being positive in the workplace – some people question, are we supposed to fake it and act happy, even if we’re not? How is that authentic?
Let’s face it, it doesn’t always come naturally to be positive and happy. Some of us may have to work harder at it. And most of us, at different times in our lives, may occasionally need help with switching to being more positive and happy.
Let’s start inside, and explore our thoughts and beliefs around happiness:
Do you fundamentally believe that we have a right to be happy?
Do you believe it is a choice?
Do you enjoy being positive (as opposed to being negative, angry, sad, or pitied)?
Do you believe it is healthier to be happy? Do you think it’s better to not infect others with your misery?
Can we be happy - and still be direct, in charge, and get things done?
Do you believe you can change your thoughts, beliefs, and physiology and focus more on the positive and make yourself happy?
Now, here’s 5 steps you can take:
Decide if you want to be happy – are there enough benefits to make it worth the effort? What is in it for you, and your family, friends, etc, for you to be happy?
Choose what to think. Put positive thoughts and beliefs in. To work on being happier, find positive and humorous people, books, television shows and movies, rather than cynical, negative people and media. Practice a daily mantra to change your thoughts and beliefs. “I am happy - and effective!”
Let go of whatever obstacles are keeping you from happiness. Sometimes we aren’t even aware of our constraints. Ask yourself “why wouldn’t I want to be happy,” and this might reveal a belief that’s holding you back.
Do the physical things to make yourself happier. Exercise, listening and dancing to your favorite music, and simply changing your physiology (just a simple smile) will improve your happiness. Amy Cuddy has a great TED talk on this. “Fake it ‘till you make it” holds true here!
Practice, practice, practice. Just like anything new, we have to make it a part of our life, not just a fad. Practice being positive and you’ll be happier!