Tis the Season for Joy on the Job

by Doris Helge, Ph.D. © 2009

Contrary to popular wisdom, it should be easier — not tougher — to spell “Happiness at Work” during the holiday season. Here are some tips for boosting your joy on the job during the festive winter season of peace and joy.

H –– Humor. Most of us act like we have delight-deficiency disorder during the holiday season. Research has proven that we get our work done better and faster when we relax and enjoy performing our tasks. Laughter reduces stress. Encourage employees and customers to think of bumper stickers they might see on the back of Santa’s sleigh . . . like “I brake for cookies.”

A––Ambience. Cubicles covered with constantly blinking, bright red lights will jar anyone’s nervous system. Substitute tiny, soft lights that provide the holiday atmosphere you’re seeking without disrupting your peace on Earth.

P––Perspective. The holiday season is a time to notice how blessed we are and give to those less fortunate. Organize an office donation or volunteer effort for a local charity. It will bring you joy and help you drop your compulsion to find the perfect gift for the person who needs nothing.

P––Postpone procrastination. It may look like Santa has no duties 364 days out of the year, but that’s because he paces production all year long. List what you think you really need to do. Take a break, review your list, and delete all nonessential tasks. Address a few items each day and you’ll accomplish all of your important tasks with minimal stress.

I––Infuse purpose. If you don’t want to attend a mandatory holiday function because you hate meaningless small talk, take charge of your life. Create precious networking opportunities with people you don’t normally work with. Be authentic. Other people will gravitate to you like bees to honey.

N––Not-to-do. Don’t agree to carry more than of your share of the load because resentment is a heavy burden. When you decide what to wear and drink at the office party, remember you may be making a presentation to the same people soon. If someone behaves inappropriately, extract yourself calmly and with compassion so you can maintain a business relationship.

E––Energize with alpha. Emergency room personnel and other high-stress employees understand the power of the alpha state of mind. This is a way of being in which we are relaxed yet focused. You can quickly and easily de-stress by focusing on your breath and counting. Create a pattern of deep rhythmic breathing even if you’re rushing to a meeting.

S––Strengths based language. Your internal dialog programs your reality. “When I accomplish this task” produces a very different result than “If I ever finish this assignment . . . ” Notice how empowered you feel with small shifts in your language. When you don’t know how to modify your self-talk, ask yourself, “What would an optimistic person say?”

S––Self care. Elevate your spirit. Aromatherapy is a mood mender. Lavender calms and bergamot stimulates the production of the feel-good neurotransmitter serotonin. Peppermint increases productivity and focus. Work in your workout time even if you have to shorten it during the holidays.

A––Altruism. Happiness at work is related to pursuing meaningful goals with an altruistic motivation. Give in fun, no-cost ways. Enjoy making the day of a harassed coworker by being the one person who smiles and doesn’t demand the impossible.

T––Talk it out. Express your needs instead of expecting coworkers to guess your stress. Some conflicts require new behaviors by both parties, but talking openly about stresses helps you bond. Connections with others are a major component of joy on the job.

W––Watch your cash flow. Most employees today enjoy gag gifts or a grab-bag gift exchange with a ceiling price. Companies have become very creative about enjoying the least expensive seasonal entertainments, such as caroling or enjoying free concerts. An in-house improvisational theatre performance can be delightful . . . no preparation and lots of laughs.

O––Open mindedness. We sap our energy and become lethargic when we unconsciously scarf holiday treats. Overindulgence weakens the immune system during the very season we want to celebrate. We can enjoy our goodies much more by eating a smaller amount and slowly savoring every bite. Eating thoughtfully ensures that we’ll stop before becoming too full.

R––Rest and recharge. Burning the candle at both ends guarantees only one thing . . . you’ll become ill and sniffle through a chunk of your holiday season. Get your Zzzzzzs. If you can’t find time for a tiny break during the day, imagine for just a few minutes that you are totally relaxed. Your mind doesn’t know the difference between what’s real and what you imagine. Feed your body feelings of relaxation. It will reward you with less tension.

K––Keep your focus. Anticipating a positive outcome stimulates happy feelings. The mere thought of achieving a goal, whether it’s a fun office party or receiving more support from coworkers, makes feel-good chemicals course though your body. Focus on what you want, not on what you don’t want.

To discover more happiness in all areas of your life, sign up for your free “Discovery Session” with “The Joy Coach.” You’ll leave the session enthusiastic, re-energized, and with crystal-clear clarity about your next steps.

You can also download free ebooks and podcasts like “Secrets of Happiness,” “Thrive in a Wobbly World,” and “Get the Respect & Appreciation You Deserve Now,” at http://www.FreeJoyOnTheJobEbooks.com. Doris Helge, Ph.D., is 100% dedicated to your happiness and success. Discover more at www.CoachingByDoris.com or http://MastermindWithDoris.com.

© 2009. This article was excerpted with permission from “Joy on the Job” by Doris Helge, Ph.D. Permission to reprint this article is granted if the article is in tact, with proper credit given. All reprints must state “Reprinted with permission by Doris Helge, Ph.D. Originally published in “Joy on the Job,” http://MoreJoyOnTheJob.com © 2009.

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