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5 Easy Ways to Be Happier at Work

In a perfect world, we'd be able to walk away from less-than-awesome jobs, preferably after making a well-scripted scene that somehow has no lasting repercussions for our professional futures. In real life, however, being able to ditch an unwanted job at a moment's notice is as rare as a meet-cute on public transit with the love of your life. It's the stuff of romantic comedies, in other words. If you want to improve your life immediately, your best bet isn't ditching your job; it's learning how to make your life better while you sneakily make long-term plans to secure new employment.

In a perfect world, we’d be able to walk away from less-than-awesome jobs, preferably after making a well-scripted scene that somehow has no lasting repercussions for our professional futures. In real life, however, being able to ditch an unwanted job at a moment’s notice is as rare as a meet-cute on public transit with the love of your life. It’s the stuff of romantic comedies, in other words. If you want to improve your life immediately, your best bet isn’t ditching your job; it’s learning how to make your life better while you sneakily make long-term plans to secure new employment.

happy at work 

(Photo Credit: Glen_Wright/Flickr)

Here’s how to do it:

Do You Know What You're Worth?

1. Do something every day that makes you happy.

Work-induced blues are a vicious cycle, and it’s easy to lose sight of what you really enjoy doing on your own time when you’re spending your workdays doing something you don’t like. Make a commitment with yourself to keep up with your hobbies and passion projects, and do a little something every day.

2. Make one of those things looking for another job.

Another thing you should do every day: look for a new job. Keeping your resume up-to-date and staying on top of the job market will ensure that you’re ready if something amazing comes along. In the meantime, your current gig might improve. No matter what, investing in yourself and your future will make you feel good.

3. Network the fun way.

If you hate networking, it’s possible that you’re thinking of it the wrong way. “Networking” is just a boring word for what people do naturally: form relationships with one another. Make time in your schedule to connect with friends, family members, and former colleagues who are interested in the things you’re interested in.

4. Exercise like a kid.

One of the best things you can do for your mental and physical health is re-learn how to play. Instead of drearily trudging to the gym, organize basketball games with friends or go for a walk. Exercise can be its own reward.

5. Practice mindfulness.

When things are going badly at work, it’s hard not to think of the future with apprehension. Mindfulness, the practice of paying attention to the here and now, can help you learn to live in the moment and stop regretting the past and fearing the future.

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Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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