Don’t Worry, Be Happy

Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project, and Sonja Lyubomirsky, author of The Myths of Happiness, suggest you take a cue from 30 Rock and stay positive about your job.

By Spencer Bailey


Look for a BFF:

“Find someone who you can confide a secret to, who makes you feel like you have a sense of belonging, a sense of being yourself, a sense of acceptance,” says Rubin. To establish such a relationship, Lyubomirsky advises performing acts of kindness for your colleagues. “Open a door for them, compliment them, bring them a coffee,” she says. “There are all kinds of benefits, not just for the givers but also the receivers. The whole morale of the workplace improves. You’ll feel less depressed and more engaged in your work.”

Move your muscles:

Getting your blood flowing lifts your mood. Rubin recommends a 15-minute walk outside in the afternoon. “It gives a big boost of energy and adds focus and good cheer,” she says.

Monitor your actions:

Maintaining a diary for at least a week can help you keep track of and avoid bad habits. Your journal, Lyubomirsky suggests, “will show a pattern: the times of day you’re more creative, stressed. A diary will give you insight into what makes you happy. It may seem obvious, but it amazes people when they do it. Not all of us are very introspective.”

Clean your cubicle:

A spotless workspace improves your mind-set. Says Rubin: “Outer order contributes to inner calm.” Her recommendation? Tidy up your workspace every day. “Having clear surfaces on your desk, having things filed away, not feeling overwhelmed by paperwork and unanswered e-mails gives you a feeling of control,” she says.

Get your beauty rest:

“If you feel like everything seems like so much work, if you’re irritable, you may just be underslept,” Rubin says. Try to get eight hours.


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