Happiness at Work

Happiness has been the subject of study for centuries and is perhaps the most common goal of human beings.
The pursuit of happiness, historically, has evolved from the will of the gods to individual accountability. Given its importance in the lives of all people, the United Nations has established March 20 as the International Day of Happiness.

Today, there are many definitions of happiness that can be found in literature, but it is often associated with a positive emotional state and feelings of well-being.
Happiness can be understood as a subjective state of well-being, whereby each individual person perceives his or her life as a meaningful and happy experience.
The way in which each individual internally perceives his or her life conditions and faces challenges is a much more important determinant of happiness than factors external to him or herself.
In the volatile and ever-changing world of work, the demands of knowledge, performance, productivity, and efficiency can place the worker under continued stress and pressure, leading to physical and emotional exhaustion, which will end in Burnout Syndrome.
However, there are strategies promoting mental health in the workplace that will also contribute to happiness, namely:
– set a work schedule and stick to it;
– defining priority activities;
– organize work by time blocks;
– not overloading yourself with tasks and delegating as much as possible;
– take short breaks throughout the work day
– ensure that you take breaks from work to have meals;
– promote positive work relationships;
– focus on the factors that are within your power to change;
– accept honest mistakes as an integral part of the job and learn from them;
– relativize work-related difficulties and do not assume them as the totality of one’s life experience;
– promoting effective communication;
– focus on the development of soft skills, such as teamwork, emotional intelligence, assertive communication, resilience, time management, interpersonal relationship, or flexibility;
– look for a job that allows feelings of appreciation, recognition and professional accomplishment.
An individual, in his or her life, never assumes only the role of a worker, nor does he or she live exclusively at work. It’s important to also value the other dimensions and roles of one’s life, in order to experience feelings of fulfillment and well-being as often as possible.
There are pleasurable states and situations, such as joy, satisfaction, conviviality, health, security, or optimism, that promote happiness. On the other hand, there are emotions that tend to diminish it, such as sadness, fear, anger, or anxiety.
It is important for each person to take time for themselves every day and start by thinking about what situations or experiences promote well-being (and they don’t have to be grandiose or difficult to achieve!). Some possible examples are: walking in nature, listening to the sea, watching the sunset, running, meditating, cycling, painting, going to the gym, dancing, watching a movie… or simply stopping and doing nothing. For the purpose of promoting well-being, there are no activities that are better than others. The best ones for each person are the ones they enjoy doing, the ones that make them feel good!
After making this subjective and individual discovery, it is important to implement daily self-care strategies that guarantee taking care of yourself, promoting stability and security to face the adversities that inevitably arise, many of them work-related…
Happiness is a subjective experience that is much more related to the inside than to the outside of each person. Don’t look for it in money alone, or in comparison with your peers, or in the acquisition of highly publicized material goods. Look for it within yourself, in your values, in the experiences and activities that cause you well-being.
Don’t aim to be happy always, but create opportunities that give you many moments to be happy!

Susana Moreira
Enfermeira Especialista em Saúde Mental e Psiquiátrica
Mestre em Psiquiatria e Saúde Mental
IG @saudementalporsumoreira
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