Work and Business

7 Powerful Tips To Be Happy At Work

top down shot of a desk

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I’m so pleased to welcome Darren from Live Zestfully who wanted to share these amazingly powerful tips to be happy at work.

Over to you Darren.


Are You Happy At Work?


To some of us, work is just a way to pay the bills and every moment spent at work feels like a living hell.  Yet to others it is their passion in life.

Work means different things to all of us.  I’ve worked full-time, which is about a third of my day, 5 days a week for the past 26 years.

I spend about another third of my day sleeping and after all my ‘adulting’ tasks when I get home there is not much time left of the day to do things that make me happy.

Does this sound familiar to you?

Just imagine how much better you would feel if you were happier for an extra third of your day.  The part you spend at work.

Most people who are unhappy at work have a whole host of reasons why, but one reason rarely, if ever comes up.

That reason is their own attitude towards work.

Approaching work with a different mindset can radically change your perception of it and help you enjoy it more, no matter what the job is.

Changing your mindset to be happy at work all starts with the morning routine. Stop thinking about what your job does not give you and start using the steps below to build a passion for work.


7 Powerful Tips To Be Happy At Work


Want to find out how more about how to align your strengths, values, purpose and passions with your work and look forward to Monday mornings?  Book your Power Hour call right now and find out how.


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1.  Morning Routine


To set yourself up to win and have a great day start by asking yourself these questions, either before leaving for work or as soon as you get into work.

My routine is to load up my planner every morning, which contains my morning questions.

  • What am I grateful for today?
  • What is great about my job?
  • Who needs me at my best today?
  • What can I get excited about today?

These questions focus your mind on the positive things at the beginning of the day.

You may find it hard to get an answer to some of these questions at first but through perseverance, you will find some answers because, if you are honest with yourself, not everything about your job is bad.

Reframe the questions where you feel stuck to help you answer them.  For example, what could I be grateful for today if I really wanted to?

This is not something you do once and forget about it.

This needs to become a part of your everyday morning ritual. I have been doing it for 3 years. When answering your morning questions try to come up with something new every time.

As you stack more and more reasons in your mind about why you are grateful, what you are excited about and what is great about your job, your mindset will begin to shift to the positive giving you more energy to embark on an increasing spiral of happiness at work.


2.  Managing Stress


Stress is both a blessing and a curse.

A small amount of stress sporadically spread out over the week is beneficial to both alertness and your overall performance.  It also gives you a boost of energy when you really need it.

Conversely, a high-stress environment can be paralysing and smaller but consistent amounts of stress may lead to job dissatisfaction and a regular feeling of unhappiness.

There are a couple of things you can add to your morning routine to dramatically reduce your stress levels and be happy at work.

Mindfulness Meditation

You do not need to sit with your legs crossed, resting the back of your hands on you knees with your fingers and thumbs touching singing “Ommmmmmmm” to make mindfulness meditation work for you.

Meditation is as simple as sitting quietly and concentrating on your breath as you breathe in and out. That is all you need to do to reap massive benefits from mindfulness meditation.

Try this exercise every day:

  • Before you start work find a quiet place, sit down, set a timer for five minutes, relax your body and concentrate on your breath, breathing in and out slowly.

It is as simple as that.  If you like you can do entire courses on meditation and breathwork, but they are not necessary to benefit from this basic meditation technique.

Related Post: Mindfulness Meditation – An Awesome Way To Calm Your Mind

Morning Questions

Stress at work usually occurs when you feel out of control.

You can mitigate the risk of ending up in this situation by planning in advance how you will deal with it.

Add these 3 questions to your list of morning questions to help you deal with the stresses of the day before they occur:

  • Looking at my calendar and to-do list, what things might cause me stress today?
  • How will I deal with these situations?
  • How can I minimise the stress caused by the situations?

This technique will not help you deal with emergency situations that pop up out of the blue but these tend to be rare occurrences.

Most stressful situations at work can be predicted, and if you can predict them you can use these morning questions to help you deal with them.


lady writing in a pad with a purple mug at side


3.  Learning / Growth mindset


Happiness is not a destination; it is a journey.

It is the things you do along the way to your destination that bring you the most joy.

The pleasure you feel when you accomplish something is a fleeting moment in time and it never lasts. The happiness you feel at work every day comes from how you grow in your day to day work.

One of the reasons people become unhappy at work is they feel like they know everything about their job, but there is always something to learn.

You grow through learning.  Here are a couple of questions to add to your morning routine to help you learn, grow and be happy at work:

  • What new things can I learn today?
  • At the end of the day, how will I know I have had a successful day?


4.  Gamification


All jobs have an element of repetition in them, some more than others and repetition often leads to boredom and misery at work.

A great trick to keep the boredom at bay is to gamify your work, especially the repetitive stuff.

Create a game out of your work.  It might be a time trial, a game to minimise the number of mistakes or something else. The important thing is it should be something that helps you improve your performance.

In addition to helping you be happy at work, gamifying it the right way will also help improve performance, your promotion prospects, if that is what you desire and your job security.

To help you keep gamification top of mind here’s a couple more questions to add to your morning routine:

  • What can I do today to make my work more interesting?
  • How can I make today’s work more playful and fun?


5.  Socialise With The Positive People


[tweetshare tweet=”“The quality of a person’s life is most often a direct reflection of the expectations of their peer group”. – Tony Robbins” username=”alisonw30″]

If you regularly associate with negative people, there is a high probability you will be negative with them.

The more negative you are the more unhappy you will be.   You may not be able to choose who you work with, but you can choose who you socialise with.

Where possible minimise the amount of contact you have with negative people at work and do not get involved in their gossiping. At break times seek out new people to socialise with, people with a more positive outlook.

Their positivity will rub off on you and that positivity will help you become happier at work.

Related Post: 7 Top Tips For Dealing With Toxic People


group of 3 women at table with laptop and coffee


6.  Enjoy The Little Pleasures


Lots of little things, when combined can make a big difference in how happy at work you can be.

A simple cup of your favourite tea or coffee can make all the difference to your mood.  Not the standard stuff you drink every day but the nice stuff.

Food is another small thing that can make a small difference to your happiness at work. Instead of bringing the same lunch every day, think of new healthy and nutritious meals to bring in.

Food can be a good conversation starter around lunchtime. When you bring in nice things to eat you will be asked about them. Someone may even ask for the recipe. This can help lift your mood at lunchtime and set you up for a great afternoon.

Make a list of other little pleasures that may help lift your mood at work.

Here are a few things you might want to try but you’ll need to come up with your own that are unique to you:

  • Brighten up your wardrobe
  • Put a picture of your loved one on your desk
  • Subscribe to a ‘Joke of the day’ newsletter


7.  Health


The state of your body has a huge impact on your mood and as an extension of this your ability to be happy at work. The three key areas are sleep, food, and exercise.


Lack of sleep can dramatically impair your performance at work and leave you feeling irritable.

Coffee is no substitute for lack of sleep, it might give you a short boost but it will not be long before you need more and your mood will be up and down all day.

Aim for a minimum of 6 hours of sleep, more if you can but never less. As a rule plan for 7 – 8 hours and if you end up with 6 that’s fine.  However, if you plan for 6 and actually get 5 you will have trouble functioning effectively throughout the day.

Related Post:  7 Little Known Tricks To Help You Sleep Well


The food you eat is also vitally important, garbage in, garbage out.

Filling yourself with energy drinks and fast food with very few fruits and vegetables will leave you feeling sluggish, but fast food does not need to be unhealthy.

I can rustle up a bean chilli suitable for two days of lunches in about 1 minute.

Open a can of cooked beans and drain, add a chilli spice mix and a can of tomatoes and mix. At lunch the next day heat in the microwave and serve with 2 warm (microwave for 30 seconds) wholemeal wraps. Quick, simple, healthy and delicious food.

To eat a good breakfast and lunch, do a Google search for quick, healthy recipes.

Experiment for a few months until you have enough healthy, tasty meals so you can have a different meal every day or two for three weeks and rotate so you do not get bored of the same thing.


chopping board with olive oil herbs and garlic



Finally exercise, preferably in the morning.

Exercise will wake you up and if done in the morning it will help speed up your metabolism for the rest of the day.  I personally prefer cardio in the morning.  I either run from home or work, grab a shower and I am raring to go.

I’ve got more energy, more ‘get up and go’ throughout the day after exercise in the morning than I do if I have no exercise.

Exercise has also been shown to help reduce stress. Find something you enjoy; it might just be a walk and do it every morning before work.

Related Post:  10 Awesome Ways To Crack Your Fitness Online




Sometimes a bad job is a bad job and no matter what you try you will not find a way to be happy at work.

If you have one of these jobs and you have tried all the things in this post, you should seriously consider finding a new job.  That said, a job this bad tends to be the exception, not the rule, and your job probably isn’t this bad yet.

Most jobs are worth investing the time in learning how to be happy at work. All you need is a set of solid tools in your mental toolbox to start enjoying life at work.

There are a lot of tools in this post. Not all of them will work for you because your situation is unique to you, but you will never find out which ones do work until you try them. You do not need to ask yourself all the morning questions, just select the ones most appropriate to you.

Over the next few weeks try them all out and come back to leave a comment with your results.  I would love to hear both your successes and failures so that everybody who reads this will benefit and we can help each in achieving greater levels of happiness at work.


Author Bio



Darren Hodgson is a personal development blogger and mentor.

He’s on a mission to help people find more joy and satisfaction in life to feel happier every day.

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  1. Nkem

    I really like the idea of creating a game out of tasks at work. Sometimes things can seem so dull, but throwing a little imagination in there seems to do the trick for me!

  2. Alyssa

    Great read. I completely agree with keeping a routine. I find so much comfort in knowing what my day holds.

  3. Kathleen Wonders

    Love this post! I was in one of those jobs you mentioned at the end and switched to another one. The one I transferred to isn’t the best either, but changing my mindset when I woke up in the morning from “oh man I don’t want to work” to “excited to get things done today! Glad I have a job” really changed a lot. Also, having some relaxing music in the background helps. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Alison

      Thanks Kathleen, glad you enjoyed the post and also that you’ve found the benefits of changing the way you look at things 🙂

  4. Darren Hodgson

    Hi Nken, this works even better if you work with a group of people doing the same job because you can turn it into a bit of friendly competition. Compete on time and quality of work. How fast can you perform the activity to a minimum standard. You’re only limited by your imagination.

  5. Darren Hodgson

    Hi Kathleen,

    Playing relaxing music is a great idea. Whenever you find yourself having one of the ‘Blah’ moments, ask yourself, “What do I have control over that I can add or take away from this situation to make it better? You added relaxing music. It’s like the peanut butter sandwich, it’s OK but add a banana and it’s one of my favorite foods.

  6. Darren Hodgson

    Hi Alyssa, I agree routines are great, when I speak to some people the say ‘Routine’ pft, I hate routine, I’m like a bird, I fly free and go where ever the day takes me.

    Now that’s fine but when you’re rushing out of the door in the morning all frazzled and stressed and you get to work and realize you’ve left your door pass at home so you need to ask people all day to let you through the security doors, that’s the value of routine, you don’t end up in these situations very often because you have your routine.

    You can fly free like a and still have your routines, they’re not mutually exclusive.

  7. Chloe Chats

    Great post! I love the idea of making a game out of a task to make it more interesting. My work is pretty repetitive so can get a little boring sometimes! I do find surrounding myself with positive people definitely helps. Also exercise has been great for me recently, since I’ve been working from home since march I needed to do something to boost my energy so I have been doing home workouts every day and it has definitely improved how my mood feels overall. Great tips, thanks for sharing!

    Chloe xx

    1. Alison

      Thanks Chloe, I loved the game idea too and am going to be looking for ways to include this in my day! Exercise definitely helps too. 🙂

  8. Pam

    Amazing post!! My full-time job (now part-time) is in the service industry and I can honestly say – it’s BRUTAL. It does not feed my soul in the slightest – but does it pay the bills while I work towards my real goals? Yes! These are AMAZING suggestions on how to help me get through the work shift. I love the “gamification” aspect. I’ve never heard of this before but WOW – this could be such a game-changer. I work with my partner and I can see us making a little game out of our shifts to help it go by. Thank you SO much for these!

  9. Yolanda

    This is such a stellar post, Darren! I work for myself now, but I wish I had read this advice when I was working the corporate grind for years. Even though there were many elements of my jobs that I loved the stress was overwhelming at times. I love your tip about making a game of tedious tasks. I sometimes do that with mundane tasks – set a timer and see how much I can complete, but with your recommendation, I’m going to do it even more. Thanks for the brilliant advice!

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