Generally speaking, many people aren’t happy at work.

Research indicates that some 70 percent of employees dislike their job and an estimated 36 percent would actually give up $5000 a year in salary just to be happier at work.

This is tragic when you think about it—especially given that we spend the majority of our weekday waking hours at work! The idea of finding happiness and positivity at work sounds nice, but deep down you might be wondering if it’s really feasible.

Whether you work for someone else, own your own company, or freelance—there’s a lot that you can do to bring more positivity to your work.

First, though, let’s get something straight.

You can only control your own happiness, not other people’s. As the old saying goes, “Most people are just about as happy as they choose to be.” But by choosing happiness for yourself and working to create a positive environment, you’ll be doing your part to create an atmosphere of positivity.

Ready to get started? Here’s how you can start making positive change today.


Research indicates that there are four key psychological building blocks that impact how we approach our daily work life. These four resources are: hope, self-efficacy (belief in your capabilities), resilience, and optimism (HERO). Working to develop these four things in your life will help you feel happier and more fulfilled at work. It will also enable you to rise to the occasion and effectively handle any challenges that may arise at work.

Practice Gratitude

Practicing gratitude is a great way to improve your overall outlook. In fact, there’s plenty of research that indicates that gratitude can drastically transform your life. According to one study, participants who practiced a little gratitude over a 10-week period were 25 percent happier, on average, at the end of the timeframe. Try training yourself to focus on the blessings in your life, and downplaying the negative things. A good way to do this practically is by starting a gratitude journal and jotting something down in it every night. Show gratitude in the workplace by routinely expressing it. Remember, a simple thank you can go a long way and have a long-standing impact on others.

Don’t Dwell on the Negative

Likewise, it’s important to recognize that as humans, we’re predisposed to dwell on negative things. But it’s important to fight against this temptation and to rise above. Instead of focusing on that perceived slight as an area that your co-workers struggle with, or your own feelings of inadequacy, it’s important to refocus that energy onto the positives; the good things about your co-workers, or areas where you’ve had success. When something happens, allow yourself a few minutes to feel upset, but try not to dwell for too long. Harboring anger or disappointment will only hold you back from success, so make a conscious effort to let go of the negative thoughts, and choose to move forward.

Treat People Fairly

If you are truly looking to make positive change, then consider the way you treat others. If you are short with others or talk down to them, they won’t be inclined to respond positively. Likewise, it’s important to recognize gossip for what it is. It may seem harmless, but it can ruin friendships and is the fastest way to destroy a positive, uplifting atmosphere. Always treat everyone fairly, with kindness and compassion.

While you’re certainly not responsible for other people’s happiness, there is a lot that you can do to influence the overall mood of the workplace. Focus on your corner: getting your priorities right, practicing gratitude, refusing to dwell on the negative, and treating others fairly. Remember: the goal is to do everything you can to improve your outlook. By shifting your mindset, you’ll be able to see challenges as they really are, and they’ll be less scary and a lot more manageable. In the process, your work will start to become more enjoyable as well.

How do you bring positivity into your work?

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