Need to know how to be happy at work when you hate it? Feel trapped in your job or need to do it while you’re working towards larger goals?
While I’m a huge advocate for self-improvement and positive mental health, I totally understand that some people need to stick with an unhappy job for a while.
If this is the situation you’re in, you’re doing the right thing by looking for ways to be happier and make the best of your situation.
In this article, I’m covering eight things you should do to increase your satisfaction and happiness while at work even though you hate being there.
Making these changes will also have a hugely positive impact on you and your life, and help you create a better future and career for yourself:
8 Things to Do That Will Make You Happier in and Out of Work
Start Your Day With the Right Mindset
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “He must have got out of the wrong side of the bed” when someone looks like they’re having a bad day.
Well, what if I told you you could always get out of the ‘right’ side of the bed by establishing a morning routine.
I’m not saying that all of your problems will go away or there are any guarantees you’ll have a good day, but it certainly helps.
After you get up, make time to do a little exercise, eat a healthy breakfast, get ready for work without rushing, meditate, and do whatever else makes you feel good about yourself.
Setting the tone for an inspired and positive day is going to go a long way to helping you keep your stress and anxiety levels low, and make the best of whatever challenges you face.
Don’t Get Involved in Negativity at Work
Toxic workplaces are surprisingly common. In fact, Inc. published a report where 40,000 employees were interviewed about their work environment, and the results were overwhelmingly negative.
Signs of a toxic work environment include low morale, high turnover, high levels of stress, negativity, bullying, and general unrest.
If you’re surrounded by any of these things or other negative behaviors, don’t get involved. It’s hard when you’re surrounded by a toxic culture, but do everything you can to distance yourself.
Have Fulfilling Hobbies to Look Forward to Out of Work
You might not be able to improve your work situation right now, but you can always do something to improve your life outside of work.
Getting involved in hobbies and fun activities outside of work will give you something to look forward to.
It’ll also take your mind off of work, raise your morale, and you might meet some awesome people. Can’t think/find a hobby? Why not volunteer somewhere, there is always a need for enthusiastic volunteers.
The problem for a lot of people is that they get wrapped up in the vicious circle of feeling down and unmotivated due to work and not feeling motivated to do fun stuff outside of work.
Don’t let that happen to you.
Live a Healthy Lifestyle Outside of Work
Physical activity and being physically fit is not only good for your body, but it’s also so good for your mental health.
Don’t let being unhappy at work get in the way of you looking after your physical and mental health.
If you exercise regularly, eat healthily, and meditate, you’ll be much better equipped to deal with your daily challenges and manage stress.
Make Sure You Have a Good Network of Family and Friends to Talk To
Having a strong and reliable network of supportive friends and family members is pivotal to your wellness and mental health when things are going well.
If you’re having a tough time at work, it’s even more important that you have that support network in place to turn to.
It’s amazing how just having someone to talk to can help to turn a bad day around. The advice, security, and support from loved ones who genuinely have your best interests at heart cannot be beaten.
No matter how down you feel, don’t push your friends and family away.
Set Yourself Short and Long-Term Goals
Setting goals are important for self-improvement and life in general. Setting work-related goals are also important if you’re going to have a successful career.
Careers rarely end up how they start out. I’ve done my fair share of odd jobs, spent time studying or working towards something that I knew deep down I really didn’t want, and so on.
But I always had the long-term goal of working for myself, and after a brief rollercoaster, I’m happy to say I got there.
This was only made possible by setting out short-term goals and milestones, as well as never losing track of my long-term goal of being self-employed.
Write down what you want to happen in the short and long term. Say, where you want to be 6 months from now, 12 months, 2 years, and so on.
When your current job is getting you down, write down how it’s helping you take steps towards your goals.
Get To the Root of Why You’re Unhappy
A lot of people feel unhappy at work, but they don’t really know why they’re unhappy and what they should be doing to find a solution.
Spend some time to ask yourself exactly what it is you’re unhappy about.
Jot everything down on a piece of paper, and next to each point write down what the best solution is.
Then see how many solutions are within your control, those you can bring up with your manager, and any other ways you can tackle these problems.
If you can start resolving pain points one by one, you’ll feel that dark cloud following you around start to dissipate.
Identify the Positive Things About Your Job
Positive thinking helps improve mental health, reduces stress, will help you to have a more positive outlook, and will even help you feel physically better.
If you spend more time focusing on the positive things in your life and work over the negatives, you’ll be in a better place mentally.
It’s really as simple as that.
Before you say, “There aren’t any positives in my job”, if you take a good look at your working situation, I know you can find some positives.
Even if it’s simply the fact that you’re gaining experience, meeting new people, and earning money to pursue other goals, those are some pretty big positives.
Write down your positives, and when you’re feeling down about your work read through them and remind yourself why you’re doing this in the short term.
Should I Quit My Job if I’m Not Happy?
This is always a tough one to answer on behalf of someone else as most of us need to work to survive. But, in my opinion, there is a clear line.
If you’re so unhappy at work that your job is causing you mental, psychological, or physical harm, you need to do something to change your situation.
It really comes down to risk. How bad do you want to change your situation?
What Are the Psychological Effects of Hating Your Job?
Studies clearly show that people who hate their jobs and don’t do anything to improve their situations are more likely to suffer from depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses.
This can easily affect other areas of your life and cause you to make bad decisions that can spiral out of control.
How Can I Start Enjoying My Job?
There are ways you can enjoy your job more. To summarize the points I covered in the article above, you need to;
Have a more positive mindset, identify the things you do enjoy, avoid toxic people, live a healthier life, lean on your support network, set goals, and work on self-improvement.
Image credits – Photo by Tim van der Kuip on Unsplash
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.