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How to Be Happier at Work

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Sometimes your coworkers really make you angry. Work dropped in your lap with no notice when you’re already swamped, management not respecting your off time and personal time and not being listened to are all sure to make you angry. Here are a few ways to be happier around the office.

How often do you have time to take a lunch? When you do, where do you go? Whether or not you like your job, being stuck inside when it’s nice outside can make you feel like a caged animal. It depends on what I have going on during any given day. Sometimes if I stop for 20 minutes to eat, I’m an hour and a half behind, so I skip lunch, which isn’t good. When you go too long between snacks and meals, it causes a drop in blood sugar and cravings for unhealthy things and then you binge on those unhealthy things and then your pants don’t fit. Qing Li, M.D., a professor at the Nippon Medical School in Tokyo suggests taking time to take a lunch. Sometimes just brown bagging it and finding a lonely picnic table can be a real pick me up. In an attempt to reduce your stress level, find a park and take the time to take it all in. If you’re lucky enough to get an hour for lunch, take your time eating and then take a walk. It can be a definite mood changer.

“Time flies when you’re at work” said no one ever, but did you know that the smell of coffee can make time seem to go faster? Scientists at the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation of Chicago found that inhaling a coffee scent made time seem like it was going roughly 14 percent faster than it actually was. Dr. Alan Hirsch (the genius behind Sensa) says it’s because coffee is associated with alertness and productivity, so, if your day feels like it’s dragging, have a shot of coffee, or if you’re allowed, light a small coffee scented candle at your desk. Doing that can help you focus on tasks and not the clock.

Do you have a desk job? How often do you get up and walk around? I sit at a desk more than people think and I almost never take the time to get up and take a walk. I’m not talking about walking to the copy machine or printer. A real, get away from your desk, leave your phone behind, get up and move walk. Even if it’s just a couple of spins around the block. Did you know too much sitting has been linked with an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and mortality? Lucas Carr, Ph.D., of the University of Iowa in Iowa City recommends moving about once per hour. Taking a brisk five or ten minute walk can up your metabolism and lower your bad cholesterol. Also, when you exercise, it boosts feel good chemicals in your brain called endorphins and those are a definite pick me up.

What mood boosters do you use around the office?

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