If you’ve been slacking at work lately or feel like you’re stuck in a rut, if not even five cups of coffee can jumpstart your day, what you need is a healthy dose of happiness. A study conducted by economists at the University of Warwick shows that happy people are more productive at work. “Human happiness has large and positive causal effects on productivity. Positive emotions appear to invigorate human beings.” In a workplace that’s all deadlines and overtimes, finding happiness may be the last thing on your mind. But if you’re looking to increase your productivity, maybe you should move it to the top of your to-do list.
And there’s truth in the saying “The best things in life are free.” You really can’t buy happiness. You don’t necessarily find it in grand gestures either. You usually find happiness in the simple everyday things—things you can do on any given day to uplift your spirit…and increase your productivity. Here are a few suggestions:
Eating dark chocolate
If you’re feeling anxious, a bite of dark chocolate that has at least 70% cacao can help calm you down. Not only are dark chocolates rich in essential fatty acids that are good for the brain, they contain serotonin, a neurochemical that boosts your mood and helps you focus. Consume in moderation, though. Experts recommend eating only one ounce, about one small square piece, of low-processed dark chocolate a day because this treat still contains sugar and fat.
Playing mindless games
When your brain needs a break from processing data, reading emails, and typing up reports, help it recover and reenergize by playing fun mindless games: Challenge someone to a game of Everwing, play fetch with your dog, or doodle.
Create a happy living space
A happy life starts at home. Big or small, your home is a sanctuary where you should be able to rest and recover from daily stress, so it’s important your surroundings relax, inspire, and revive you.
Neutral colors and rich dark hues add a sense of serenity and calm to your inner sanctum. Adding water as an element to your home instantly draws the eyes to a calming element. The Armani/Casa interiors and amenities—the lobby, pool, relaxation area, bar—at soon-to-rise Century Spire, one of Century Properties’ prestigious skyscrapers in Makati, will help you achieve a relaxed state of mind.
You should make time for creating, daydreaming, or even just talking about something you’re really into. Learning a new skill or remembering the lyrics to a song also strengthens the nucleus basalis in your brain, the part that helps you pay attention and memorize information. So get crafty with some art materials or start building that LEGO cityscape you’ve been drooling over.
Being kind is a win-win situation. Whether it’s volunteering or simply doing someone a favor, helping others reinforces a person’s sense of tribe, reinvigorating the part of the brain that centers on community building.
Walking is one of the best ways to get over mental block and gain a fresh perspective. It also prevents Sleeping Butt, Dormant Butt, or Sleeping Booty syndrome, which is a condition brought on by sitting for long periods of time, weakening the glutes and eventually leading to aches and pains in the hips and knees.
It has been said many times that every person needs at least 8 hugs a day. Physical touch, especially prolonged skin-to-skin contact, releases oxytocin—aka the love molecule, hug hormone, cuddle chemical—which can ease pain, help the body heal faster, and helps lower loneliness, isolation, and anger. So getting your daily dose of “yakap-sule” has been proven to ease tension in your body and mind.
Efficiency at work isn’t just influenced by what you accomplish in the office. A lot of what you do outside work hours also has an impact on your productivity. Happiness plays an important role in your nine-to-five life, so make sure you invest in activities that bring you joy.