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How to Increase Positive Emotions at Work

Updated: Apr 1, 2022

5 Tips for How to Increase Positive Emotions at Work

Positive Emotions at Work

Positive Emotions = Happy ?

Many people mistake positive emotions for happy feelings. In reality, positive emotions are beyond happy feelings and include excitement, joy, confidence, hope, gratitude, optimism, satisfaction and inspiration and more.

Why do we need to experience Positive Emotions?

Many research has shown that positive emotions are essential for anyone who wants to lead a happy and healthy life. Additionally, studies have shown numerous benefits that positive emotions can bring to one’s life. This includes but not limited to:

  1. Reduction in stress and boost to general well-being

  2. Promotes more effective coping mechanism

  3. Foster resilience

  4. Improve memory

  5. Positive impact on relationships

The PERMA Model to a Flourishing Life

Positive Emotions is the first element of the PERMA model created by Dr. Martin Seligman, American psychologist, author and founder behind positive psychology movement. To summarize, this element is about identifying and recognizing positive emotions that are present in our lives. Additionally, it is also being optimistic and constructive in looking at your life, whether it’s the present, past and future.

Read this article to find out if you are flourishing at work using the PERMA Model!

5 Tips for How to Increase Positive Emotions at Work

So, given how much time we spend at work, how can we empower ourselves to enhance positive emotions at work? It is not just only about being humerous and laughing but can extend to many aspects of our work habits. Below are my personal 5 simple-to-implement tips to increase positive emotions at work that work regardless if you are an extrovert or introvert!

1. One Task at a Time

Research has shown that multi-tasking often results in lack of focus and distraction, leading to frustration and stress. In fact, some researchers suggest that multitasking can actually reduce productivity by as much as 40%.

Accordingly, we can prioritize our to-do list, focus on more important tasks and increase our sense of focus, satisfaction and control. Therefore, check out applications like Wunderlist, Evernote or Microsoft OneNote to help you accomplish this.

2. Help a colleague

Helper’s Higha euphoria that happens when we do charitable deeds. This is the psychological theory being that giving, acts of kindness, produce a natural mild version of a morphine high, increasing our positive emotions.

Hence, try simple acts of kindness, express gratitude or offer support to colleagues in times of need! Not only will it make us feel good about ourselves, helping others also give us a sense of worth, purpose and happiness!

3. Regular breaks and walks

Regular breaks during the day is not only important for letting our pre-frontal cortex rest and recharge, but also critical for our emotional and physical well-being. In fact, research has shown that even 5 minutes of walking exercise during our breaks at work has lasting impact to our health and enough to help reduce the chances of heart disease, depression, obesity, and more.

4. Coffee or Lunch with Co-workers

Whether extrovert or introvert, we all desire social connectedness, including during working hours! This can increase your sense of belonging and connection to a team or organization. For the introverts like myself, it just means more 1 on 1 appointments than large group outings! So, go schedule that coffee or lunch session with a co-worker now!

5. One minute Anchor Breathing or Quick Body Scan

I found it really helpful to do a one minute anchor breathing or quick body scan during my work day, particularly after an intense meeting or before I go into an important discussion. Highly recommend Insight Timer, a free app with good quality guided meditations.

Ever since I started this simple activity, I have noticed a dramatic shift in my ability to remain calm in situations of conflicts, to take a pause and respond, rather than react. In addition, I find it easier to be present in the meeting or conversation and practice non-judgment and compassion.

Contrary to many beliefs, meditation is secular even though it has roots associated with Buddhism. In recent years, there has been growing research on benefits of meditations. One significant research findings includes neurological benefits such as increase in grey matter volume and enhanced connectivity between brain regions. In summary, meditation leads to increase of our well-being and quality of life.

Elynn Teo | Creator | The Mind Studio

Elynn Teo | Creator | The Mind Studio

From a finance-leader to a coach, Elynn is passionate about empowering others to become a better version of themselves and live a flourishing life.   Elynn spent 18 years working in highly dynamic and fast-paced corporate environments and held various global leadership roles. During this time, Elynn had the privilege to lead and serve global and virtual teams. And, it is through these beautiful souls that Elynn discovered her passion of empowering others to become a better self. Elynn holds a Bachelor in Accountancy, Graduate Diploma in Applied Positive Psychology and Graduate Certificate in Counselling. She is currently pursuing her Masters in Counselling.

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