It might seem impossible, but a few easy changes in your daily routine will have an immediate impact, especially if you take them seriously enough to actually change.
1. Stop checking email all day
Studies show that email can produce dopamine in your brain when the news is helpful and positive. However, most emails are not that positive, which can lead to disappointment. It’s better to set aside a particular time of the day to deal with your messaging.
2. Get outside once per day
You’ve probably heard this advice before. The issue for most of us: We don’t listen to it. We hammer away all day at our desks instead. If you get outside and breathe fresh air, you will find that you have a happier day at work, especially if you soak in some sun.
3. Give others positive feedback
Wait, isn’t this all about you? Not really. However, a side benefit to praising others is that they will return the favor and might want to hang out with you more. Giving positive feedback creates a positive environment for everyone involved, including you.
4. Eat a healthier lunch
It’s a general rule of office life that your happiness will be dictated at least partially by the food you eat. Scarfing down pizza and pop each day for lunch does something to your psyche, and it is not something good. Eat healthily and you will think healthy thoughts.
5. Laugh at yourself
A curious thing happens when you don’t take yourself so seriously. Everyone else notices, and they start treating you the same way–they want to take part in the happy vibe. Become known as a person who enjoys a good joke and can laugh at anything.
6. Limit how often you check your phone
Again, it’s the dopamine effect. Many of us check our phones all day because we are hoping for good news, which releases dopamine. However, studies show that this can also cause disappointment when every text, email, and social media post is not that positive.
7. Drink more coffee
That’s right, I am giving you permission to drink more coffee. A study by Dr. Honglei Chen suggests coffee can improve your mood throughout the day. It’s related to the antioxidants and…did I mention you should drink more coffee? That alone makes me happy.
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.