You can hack-into-happiness! And here are 5 practices to boost happiness at work.

Whether you love your job or not, whether you sit at a desk, in front of a sea of little faces, or even in a car traveling about – I’m sure you can use a little boost of feel good now and then. No?

As a “practical-life” stress expert, I love sharing doable ways to hack into happiness so lets look at the top 5 ways you can do this right now!

5 Practices to Boost Happiness at Work

1. Release Dopamine by Celebrating Small Milestones
Dopamine, released from the brain, helps us stay motivated by giving us a little surge of “feel good” as we achieve goals. To maximize this boost, you can celebrate small milestones in projects (vs waiting until the larger project is completed). High-fives, sending an encouraging email, celebrating at lunch or over a coffee are all great ways to encourage a release of Dopamine.

2. Release Serotonin by Practicing Gratitude
Serotonin, another feel-good chemical in the body, is released when you feel noticed, important or needed. And, the brain has a hard time distinguishing between actual or imagined/recalled events so recounting an experience when you felt appreciated or acknowledged will give you a Serotonin release. Proactively reach for gratitude in times of overwhelm; call to mind past achievements/victories or recall helping someone or being loved and supported by someone you care about.

3. Get a Hug and Your Oxytocin at the same time!
Oxytocin is sometimes referred to as the “cuddle” drug. Its gives us that sense of “we are loved, appreciated and part of a community”. Along with the obvious benefits of feeling loved and accepted, a hug reduces cardiovascular stress and improves your immune system. Research recommends 8 hugs a day! If you aren’t a hugger, your oxytocin levels also rise when you receive a gift so take time to enjoy the benefits when this happens.

4. Release Endorphins with Laughter
Endorphins help the body to alleviate anxiety and depression. A surge of these is what some athletes refer to as a “runners high” or “second wind”. If you aren’t up for a big run how about taking your sense of humour to work, openly share funny things that have happened to you, even a good joke email. Knowing that laughter releases these helpful endorphins you can be sure to “take it all in” and have a good belly laugh.

5. The Smell of Grammas Apple Pie……mmmmmm
Studies show that there are certain smells and even some foods that cause our body to release endorphins. If not apple pie, you can try keeping vanilla or lavender at your desk (there are essential oil “roll ons” at many health shops). Also, keep some dark chocolate handy at your desk as it will do the same (2 squares, 1/3 of a bar or a couple Hershey’s kisses). When the overwhelm sets in, stop and enjoy some aromatherapy for a few minutes or a chocolate break or BOTH!

Download the list to keep at your desk [Hacking Happiness PDF] and tune into my podcast Episode 6 where we’ll unpack the hacks along with some great stories and ideas on really rocking this.

OK. Let’s do this! Let’s show the world that we can hack into happiness by being the change that we wish to see in the world. You are The Full Life Ambassadors and I’m here watching you as you shine your beautiFUL light in the world.

Hugs (seriously…so you get your Oxytocin!)