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Don’t worry, be happy (at work)

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“In every life we have some trouble
When you worry you make it double
Don’t worry, be happy” – Bobby McFerrin

Just like the song “Don’t worry, be happy” from Bobby McFerrin released in 1988 (and which now I can’t stop singing to myself here at the office), as many as 85 percent of Americans might sing this tune every morning to cheer themselves up, and go to their job or workplace that doesn’t make them happy. Maybe that job is not their passion, their dream, or it’s not what they envisioned doing for the rest of their lives, but they have to pay the bills somehow.

The not-so-happy stats

The statistic that 85 percent of Americans are unhappy at their current jobs is according to a Gallup study. Yes, you read that right, 85 percent. And if you’re not happy in the place you work and with the people that you spend eight or more hours a day, there’s a big problem.

Surprisingly, ”while many assume happiness is a derivative of success, multiple studies have proven that isn’t quite the case. Findings underscore that many professionally successful people and those with notable wealth are actually not happy — often, quite the opposite is the case. Even more surprising is that what people might perceive as success could actually be hindering their happiness, well-being and overall economic growth,” says Jackie Ruka, founder of the Get Happy Zone, a personal and professional development organization.

You can be happy right now

Even though you can’t buy it on TV or online and I can’t promise you it will happen like magic, you can be happy too. However, there are some things you need to understand first:

  • Happiness leads to success. Therefore, happiness is NOT the result of success. To be successful, you have to be happy first. Is that clear? If not, re-read the previous sentence until you understand it.
  • You are responsible for your own happiness. You are your own “happiness ambassador.”

If companies like Costco, GoogleZappos and countless others have made most of their workforce happy a possibility, your company can too. These corporations have health care and corporate culture programs in place that help their workers be happier. 

Now, think about how you, as both a life and health insurance advisor and as a business owner, can help your workforce achieve true happiness. Bonus: Did we mention happiness decreases stress levels, which in turn, helps cuts down on health care costs?

Happy workers = more productivity

According to the Get Happy Zone, there are some things that you can do to help achieve true happiness. Here are some of the ones that, in my experience, really help shape the “state of happy” (I’m not going to list them all, but you can find more on their website or their book.)  

  • Be grateful – be truly grateful for everything. Every morning, my father is thankful for today and for the sun. 
  • Help others – help a neighbor, volunteer, donate, do one act of kindness at least once a day, even if it’s smiling at a stranger or wishing them good morning, and you’ll feel that jump in your step.
  • Have meaningful goals – have a purpose, do the things that mean something to you and that you truly enjoy.
  • Focus on your achievements – remind yourself of these often. And avoid comparisons. No one is you, but you!
  • Make work more rewarding by taking the initiative and daring to be creative.
  • And breathe. Slowly. Take in your breath and feel it curse through your body. In moments of high stress, this will calm you down. Why do you think they teach pregnant women to breathe rhythmically? 

June is also Professional Wellness Month or National Employee Wellness Month, an initiative that started in 2009 created by Virgin Pulse and other partners in the U.S. The program helps business leaders learn how companies can support employees by creating healthy corporate cultures, improve employee health and lower health care costs, while driving engagement.

The program has the support of corporations like Coca-Cola, Delta, Domino’s Pizza, The Hartford, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield, Nationwide, Northwestern Benefit, and many more! You can learn more here.

And if all else fails, just keep smiling or, you know, don’t worry, be happy!


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