Scientific Sources


Below you will find at least one scientific source for each Solution Card in Choose Happiness @ Work. You may also find supplemental sources and information for each card. Please note you will find the short ‘because’ text for each solution here, but not the full description of the Solution. For that you will need to see the cards.

4-6-8 Breath

Slow breathing triggers a relaxation response, helping you manage stress for best brain function
Sources

  • Fifteen Minutes of Chair-Based Yoga Postures or Guided Meditation Performed in the Office Can Elicit a Relaxation Response. Geoffrey W. Melville, Dennis Chang, Ben Colagiuri, Paul W. Marshall, and Birinder S. Cheema. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol. 2012, Article ID 501986, 9 pages, 2012. doi:10.1155/2012/501986. http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2012/501986/cta/
  • Sudarshan kriya yoga: Breathing for health. Zope, S. A., & Zope, R. A. (2013). International Journal of Yoga, 6(1), 4–10. doi:10.4103/0973-6131.105935. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3573542/
  • Alterations in Brain and Immune Function Produced by Mindfulness Meditation. Davidson, Richard J. PhD; Kabat‐Zinn, Jon PhD; Schumacher, Jessica MS; Rosenkranz, Melissa BA; Muller, Daniel MD, PhD; Santorelli, Saki F. EdD; Urbanowski, Ferris MA; Harrington, Anne PhD; Bonus, Katherine MA; Sheridan, John F. PhD. Psychosomatic Medicine: July 2003 – Volume 65 – Issue 4 – p 564–570. doi: 10.1097/01.PSY.0000077505.67574.E3. http://journals.lww.com/psychosomaticmedicine/Abstract/2003/07000/AlterationinBrain%20andImmuneFunctionProduced.14.aspx

 

Active Constructive Responding

One of the best ways to build quality relationships and happiness at the same time
Sources

  • What Do You Do When Things Go Right? The Intrapersonal and Interpersonal Benefits of Sharing Positive Events. Gable, Shelly L.; Reis, Harry T.; Impett, Emily A.; Asher, Evan R. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol 87(2), Aug 2004, 228-245. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.87.2.228

 

Antioxidant Snack

Snacks can help restore willpower. Also foods high in antioxidants – such as berries and dark chocolate – are especially good for your brain.
Sources

 

Ask a Favor, Do a Favor

Doing favors for each other, especially when its reciprocal, helps build better relationships, which helps fuel happiness.
Sources

 

Assume Positive Intent

Feeling more compassion boosts your happiness.
Sources

 

Autonomy

Autonomy is one of the strongest motivators available. Having autonomy also lessens stress and improves mood.
Sources

  • Self-determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development, and well-being. Ryan, Richard M.; Deci, Edward L. American Psychologist, Vol 55(1), Jan 2000, 68-78. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0003-066X.55.1.68

 

Batch Your Email

People that check email at specific times of day experience less stress throughout the day.
Sources

 

Be a Sweetheart

being nice to each other is great for relationships, which are great for life-long happiness.
Sources

  • Happy People Become Happier through Kindness: A Counting Kindnesses Intervention. Keiko Otake , Satoshi Shimai, Junko Tanaka-Matsumi, Kanako Otsui, Barbara L. Fredrickson. Journal of Happiness Studies. September 2006, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp 361-375 http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10902-005-3650-z

 

Be Here Now

Those who focus more on the present are happier than those who spend more time in the past or future.
Sources

 

Be Outstanding

Physical activity boosts blood flow and therefore boosts healthy, focus and mood.
Sources

  • Sitting time and mortality from all causes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Katzmarzyk, P.T. et Al. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19346988
  • Television viewing time and mortality: The Australian diabetes, obesity and lifestyle study. Dunstand, D.W. et al 2010.

 

Best Possible Future

Doing this boosts your optimism, which increases your happiness, which makes this future more likely to come true.
Sources

  • What Is the Optimal Way to Deliver a Positive Activity Intervention? The Case of Writing About One’s Best Possible Selves. Kristin Layous , S. Katherine Nelson, Sonja Lyubomirsky. Research Paper. Journal of Happiness Studies. April 2013, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 635-654. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10902-012-9346-2

 

Bright Side

Positive attitude simply works to boost your mood. This does not mean denying the hardship, but it does mean also seeing the silver lining.
Sources

  • Optimism is associated with mood, coping, and immune change in response to stress. Segerstrom, Suzanne C.; Taylor, Shelley E.; Kemeny, Margaret E.; Fahey, John L. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol 74(6), Jun 1998, 1646-1655. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.74.6.1646 http://psycnet.apa.org/psycinfo/1998-02892-019
  • Effects of positive attitude on happiness and wage: Evidence from the US data. Madhu S. Mohanty. Journal of Economic Psychology. Volume 30, Issue 6, December 2009, Pages 884–897. doi:10.1016/j.joep.2009.08.010 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S016748700900097X

 

Bust a Yoga Move

Yoga can provide exercise mindfulness, and flow, all of which are good for thriving at work.
Sources

  • Fifteen Minutes of Chair-Based Yoga Postures or Guided Meditation Performed in the Office Can Elicit a Relaxation Response. Geoffrey W. Melville, Dennis Chang, Ben Colagiuri, Paul W. Marshall, and Birinder S. Cheema. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 501986, 9 pages. http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/501986
  • Optimal experience in work and leisure. Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly; LeFevre, Judith Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol 56(5), May 1989, 815-822. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.56.5.815
  • Exercise and well-being: a review of mental and physical health benefits associated with physical activity. Penedo, Frank Ja; Dahn, Jason R. Current Opinion in Psychiatry: March 2005 – Volume 18 – Issue 2 – p 189–193. http://journals.lww.com/co-psychiatry/Abstract/2005/03000/Exercise_and_well_being__a_review_of_mental_and.13.aspx

 

Call Your Calling

Those who view their jobs as a calling are happier and more engaged. what is your purpose? What’s the bigger impact of your work?
Sources

 

Carpool

Carpooling to work turns your commute into a social experience, making it a happier time.
Sources

 

Celebrate

Being there for each other in good times is a good way to build relationships. Celebrating boosts both mood and relationships.
Sources

 

Choose From Three

When we choose from fewer options, we tend to be happier with the choice we make. Prevent excessive choice, which leads to stress and unhappiness.
Sources

 

Collaboration and Delegation

Working together can deepen and improve relationships, and delegation can reduce stress and provide opportunities for others.
Sources

  • Cooperative behavior cascades in human social networks. James H. Fowler and Nicholas A. Christakis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America vol. 107 no. 12 5334–5338, doi: 10.1073/pnas.0913149107 http://www.pnas.org/content/107/12/5334.full
  • The need to belong: Desire for interpersonal attachments as a fundamental human motivation. Baumeister, Roy F.; Leary, Mark R. Psychological Bulletin, Vol 117(3), May 1995, 497-529. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.117.3.497

 

Communicate

The MIT Human Dynamics Lab’s research shows the best teams communicate frequently and energetically. They face each other and gesture, for example.
Sources

 

Community Table

Happiness is largely social. By eating with others, you relieve stress, boost mood, and improve brain function.
Sources

 

Commuting Audio Book

Data suggests commuting is typically an unhappy and stressful time. Listening to something absorbing or uplifting helps to boost your mood.
Sources

 

Company

Our relationships are a huge factor in our happiness. Working with others usually boosts our mood and effectiveness.
Sources

 

Courage to Fail

Failure happens when people are taking action, taking risks, learning, and growing. We can learn the most from our failures. This is key to achieving innovation.
Sources

 

Courageous Conversation

The quality of our relationships has a huge effect on the experience of our working lives.
Sources

  • The need to belong: Desire for interpersonal attachments as a fundamental human motivation. Baumeister, Roy F.; Leary, Mark R. Psychological Bulletin, Vol 117(3), May 1995, 497-529. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.117.3.497

 

Describe Progress

Progress toward clear and meaningful goals fuels happiness and engagement at work.
Sources

  • The Progress Principle: Using Small Wins to Ignite Joy, Engagement, and Creativity at Work. Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer, Harvard Business School Publishing, 2011.
  • What Really Motivates Workers. Amabile, Teresa M., and Steve J. Kramer. Harvard Business Review 88, nos. 1/2 (January–February 2010): 44–45. http://www.hbs.edu/faculty/Pages/item.aspx?num=37331

 

Develop Strengths

Using and developing strengths boosts energy and engagement at work.
Sources

 

Don’t Stress About Your Stress

Excess stress triggers the fight, flight, or freeze response, which can limit your brain’s ability to find solutions.
Sources

 

Earn Trust

Trust is a primary driver of engagement.
Sources

 

Emotional Intelligence

Studies suggest that people with higher emotional intelligence have improved job performance and leadership skills.
Sources

 

Eye Contact

Emotions are largely transmitted through our eyes. Eye contact leads to better relationships and therefore more happiness.
Sources

 

Fair Pay

While money can’t buy engagement at work, unfair compensation can lead to disengagement.
Sources

  • Antecedents to Employee Engagement: A Structured Review of the Literature. Karen Kelly Wollard, Brad Shuck. Advances in Developing Human Resources November 2011 vol. 13 no. 4 429-446. doi: 10.1177/1523422311431220
  • 12: The elements of Great Managing. James K. Harter and Rodd Wagner. http://www.amazon.com/12-The-Elements-Great-Managing/dp/159562998X

 

Fake it Until You Make It

Many studies show that what you do with your face and body affects how you feel.
Sources

  • Power Posing: Brief Nonverbal Displays Affect Neuroendocrine Levels and Risk Tolerance. Dana R. Carney, Amy J.C. Cuddy and Andy J. Yap. Psychological Science October 2010 vol. 21 no. 10 1363-1368. doi: 10.1177/0956797610383437 http://pss.sagepub.com/content/21/10/1363.short
  • The effects of BOTOX injections on emotional experience. Davis, Joshua Ian; Senghas, Ann; Brandt, Fredric; Ochsner, Kevin N. Emotion, Vol 10(3), Jun 2010, 433-440. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0018690

 

Find the Meaning

Intrinsic goals bring more motivation and happiness than goals motivated by external factors.
Sources

  • Cognitive Elements of Empowerment: An “Interpretive” Model of Intrinsic Task Motivation. Kenneth W. Thomas and Betty A. Velthouse. Academy of Management Review. doi: 10.5465/AMR.1990.4310926 http://amr.aom.org/content/15/4/666.short

 

Flow Indicator

Flow fuels happiness and productivity, and you need about 20 minutes of uninterrupted work time to focused to get into flow.
Sources

 

Flow

Flow produces happiness, and great results, by completely engaging people in their work.
Sources

 

Focus on the Positive

Focusing attention on the positive helps minimize the significant of negative emotions. Feed yourself positivity for best brain function.
Sources

  • Effects of positive attitude on happiness and wage: Evidence from the US data. Madhu S. Mohanty. Journal of Economic Psychology. Volume 30, Issue 6, December 2009, Pages 884–897. doi:10.1016/j.joep.2009.08.010 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S016748700900097X
  • Optimism is associated with mood, coping, and immune change in response to stress. Segerstrom, Suzanne C.; Taylor, Shelley E.; Kemeny, Margaret E.; Fahey, John L. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol 74(6), Jun 1998, 1646-1655. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.74.6.1646. http://psycnet.apa.org/psycinfo/1998-02892-019

 

Forgive

Forgiving when we are ready allows us to move past pain and improve the quality of our relationships, and our well-being.
Sources

  • The Virtue of Forgiveness as a Human Resource Management Strategy. J. Kurzynski. Journal of Business Ethics. January 1998, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 77-85. DOI 10.1023/A:1005762514254 http://link.springer.com/article/10.1023/A:1005762514254
  • Vengefulness: Relationships with Forgiveness, Rumination, Well-Being, and the Big Five. Michael E. McCullough, C. Garth Bellah, Shelley Dean Kilpatrick, and Judith L. Johnson. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin May 2001 27: 601-610 doi:10.1177/0146167201275008 http://psp.sagepub.com/content/27/5/601.short

 

Friends at Work

Science strongly suggests that social support is real, effective support. The right colleague can make a big positive difference in how you feel.
Sources

 

Get On the Ball

This works your muscles, resulting in reduced stress, improved cognition, and improved mood.
Sources

 

Growth Mindset

A growth mindset–focusing on how you are improving–leads to greater resilience and success.
Sources

 

Half Full

Seeing the glass as half full works to boost your mindset and mood. For example, at the midpoint of a project, focus on how much you have achieved.
Sources

  • Effects of positive attitude on happiness and wage: Evidence from the US data. Madhu S. Mohanty. Journal of Economic Psychology. Volume 30, Issue 6, December 2009, Pages 884–897. doi:10.1016/j.joep.2009.08.010 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S016748700900097X
  • The Progress Principle: Using Small Wins to Ignite Joy, Engagement, and Creativity at Work. Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer. First edition, Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Publishing, 2011.
  • Optimism is associated with mood, coping, and immune change in response to stress. Segerstrom, Suzanne C.; Taylor, Shelley E.; Kemeny, Margaret E.; Fahey, John L. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol 74(6), Jun 1998, 1646-1655. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.74.6.1646. http://psycnet.apa.org/psycinfo/1998-02892-019

 

Hallway Chat

MIT’s Human Dynamics Lab found that the best teams communicated informally as well as formally.
Sources

 

I Did It List

Progress fuels happiness, and writing an “I Did It” list helps you to visualize and celebrate the progress you have made so far.
Sources

  • The Progress Principle: Using Small Wins to Ignite Joy, Engagement, and Creativity at Work. Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer, Harvard Business School Publishing, 2011.
  • What Really Motivates Workers. Amabile, Teresa M., and Steve J. Kramer. Harvard Business Review 88, nos. 1/2 (January–February 2010): 44–45. http://www.hbs.edu/faculty/Pages/item.aspx?num=37331

 

I feel…

Disagreements are often less damaging with this approach. Relationships can more easily improve when we start with how we feel.
Sources

  • Emotion in Conflict Formation and Its Transformation: Application to Organizational Conflict Management. Andrea M. Bodtker, Jessica Katz Jameson. International Journal of Conflict Management 2001 12:3 , 259-275. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/eb022858 http://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/abs/10.1108/eb022858

 

Identify the Next Step

When we are challenged by new or difficult goals, a lack of clarity on the next step can lead to stagnation.
Sources

 

Just the Right Challenge

An ideal level of challenge is likely to lead to flow: being completely absorbed in the work and very happy doing it.
Sources

 

Learn and Grow

Career growth opportunities are consistently a key driver of engagement at work.
Sources

 

Listen and Respond

Feeling that our ideas are being heard and seriously considered at work is a major driver of being engaged.
Sources

  • Listening to your customers: The impact of perceived salesperson listening behavior on relationship outcomes. Rosemary P. Ramsey, Ravipreet S. Sohi. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science. March 1997, Volume 25, Issue 2, pp 127-137. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF02894348

 

Listen to Nature Sounds

The nature sounds will drown out more distracting noise around you, making it easier to get into flow. Nature sounds tend to be less distracting than music.
Sources

 

Manage Your Messaging

Instant notifications can take you out of flow, therefore reducing engagement, productivity, and happiness.
Sources

 

Mastery Goals

Mastery goals are motivating and are resilient to setbacks.
Sources

 

Mentoring

A mentor can share suggestions from a different perspective. You may be able to ask your mentor something that is hard to ask your boss.
Sources

 

Midday Workout

Being physically active on break can boost mood and performance when you return to work.
Sources

 

Mind Your Pressure

Some thrive under pressure from deadlines, for example, and others need to relax in order to thrive. Do you know what level of pressure brings out your best?
Sources

 

Mindfulness

Mindfulness boosts health, focus, self-control, and happiness.
Sources

 

Monitor Your Monitors

Focus leads to flow, which leads to happiness, which leads to productivity.
Sources

 

Name It to Tame it

The parts of the brain that name unpleasant emotions are different from the parts of the brain that feel them. Naming helps ease emotional states.
Sources

 

No Device Light at Night

White light at night signals your brain to not produce melatonin, making it harder to fall asleep.
Sources

 

No Work in Bed!

When we sleep, we learn. We experience less stress. We need to sleep well to think well and be happy.
Sources

 

Nurture Hope

Hope lifts both our mood and our ability to get things done.
Sources

 

Outside Information

In studies in MIT’s Human Dynamics Lab, teams that discussed information from external sources created better ideas and plans.
Sources

 

Pecha Kucha!

With only personal images and nothing about work, Pecha Kucha presentations build trust. Trust is a foundation of relationships and teamwork.
Sources

 

Performance Preview

Previewing performance can be highly motivating. Once we describe accomplishments we could make, we are compelled to complete them.
Sources

  • Combining motivational and volitional interventions to promote exercise participation: Protection motivation theory and implementation intentions. Milne, S. Orbell, S. Sheeran, P. British Journal of Health Psychology, 2002, 7, 163-184. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14596707

 

Plan a Vacation

Vacations are shown to boost health and productivity in the long run. They typically are pretty good for boosting happiness and lowering stress, too.
Sources

 

Play Fair

We are wired to want fairness. When we get it, we relax and feel more satisfaction.
Sources

  • When is it “a pleasure to do business with you?” The effects of relative status, outcome favorability, and procedural fairness. Ya-Ru Chena, Joel Brockner, Jerald Greenberg. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes. Volume 92, Issues 1–2, September–November 2003, Pages 1–21. doi:10.1016/S0749-5978(03)00062-1 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0749597803000621
  • HRM and service fairness: How being fair with employees spills over to customers. David E. Bowen, Stephen W. Gilliland, Robert Folger. Organizational Dynamics. Volume 27, Issue 3, Winter 1999, Pages 7–23. doi:10.1016/S0090-2616(99)90018-9 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0090261699900189

 

Positive Goals

Such goals are more motivating and spur more success. For example, instead of saying “I want to multi-task less”, say “I want to get into flow more.”
Sources

  • Goals and Framing: How Outcome Focus Influences Motivation and Emotion. Christopher J. R. Roney, E. Tory Higgins, James Shah. Pers Soc Psychol Bull November 1995 vol. 21 no. 11 1151-1160. doi: 10.1177/01461672952111003 http://psp.sagepub.com/content/21/11/1151.short
  • Succeed: How We Can Reach Our Goals. Heidi Grant Halvorson, Ph.D. http://amzn.to/1Po3aKq

 

Post Puppy Pics

Studies show that a glance at your furry friend may lower stress and improve performance.
Sources

 

Power Nap

Brief naps restore energy, reduce errors, and boost mood.
Sources

 

Practice Positivity

Positivity lifts mood. Teams with high ratios of positive to negative comments have increased productivity.
Sources

  • Positive affect and the complex dynamics of human flourishing. Fredrickson, B. L. & Losada, M. American Psychologist. 12pp. (Please note that while the “Losada Line” portion of this study has been discredited, the main point that high ratios of positive to negative comments remains solid.) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3126111/
  • Effects of positive attitude on happiness and wage: Evidence from the US data. Madhu S. Mohanty. Journal of Economic Psychology. Volume 30, Issue 6, December 2009, Pages 884–897. doi:10.1016/j.joep.2009.08.010 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S016748700900097X

 

Prioritize People

Relationships are a huge factor in our happiness. By prioritizing people first, we gain happiness and better brain function.
Sources

 

Prioritize Quality

Feeling that everyone is committed to doing quality work is a key driver of engagement. It leads to pride and satisfaction at work.
Sources

  • Business-unit-level relationship between employee satisfaction, employee engagement, and business outcomes: A meta-analysis. Harter, James K.; Schmidt, Frank L.; Hayes, Theodore L. Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol 87(2), Apr 2002, 268-279. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0021-9010.87.2.268 http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/apl/87/2/268/
  • Spicing up kindness: The role of variety in the effects of practicing kindness on improvements in mood, happiness, and self-evaluations. Boehm, J. K., Lyubomirsky, S., & Sheldon, K. M. (2008).

 

Real, Clear Values

When values are clear, decisions are easier and more likely to be helpful. Values can add meaning to work.
Sources

 

Remind Yourself Why

Thinking about the reasons behind a goal makes it more meaningful, helping motivate you to achieve that goal.
Sources

  • Goals and Framing: How Outcome Focus Influences Motivation and Emotion. Christopher J. R. Roney, E. Tory Higgins, James Shah. Pers Soc Psychol Bull November 1995 vol. 21 no. 11 1151-1160. doi: 10.1177/01461672952111003 http://psp.sagepub.com/content/21/11/1151.short
  • Achievement Goals and Intrinsic Motivation: A Meta-Analytic Review. Laird J. Rawsthorne and Andrew J. Elliot, Personality and Social Psychology Review, 1999, Vol. 3, No. 4, 326-344. http://psr.sagepub.com/content/3/4/326.abstract
  • Succeed: How We Can Reach Our Goals. Heidi Grant Halvorson, Ph.D. http://amzn.to/1Po3aKq

 

Remove Roadblocks

Progress toward meaningful goals is a key source of engagement at work. If the roadblocks were easy to remove, they wouldn’t be roadblocks. Get or provide help.
Sources

  • Job demands-resources theory. Bakker and Demerouti, in Wellbeing: A complete reference guide, Volume III. 2014.
  • What Really Motivates Workers. Amabile, Teresa M., and Steve J. Kramer. Harvard Business Review 88, nos. 1/2 (January–February 2010): 44–45. http://www.hbs.edu/faculty/Pages/item.aspx?num=37331

 

Ringing Meditation

Mindfulness boosts focus, self-control, health, and happiness.
Sources

 

Rock to Work

Commuting to work is often a miserable time. Music is known to affect our mood powerfully. Drive happy to arrive happy and spread your good mood.
Sources

 

Savor

Savoring of the past, present, and future is shown to boost happiness.
Sources

  • Positive emotion regulation and well-being: Comparing the impact of eight savoring and dampening strategies. Jordi Quoidbach, Elizabeth V. Berry, Michel Hansenne, Moïra Mikolajczak. Personality and Individual Differences, Volume 49, Issue 5, October 2010, Pages 368–373. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2010.03.048 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0191886910001820
  • Does savoring increase happiness? A daily diary study. Paul E. Josea, Bee T. Lima & Fred B. Bryantb. The Journal of Positive Psychology: Dedicated to furthering research and promoting good practice. Volume 7, Issue 3, 2012. Pages 176-187. DOI:10.1080/17439760.2012.671345 http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/17439760.2012.671345

 

Self-Review

Feedback is often challenging. Status issues can make you feel guarded before a word is said. Giving yourself feedback may be more effective.
Sources

  • To Avoid Evaluation, Withdraw”: Fears of Evaluation and Depressive Cognitions Lead to Social Anxiety and Submissive Withdrawal. Justin W. Weeks, Thomas L. Rodebaugh, Richard G. Heimberg , Peter J. Norton, Tejal A. Jakatdar. Cognitive Therapy and Research. August 2009, Volume 33, Issue 4, pp 375-389. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10608-008-9203-0

 

Seven a Day

Studies show a causal connection; eating fruits and vegetables–up to 7 servings a day–makes us happier as well as healthier.
Sources

 

SMARTEST Goals

SMARTEST goals are even more motivating than SMART goals. Make goals Educational to identify what you can learn, Significant so you care about them, and Toward to align with the future you want.
Sources

  • Achievement Goals and Intrinsic Motivation: A Meta-Analytic Review. Laird J. Rawsthorne and Andrew J. Elliot, Personality and Social Psychology Review, 1999, Vol. 3, No. 4, 326-344. http://psr.sagepub.com/content/3/4/326.abstract
  • Goals and Framing: How Outcome Focus Influences Motivation and Emotion. Christopher J. R. Roney, E. Tory Higgins, James Shah. Pers Soc Psychol Bull November 1995 vol. 21 no. 11 1151-1160. doi: 10.1177/01461672952111003 http://psp.sagepub.com/content/21/11/1151.short
  • Succeed: How We Can Reach Our Goals. Heidi Grant Halvorson, Ph.D. http://amzn.to/1Po3aKq

 

Smile

Smiling triggers, the brain to feel happier. It might feel silly at first, but for most of us, most of the time, it works.
Sources

 

Specific Gratitude

Gratitude simply and powerfully affects happiness.
Sources

 

Spend on Experiences

Research shows that money can make us happy if it’s spent well. Spending on experiences tends to bring happiness before, during, and after the event.
Sources

 

Spend on People

Spending on others boosts mood and relationships.
Sources

  • Prosocial Spending and Well-Being: Cross-Cultural Evidence for a Psychological Universal. Aknin, Lara B., Christopher P. Barrington-Leigh, Elizabeth W. Dunn, John F. Helliwell, Justine Burns, Robert Biswas-Diener, Imelda Kemeza, Paul Nyende, Claire Ashton-James, and Michael I. Norton. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 104, no. 4 (April 2013): 635–652. https://dash.harvard.edu/bitstream/handle/1/11320609/aknin,et-al_prosocial_JPSP.pdf
  • If money doesn’t make you happy, then you probably aren’t spending it right. Elizabeth W. Dunn, Daniel T. Gilbert, Timothy D. Wilson. Journal of Consumer Psychology. Volume 21, Issue 2, April 2011, Pages 115–125. doi:10.1016/j.jcps.2011.02.002 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1057740811000209

 

Spend On the Future

Money can make us happy, but only if we spend it correctly. Spending on the future boosts our mood with anticipation.
Sources

 

Start with Recognitions

Recognitions create a high ratio of positive to negative comments. That leads to happier brains doing better work.
Sources

 

Stomp The Stairs

A boost of exercise improves circulation, your cognitive function and your mood.
Sources

 

Stop Thinking Ruts

Perseverating and thinking in ruts leads to unhappiness. Instead, try to get to the root of the issue, replace the thought with another, and/or talk with a friend.
Sources

  • The Cognitive and Hedonic Costs of Dwelling on Achievement-Related Negative Experiences: Implications for Enduring Happiness and Unhappiness. Sonja Lyubomirsky, Julia K. Boehm, Fazilet Kasri, and Keri Zehm. Emotion 2011, Vol. 11, No. 5, 1152–1167. doi: 10.1037/a0025479 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21942700

 

Strength Spotter

Appreciating and validating other people feels good. Using strengths boosts happiness and engagement.
Sources

 

Stress is Energizing

In a Harvard study, those who viewed stress as helpful experienced less ill health effects from their stress.
Sources

  • Improving Acute Stress Responses: The Power of Reappraisal. Jeremy P. Jamieson, Wendy Berry Mendes and Matthew K. Nock. Current Directions in Psychological Science 2013 22: 51. DOI: 10.1177/0963721412461500 http://cdp.sagepub.com/content/22/1/51

 

Super You

Research led by Amy Cuddy shows this stance increases testosterone and assertiveness and lowers cortisol and stress reactivity.
Sources

  • Power Posing Brief Nonverbal Displays Affect Neuroendocrine Levels and Risk Tolerance. Dana R. Carney, Amy J.C. Cuddy and Andy J. Yap. Psychological Science October 2010 vol. 21 no. 10 1363-1368. http://pss.sagepub.com/content/21/10/1363.short

 

Sure Thing!

Brains crave certainty. When the world behaves as the brain expects it to, we feel better. Surprises often cause stress.
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Take a Break Together

Breaks relax and re-energize us, allowing us to bring our best. Breaks are productivity enhancers! The best ones get us physical activity and real social contact.
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Take a Day Off

All of us–especially those most engaged at work–need true down time to be more effective.
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Take Responsibility

Acting with integrity prevents problems and helps us feel good about our work. Taking responsibility helps us retain our power and ability to improve situations.
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Turn Off Email Alert

Email can be compelling and distracting. Turning off notifications lets you focus.
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Use Strengths

Teams that use their strengths are more energetic, more productive, and have lower turnover. Strengths assessments and training can help reap these benefits.
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Visualization Micro-Break

Visualizations trigger relaxation and reduces stress, helping many of us get into a better space to do our best work.
Sources

  • Steps toward a cognitive-behavioral model of relaxation. Jonathan C. Smith. Journal of biofeedback and self-regulation. 1998. Vol 13, Issue 4. pp 307-329.

 

Walking Meditation

In studies, meditation is linked with better self-control, health, success, management, and happiness.
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Walking One-on-One

You will think more clearly, remember more of the meeting, ease stress, and boost happiness.
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Watering Hole

We are social creatures. Giving people a chance to connect gives relationships, and therefore happiness, a chance to develop.
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We

You are all literally in it together. Acting that way boosts mindset, motivation, and relationships.
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What’s Working Well

When you find what’s already working well, you aren’t speculating; you are finding what really works for your people. Good ideas can be spread around.
Sources

  • Appreciative Inquiry as a Team-Development Intervention: A Controlled Experiment. Gervase R. Bushe and Graeme Coetzer. Journal of Applied Behavioral Science March 1995 vol. 31 no. 1 13-30. doi: 10.1177/0021886395311004 http://jab.sagepub.com/content/31/1/13.short
  • When Is Appreciative Inquiry Transformational? A Meta-Case Analysis. Gervase R. Bushe and Aniq F. Kassam. Journal of Applied Behavioral Science June 2005 vol. 41 no. 2 161-181. doi: 10.1177/0021886304270337 http://jab.sagepub.com/content/41/2/161.short

 

When and Where Goals

Deciding in advance when and where you will do something sets you up to follow through. The time and location cue the behavior. This helps form new habits.
Sources

  • Attaining personal goals: Self-concordance plus implementation intentions equals success. Koestner, Richard; Lekes, Natasha; Powers, Theodore A.; Chicoine, Emanuel. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol 83(1), Jul 2002, 231-244. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.83.1.231 http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/psp/83/1/231/
  • Succeed: How We Can Reach Our Goals. Heidi Grant Halvorson, Ph.D. http://amzn.to/1Po3aKq

 

With a Friend

Our relationships are a huge factor in our happiness. Working with others usually boosts our mood and effectiveness.
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Workout at Work

Exercise boosts health, brain function and mood–and dedicated space makes exercise more likely to happen.
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