Expanding our Happiness

By Dr Natalie Flatt, Director

During the week, I presented to a set of amazing and mindfully connected leaders (which is always so encouraging) on a set of topics which can enhance workplace productivity. At the end of the workshop, I asked them which half of the workshop was the most they got out of the day. Thinking about differing HR software to measure contextual performance? The chance to save money and hours with looking at real time performance outcomes? No. And it wasn’t even the first section that grabbed them about recognising a low resilient workplace. It was the need to remind themselves to practice happiness and gratitude that struck the cord.

It struck me that the power of self-observation and an ’it starts with you’ attitude towards overall team change gives more impact than we give it credit for. Now this team was quite emotionally connected. When given an Emotional Intelligence test, they said the outcomes didn’t surprise them with many of them highlighting the need to watch their levels of self-regulation in certain situations. It was the HOW that got them stuck. We live in a society where it is so fast-paced, leaders have to push aside ‘unhelpful’ feelings without any recognition and get on with their day. This causes a build-up and is one main factor with leads to a disconnection with thoughts, feelings, and actions and is a major variable in boundaries, conflict and burnout.

So what can we do to cultivate our own self-care? Let’s just start with 3 things –

  1. “What matters most to me?” It is so important to stay in tune with what matters most to you EACH day. This doesn’t have to be arduous or long, but it plays such an integral part in our purpose and identity. This could be turning your phone off to cook dinner with your kids, incorporating an exercise regime, working on a puzzle, calling long-time friends over a cup of tea, or planning/going to watch a sports game with a group of friends. Take time each day to align with YOUR values; YOUR purpose is a reminder you are someone beyond the workplace and creating these boundaries states to both yourself and others that YOU are important and permit you to feel happy.
  2. Give to receive. Write a 2-minute email praising someone you know. Engaging in random acts of kindness such as activity produces a wonderful loop of happiness by increasing extra serotonin in both the giver and receiver of the kindness act. Serotonin aids in mood regulation, social behavior, memory, and other important brain functions. It can also start a positive loop of behaviour.
  3. Identify areas to change. cultivate optimism and practice positively reframing your circumstances by first identifying areas in your life that you usually think negatively about, whether it’s work, your daily commute, life changes, or a relationship. You can start small by focusing on one area to approach in a more positive way. Think of a positive thought to manage your stress instead of a negative one.


So I dare you to try this for 21 days. Positive people are 31% more productive. Only you will be able to unlock a new way of seeing situations. See this success follow you.

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