Are there days when the overwhelm of stress about your workload and deadlines get to you? And once that happens, how does the overwhelm impact the quality of your work day and your happiness? If you’re like many in business, whether as a business owner, in the C-Suite or in the workforce, you probably take a lot of the stress and overwhelm home with you into the rest of your life. This is especially disturbing when you consider that about 70% of your life is often spent at work!

Happiness can feel like an elusive ghost. Sure, you can clear your head, go to the gym, take a walk, guzzle down a glass of wine or beer but does it ever truly “go away?” Unless you can learn to BEND OVERWHELM INTO HAPPINESS it will most likely merge into the rest of your life when you go home after a long day.

Just to be clear, happiness is often thought of as a coveted thing to achieve. But if you’re completely honest with yourself, can you really stay only in the emotion of happiness ALL THE TIME? Hah!

Emotions do not work that way! Even in a so called perfect world, being happy is like the ebb and flow of the tide. So, when you can shore up to all of your emotional range as a human being, life becomes more richly layered.

The area of positive psychology identifies some key areas to consider. One area is how rampant a lack of engagement has become in the workplace. Recent Gallup research puts a $500 Billion dollar deficit cost annually due to disengagement! So, it’s huge and how does that impact you at work?

One study found that employees who were happy, felt valued and in alignment with the work culture purpose, were more productive up to 20% than unhappy employees. And for sales teams, an even greater impact of happiness at work raising sales by 37%. Happy employees are also good for organizations. Stock prices of Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” rose 14% per year from 1998 to 2005, while companies not on the list only reported a 6% increase.

If happiness seems linked to productivity and profit, what does it mean to be happy at work?

Some Keys seem to be:

  • Employees want to feel valued and not just in job title or pay
  • Engagement, productiveness and job satisfaction appears to increase when their individual skills and abilities continues to grow and flourish. Stagnation does not promote happiness or well-being at work it seems.
  • Have the job and the company fit a part of your purpose. Is it in alignment or not?
  • Working with people you enjoy.
  • The more aware you become of your own stuck habits, routines and relationships that do not serve your overall happiness at work, the less limited you become. Once this happens, you develop a greater bandwidth to focus on what is and isn’t contributing to a sense of happiness in the workplace. That’s when change becomes possible!
  • Be responsible for your own happiness! In her book, The How of Happiness, Sonia Lyubomirsky, suggests that in lieu of DNA and life circumstances , we still control roughly 40% of our happiness.

It certainly helps when you can become aware of what your preferred set-point of happiness is for yourself. Some things like a win at work or a smile from a co-worker, only sticks around for a short burst of happiness. It’s probably one of the major reasons that addictions such as chocolate, snacking, staring at a screen, smoking, drinking, sex, even exercise become habits since they make you feel better – even for a short time.

There’s a more consistent way to come back to your particular feel good emotional memory of happiness. If you want a more even and balanced emotional calm in your work-life, you have to develop a strategy. It’s been shown that a “go-to” practice is helpful in rewiring your internal operating system. Especially when overwhelm, uncertainty and stress begins to press down on you while trying to obliterate any sense of happiness in you. That pretty much sucks, doesn’t it?

Yes, indeed being and staying happy is definitely a preferred emotion for most; although unrealistic. It’s not a thing. It’s an emotion that’s often paired with a joyful experience. It’s also an emotion that you can learn to “hack” when you most need it.


What an empowering idea, right? Okay, I can sense your inner skeptic proliferating into your thoughts. So, if you really want a different emotional response to overwhelm, there are some practices you can use individually or as a combination during your work day.

Stay tuned for #10tip10days launching in a few days! You’ll learn firsthand how to BEND OVERWHELM INTO HAPPINESS! I’m looking forward to hearing what works for you in shifting your emotional states when you most need to during your work day so you don’t take it home with you at the end of the day. After you become comfortable a bonus is that IT DOESN’T FEEL LIKE WORK!