5 Ways to Avoid Overwhelm and Find Joy This Week

This article originally appeared on carenmerrick.com — helping high achievers amplify their leadership to become board ready and board worthy.

Small things that bring joy can transform and renew your mind, your choices, your actions, your day, and your week.

As a proverb says, “If you’re too busy to laugh, you are too busy.”

In this season of giving, I’m sharing 5 simple ways to boost your happiness.

You might say, “wait I’m so busy with end of the quarter, end of the year projects at work — I’ve got too much on my plate and nothing can change that.”

Or, “I don’t have time to add one more thing to my endless to-do list!”

Not to worry; these 5 steps won’t take much time and are very accessible.

You don’t have to get out of your chair, step away from your desk, or put down your phone. Just click on the links and listen (or watch, as the case may be). I guarantee you will find at least one idea that makes your heart sing and it will have a ripple effect on your work, your day, your week, and beyond.

1. Listen to How Happiness Fuels Your Success

Just listening to this recent podcast by Shawn Achor (expert Harvard researcher) on happiness brought me joy because it reminded me of how just a few simple choices yield huge results in our relationships, outlook, and habits. Achor and the host, Ken Coleman, are so likable and intelligent on the show, you will feel like you’ve made a few new friends in the process.

2. Unlock the Puzzle of Motivation in this TED Talk

This TED Talk, with career analyst and best-selling author Daniel Pink, is one of the top 20 TED Talks of all time and is incredibly entertaining. You can listen or watch — or (as I sometimes do) listen while you have busy work to get done.

3. Pick at least one of the 7 Hilarious Videos that Make Fun of Office Culture

Entrepreneur has compiled some of the most entertaining parodies of office life . My favorite one is #3, A Conference Call in Real Life; you will see your team (and maybe yourself) in this vignette.

4. Choose five positive people to have a conversation with…

or to have some fun with. As a first step, just pick up the phone and call one of them. Research shows that your mood is an aggregate of the five people you spend the most time with. Choose those positive, wise, fun people you know.

The bonus is that research also shows that our greatest happiness is found in our social connections — it is what gives us breadth, depth, and meaning in our lives. Consider this a two for one boost of joy.

5. Just smile

You can do this now, right where you are. Dozens of studies show the huge benefits on you and those around you when you smile. If you’ve followed any of the above suggestions, you have already smiled. Smiling reduces stress and helps you feel happier — there’s even scientific reasons for this!

Take it a step further and laugh a little! Anne Lamott says, “Laughter is carbonated holiness.”

Happiness and joy is something you can cultivate; its right there, all around you and within in you. It just needs a bit of inspiration to come to the surface.

I hope you will find both this week.

I’m a serial entrepreneur (start-ups in tech and social impact) most notably co-founder and EVP of webMethods, Inc. which I grew from my basement to a $200m global, Nasdaq company with 1,100 team members. I now serve on several public company boards, write, speak, and advise high performance leaders. I’m married with two sons and our family loves to sail on our catamaran, Glad In It.

For tips on how to communicate for greater success, download my free guide, 7 Secrets To Highly Effective Communications.

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