7 Habits of Healthy, Happy, and Productive People [Infographic]

If you believe in the idea that a positive and happy person is also a productive and healthy person, you probably have attempted to take some steps to achieve that idea. As with anything in life, though, making lifestyle changes isn’t as easy in theory as in practice.

Taking steps to make yourself happier has to become something you incorporate into your daily life until it becomes a habit.

Fortunately, there are some simple steps that will make you a happier person, whether at work or at home.

Exercising

Long-distance runners describe the “runner’s high” after several miles, which is a surge of energy and confident feelings that chases away the exhaustion and pain from the run to that point. The good news is you don’t have to necessarily run several miles to receive a similar feeling.

Any form of exercise outdoors, from walking to running to cycling, can release the endorphins in the brain that provide the feelings of revitalization and happiness, while releasing tension. A company that can provide encouragement for its employees to exercise, whether through providing time in the workday or providing some sort of incentive, will almost certainly have happier, healthier employees down the road.

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Volunteering

Another great way to encourage feelings of happiness and gratefulness in employees at work is to provide an opportunity for volunteerism. Some companies will encourage employees to take a couple of hours out of the work week to give back, whether it’s at a local school, hospital, or other organization.

Thinking back to the “runner’s high” discussed earlier, many people who volunteer receive similar benefits and feelings in what’s called a “helper’s high” achieved through volunteerism. In fact, some of the overall benefits for the volunteer are similar to what’s achieved through exercise, including better physical health and less tension and negative feelings over time.

Teamwork

Having employees work together as a team to achieve a goal almost certainly will create more feelings of satisfaction and happiness among them. Being able to count on coworkers on a team project can cause them to count on each other in other aspects of the workday and outside the office, too.

One key to creating teams of people who work well together is to teach them how to listen properly. As the infographic below shows, four keys to learning how to listen properly are:

  1. Maintain eye contact
  2. Don’t cross your arms
  3. Avoid distractions, such as from a smartphone
  4. Occasionally paraphrase what the other person is saying to show you understanding what’s being discussed

Fun Time

All work and no play makes the office a pretty dull place to be. It also puts a significant dent in the work the employer has done to try to build the level of happiness for employees through the steps outlined above.

Finding ways to help your employees laugh at work and be happier is a good idea. Certainly, the office is designed to be a serious place most of the time. But there’s no reason employees can’t be encouraged to have time for laughter too.

Laughter releases endorphins in the brain, and these will reduce stress for the employees. People who laugh together also tend to build social connections over time that will help with the teamwork aspect of the office described earlier. And having employees who are closer to each other and who connect with each other better will lead to improved productivity, which is a great benefit for any employer.

Healthy-Habits-590

This infographic was provided by Mark Kirkpatrick.