Stress in nursing is most likely attributed to the physical and emotional demands of patients and families, work hours, shift work, interpersonal relationships, and other pressures that are central to the work nurses do. Stress adversely affects the health, safety, and well-being of nurses, patients, and health care organizations alike; therefore, it is essential for nurses to reduce job stress and increase their happiness through their work.

Studies show that loving your job has less to do with your job and more to do with you. That’s right, there are simple ways you can ensure your own happiness at work every single day. Because happiness is the sum of love, optimism, purpose, courage, productivity, health, perspective, humor, and fulfillment, you must manage to achieve. Happiness won’t come to you if you do nothing.

Here are six simple actions you can employ to reduce stress and enhance your happiness.

1. Find out what makes you happy.

When you know the answer, you can add it to your life. If you are not sure, you should start taking detailed notes whenever you feel happy.

2. Create and write down a daily goal of joy each day.

Creating a goal allows you to focus on who you are in the moment, recognize and live your values, and achieve your emotional energy and happiness. Try to create one thing that you can look forward to each day at work, whether it’s seeing a specific coworker or your special lunch break. Whatever it is, the simple act of looking forward to it will increase the happiness you associate with work.

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3. Make yourself familiar and comfortable with each of your coworkers and patients.

Studies show that working with unfamiliar coworkers and in different settings negatively impacts you at work. Make sure that you take time to introduce yourself to your coworkers and get to know your patients. Being familiar with your coworkers and patients increases your confidence and happiness at work.

4. Be optimistic.

Research shows that positive people are less likely to become ill. Optimism has been linked to an improved sense of well-being so try to look on the bright side whenever you can.

5. Love yourself and take care of your health.

Caring for yourself must be a priority. Eating well, staying hydrated, and getting enough sleep can make you feel good. And when you feel good, you have the physical and mental energy to work through daily challenges and focus on what’s good about the day. Make time to do the things that make you happy in the moment as well, such as listening to your favorite song during a lunch break.

6. Last but not least, put a smile on your face, act happy, and laugh every day.

Acting happy and keeping a pleasant expression on your face puts your mind in a positive state. Try to let go of negative feelings and learn to forgive because forgiveness will help give you inner peace.

Nuananong Seal & Mary Wiske
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