Misery has fueled many a masterpiece, but most Creatives do their best work when they’re happy. Here’s how to keep whistling while you watercolor.
Own Your Space
Employees who can control the design and layout of their workspace are happier and healthier—and up to 32 percent more productive, according to research from the University of Exeter in the UK. Even if you work in a cubicle, you can still make that space your happy place: Decorate the walls, add a cool lamp, sit on a chic cushion or just light a candle that evokes summers at the beach.
Set a Goal
Your instinct is to go with the flow but having aspirations can boost your mood, say researchers from Indiana University. Whether you plan to create a video, write the great American novel or just wallpaper the linen closet, having a goal gives you a sense of meaning and purpose, points you in the direction you want to go, and keeps you interested and engaged, all of which hike happiness. Go to wishbomb.com to list your goal, set targets and get support from friends.
Get In the Zone
Plunge into an activity that’s challenging, invigorating and meaningful to experience the joyful, rapturous state psychologists call “flow.” You can get caught up in just about any pursuit—from sculpting with clay to reorganizing the pantry—as long as it feels creative and fun, takes advantage of your skills, and yields satisfying results. Just look at the neat labels on those jelly jars!
Small talk is nice but you’d be happier sitting down and getting real. A study in Psychological Science found that people who have more substantive conversations felt happier and more satisfied than those who engaged in trivial chitchat. So get off Facebook, ignore your Twitter feed, and spend some QT with a friend, and be sure to delve into what makes your hearts soar.