What Does The Science Say About Staying Happy At Work?

A lack of happiness in the workplace is a big issue. So it won’t come as any surprise that scientists are trying to figure out what makes workers see the brighter side of life. Unhappy employees lead to high rates of absenteeism and high turnover and it all damages business’s bottom lines.

So how does one create a happy workplace? It all comes down to positive psychology and positive emotions. It’s the reverse to how we usually think about our mental wellbeing. We see mental health as all the things that can go wrong with our minds. But positive psychology is different, It asks what we can do to actively make ourselves happy.

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The findings from this field are relevant and can be applied to the workplace. Let’s take a look at some of the field’s most pertinent conclusions.

Positive Emotions Are Contagious

In one study researchers wanted to find out if positive emotions were contagious. They set up a group situation and planted an actor in its midst. The actor was trained by the researchers to exude positivity in the group setting. The researchers found that the person acting positively transmitted their positivity to others. The group experienced less conflict, more cooperation and better performance in doing tasks.

It showed that being around positive people really does have an impact on workplace productivity and wellbeing. Being around happy people rubs off on the rest of us misery guts.

Small Actions Have A Big Impact On Personal Happiness

You might think that in order to achieve happiness, something incredible has to happen – like winning the lottery. But the evidence suggests that people react far more positively to the smaller things. This is great news for employers, as it means that they don’t have to spend vast sums of money trying to make their workers happier.

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Take bereavement for example. As the bereavement leave guide by Peninsula Group explains, employers don’t have a duty to provide workers with time off right now. But employers who allow compassionate leave can help to improve the wellbeing of their employees enormously. Small gestures like this are surprisingly effective. So too as things like making lists of all the good things a worker did or writing a letter saying how much a worker helped you.

The Unexpected Makes Us Happy

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When good things happen to us that we didn’t predict, it makes us a lot happier. The researchers found that people’s happiness centres lit up more on MRI scans when positive stimuli were unexpected.

At work, managers often create very predictable happiness programmes for their employees. They organise summer and Christmas parties. They give out bonuses. And they organise team events. But when it comes to happiness, this might not be the best strategy. It might be better, in fact, to make your happiness activities more random and to surprise your employees.

Random acts of kindness around the workplace seems to be the way to go. You could surprise a high-performing employee with a reward. Or you could give workers a surprise trip out of the office to a local theme park. The possibilities are endless.

Style Your Fridge for a Healthy, Organized Space

When you travel a lot, having a beautiful home to return to is more important than ever. And if you love to maintain a healthy diet, your kitchen is one of the areas of your home that matters most. Not everyone gives a lot of thought to what their refrigerator looks like. They consider what’s in it but perhaps aren’t as concerned with style. However, there’s something satisfying about looking into a perfectly organized fridge. Paying attention to the contents of your fridge could help you eat more healthily, even when you’ve just got back from your travels. Sort out your refrigerator with these design tips.

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Choose the Right Fridge

If you want to style your fridge, choosing the right one is the first step. They come in all shapes and sizes, and you might not be satisfied with your current one. Perhaps it isn’t big enough, or you feel like it’s not modern enough. You might want to choose one with an ice maker, or even one with smart technology installed. Some newer fridges can remind you when you need to buy things or if something is about to go off. You should take a good look at the layout of the fridge to make sure there’s enough space.

Use Stylish Drinks Containers

Many people might have cartons or plastic bottles full of drinks in their fridge. However, if you want it to look more organized, you might consider other containers. You could keep your drinks fresher and, of course, make your own drinks too. For example, you can use sleek glass containers to hold your fresh juice. You could also add a WillowAndEverett Coffee Maker to your fridge so that you always have fresh coffee. It uses the cold brew method which allows you to make both iced and hot coffee. The coffee maker looks great in your fridge door, as well as on your table.

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Separate Containers for Organization

We can have a tendency to simple put our food in our fridges without much thought. This can end up with a messy and disorganized space. It might also mean that you forget about some of your food and it goes to waste. Make your fridge smarter by using different containers for your food. Put your butter in a covered dish or your eggs in a smart tray. You can use a range of containers that look stylish and help to keep your food fresh. Make use of jars, paper and string, or cheesecloth bags.

Group Your Foods

Your fridge will be easier to navigate if you group foods together. Keep your vegetables in the crisper draw (and not beer) and group your dairy products together. You could also organize things by the date on them. This will help you keep track of when you need to use them. Everything will look neater and be easily accessible if you arrange things with some thought.

A stylish and organized fridge can help you eat more healthily. It will look good and be a welcome sight when you come home.

Reflection

So this morning I was in work, and while I was sipping my coffee and working on my weekly reports, I hear the mention of a crashing plane. Being still not wide awake, at such an ungodly hour on a Monday morning, it took me some time until it registered in my head that there was an actual plane crash.

I was even more shocked when I Googled the words “plane crash” and I saw the word MALTA.

I have never in my 29 years of life, heard of such incidents on Maltese shores. I must say, this has shaken me to the core. I got goosebumps all over as soon as I read the article, and even more so when I watched the video. Two explosions, fire everywhere, people crying as they witness what has happened. It was crazy. Heartbroken.

There were no survivors, and if you watch the video, you can understand why.

In moments like these, I can’t help but reflect on my life. How short life is, how unpredictable it is. As a frequent flyer myself, tragedies like these although they won’t convince me to stay bound to Malta forever, make me realise how fragile we are, how although rare such things happen – even if it never occur to us that it will happen to us, or someone close to us.

With this in my mind, I urge you to hold on to your loved ones a little bit tighter tonight and to not be afraid to love and be honest always. Life is precious, and once our heart stops beating that is it.

My deepest and sincere condolences to the families of the lost souls.
Rest in peace.

Want to Drive Sooner Rather than Later? Here Are the Keys to Success!

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When you’ve decided that you want to drive, the wait between the decision and actually getting your license can be torturous. Most learners just want to get on the road and start exercising their newfound vehicular freedom. Well, the key to doing that is to become a driving pro in as short a time as possible. Here are some essential suggestions for you.

Start the preparations now

If you’re reading this article, you might be on the verge of taking your driving test. But it’s also possible that you haven’t even applied for a provisional license yet! It’s important that you do this as soon as possible. One reason you may not have done this is that you haven’t reached the legal driving age yet. Depending on where you are or what you plan to drive, this is generally between 16 and 18. But you can usually apply for provisional licenses three months before you turn of legal driving age! You should also get together any other documents you’ll need.

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Thinking theoretically

A lot of people get stuck on the theory side of driving. One of the great things about theory is precisely that – it’s just theory! This means you can start getting practice in whenever you want. Some forward-thinking parents even have their kids study in a couple of years before they can legally drive. Get familiar with the various highway rules, as well as how the average driver behaves on the road. Start getting it in your head now!

Formal crash courses

One of the most popular ways of getting through this process quickly is by doing a crash course. I know that “crash” sounds bad in the context of driving, but it’s not about crashing. A crash course in driving offers you the required practice and learning hours within a week or two. It’s intense and fast, and requires a lot of spare time. It also tends to be quite expensive. Most people won’t have the time or the means to do it in this fashion. But the option is there!

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Longer lessons

Instead of going into full-on, intense crash courses, you could simply take longer lessons. Most learners will only take hour-long lessons at a time, maybe once a week or every two weeks. But as long as your driving instructor is able to do so, you can get lessons lasting two or three hours. This ensures that your required learning hours build up much faster. Of course, you need to be confident that you can absorb all the required information when you’re doing it this way!

Practice tests

You know what accounts for a surprisingly large amount of time during this process? Waiting to take your test once you’ve booked it. The people who oversee these tests are very busy. You may have to wait for just a few days, or you may have to wait several weeks. That, of course, is if you can even find a time that accommodates both of you in that period of time! Imagine how much time is lost when you have to take your test again. Your test is going to be very different from your lessons, and this surprises most learners. One of the best ways to tackle this is to take a practice test beforehand. Check this site out to find out more about practice tests.

Build up those practice hours

Lessons cost a lot of money. But aside from car running costs, practice hours are virtually free! It’s important that you get as many practice hours in as you can. These are the hours that you spend with a licensed driver overseeing some informal driving. You need to accumulate a large number of practice hours before you can take your test. But the key to quick success could be to take on even more practice hours than is required. You need to perfect those maneuvers and really get your head around the roads and codes. This will give you a big advantage when it comes to taking your test and passing it first time.

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Know your routes

Do you know where your test is going to take place? If so, then it’s vital you check this area out before the day. Spend some of your practice hours there. One of the most common reasons for failure during a test is that the learner is unfamiliar with the territory. Even seasoned drivers are a little more cautious in new areas. You should make sure you know the roads as well as possible. Consider using your practice hours to cover the five or so mile radius that comprises that territory.

Hate Mail

You know you are doing a fantastic job with your blog when amongst your website mail, you start receiving hate mail, or better known as jealous mail.

And you know what? How insecure and pathetic can you be, to send over 3 separate mails  one after the other, in a matter of 4 minutes,without the decency of signing them with your own name and contact details? Clearly, the person who has issues, is the person who hides behind a computer and a fake name. Need I say more?

hm.pngAnd to answer your question; yes, I do screen my comments on this page, and this is for a few reasons:

1. Believe it or not, I receive a lot of spam

2. I do not tolerate ignorant people who either try to:

  • Make fun of what I have said, coming into their own conclusions without verifying if it is true with me first
  • Try to troll others who reply to my blog post

I respect everyone who spends some of their precious time to reply to my articles, and I don’t mind being criticised or challenged but obviously, it needs to be in a constructive manner and not done immaturely. I do research what I write about, unless I am writing about a personal experience, but I am only human and I can be wrong at times.

Kindly also bare in mind, that replying to my comments or emailing me disrespectfully may result into a harassment case and I take these matters seriously.

Having said that, all publicity is good publicity; So, THANK YOU 😉

Friendzone Galore

So, we have all heard about the infamous friendzone…

Women are rather experts in this, and men are up there all the time. I suppose it is the worst place to be for most men, and women are at ease because they have yet another platonic friend to talk to and spend time with.

In reality, even if men do not admit this, it is a struggle for them to be just friends with someone who they find attractive. Research most often than not says that men cannot be friends with someone they fancy. I guess my male readers can give their HONEST opinion about this. 🙂

I am the kind of girl, that when I meet a man, I figure out my intentions quickly. Whether the feeling is reciprocated or not; that is another thing… but to this date, I have never dated any of my best or closest male friends which in my eyes are my brothers. Having said that, I know a few rare occasions where a girlfriend of mine has fallen for her best friend.

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Tips on avoiding the friendzone:

  1. Always make your intentions clear
    Okay, I do not mean that when you mean someone you like, you just tell them “I want you to be my girlfriend”; but… if you like someone, although you do your best to get to know them, you would also flirt to test the waters. If the girl flirts back, then this is an indication that she likes you, there’s potentially an opportunity for you to be more than just friends.  Do not become her doormat, we do not feel sexually attracted to these kind of men. Make the girl blush, compliment her!
  2. Ask her out ASAP!
    As much as it makes sense for you to get to know your potential date and partner, do not wait weeks, or worse months to do something about it. Some girls do not like playing games, especially those who are mature and are interested in serious relationships. They’d give you some time, but the chances are that other opportunities arise, and in that case if another guy asks before you, she will say yes and forget all about you.
  3. Don’t talk to her when she is with her friends
    If she invites you to spend time with her and her friends, it is most likely not because she wants to introduce you to her group of friends as her someone special, but because you are friendzoned. Avoid these occasions until after you start dating. Spending alone time with her, gives you more opportunities to show your interest and intentions. If she avoids being alone with you like the plague, this means that she knows what you are trying to do, and she is trying to spur your the embarrassment.
  4. Don’t let her vent and complain with you about other guys
    This is probably the most obvious indication that the woman in your life is going to friendzone you. It is not your job to listen to her problems with men; she has her girlfriends for this. This is in no way intimacy, and remember – we do not live in a fairy-tale world where a girl will suddenly realise she has been dating assholes and that her one love is you.
  5. Don’t be afraid of rejection
    The idea of being rejected is terrifying for both genders. It is most likely that a friendship cannot be leveraged into romance. You are better off being rejected while you are getting to know each other, rather than after you spent so much time together. A rejection at the very beginning could be turned into friendship, but a rejection once your are friendzoned is very awkward, and the probability is that you stop talking to each other altogether. On top of that, think about all that time and effort and possibly money wasted on someone who is not interested in you.

Tintern Abbey

Tintern Abbey has been in my must-see list for years. The reason it took me this long to visit is because it is in the South of Wales, and I have mostly traveled to the North and Mid Wales as it is more accessible for me, due to Manchester and Liverpool airports being so close to my destination (also I have never driven in the UK, but I probably should…).

I would say that the Cistercian abbey of Tintern is one of the most beautiful monastic ruins, not just in Wales or the UK, but within Europe. The location of the abbey is very scenic, and the village of Tintern is tiny. In fact, after spending hours in this serene place, we walked to the village for a snack. We even watched River Wye which runs behind the abbey and through the village. The river has been an important source of water which sustained the villagers and monks, and is till useful at this day and age.

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The abbey was founded in 1131, by the lord of Chepstow and the building and its surroundings kept growing exponentially until its closing down around 400 years later. In the 13th century, Roger Bigod rebuilt the church, and as a thank you his coat of arms was put in the glass of the east window. This church forms the largest part of what is still remaining today, and is a great example of welsh architecture of the medieval period, even if in ruins.

Although it did not have much importance history wise, what is left of this abbey is a major tourist attracting in the South of Wales, as is Caerphilly Castle, Raglan Castle and Cardiff Castle in the capital city of Wales.

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So Many People Make These Mistakes With Their Trip To Canada: Don’t Be One Of Them!

Canada is one of the most popular countries in the world to visit. After all, it’s one of the most picturesque places you can go with dozens of lakes and mountains. And the cities are fantastic to take a look at with so much to see and do. However, so many people make mistakes with their vacation to Canada. Here are some things you should avoid doing when you make a trip to the country!

They don’t travel around by bike

You will be surprised how many people have to pay out to rent a car while on their holiday. But it’s often an essential while in Canada as you want to get out exploring while you are on your vacation. However, you should consider hiring a bike instead. While you are biking, you get to view amazing sights around you. Biking instead of going in a car means you can get to more secluded areas where you can see beautiful surroundings. Also, having a bike is so much easier to get around the cities such as Vancouver. Therefore, don’t make the mistake of hiring a car when you can get around much easier with a bike!

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They think it’s the same as America

A lot of people group America and Canada together as the same place! But it’s not the same, and the rules differ. For example, you won’t be able to use your dollars in the country; they have their own unique currency (Canadian dollars). They also have different rules to the USA when it comes to drinking. A lot of places you can actually drink at 18, unlike our rule of 21. Also, not everyone speaks English in Canada. A proportion of the people in America speak French, so it’s best to learn some basic words for your trip. Also, just because you are American, it doesn’t mean you can legally get into the country with just your passport. You might need to apply for an Official Canada eTA so that you can make a trip to the country. You can look online to see if you are required to get one when traveling from your state. You don’t want to end up stuck at the airport as you don’t have the right documents!

They think everywhere is within close distance

Did you know that Canada is actually much bigger than America? It has fewer people living there, but there is a lot more land! In fact, it’s one of the largest countries in the world. However, a lot of people don’t realize that, so they head to Canada thinking that everything is within close distance. But you need to check exactly where you are staying and how far away things are located before you book. For example, Vancouver and Toronto are actually a five-hour flight away from each other! Therefore, choose wisely where you want to stay. If you want to enjoy Niagara Falls while on your trip, you should choose Toronto. That way, you can enjoy famous landmarks like the CN Tower, while only being an hour and a half away from the magnificent waterfall.

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And don’t just stay in the cities while you are in Canada. There is so much more on offer in the beautiful countryside.

I Miss You

As a person who thinks a lot, my mind dwells… Especially in the middle of the night when I can’t sleep… How awful is that? 😉

Well last night, I made a ground-breaking discovery; It might be nothing unusual for some, but in my case it helps me understand myself and others around me better.

When someone says I miss you, how often is it meaningful, and how often is it just a conversation filler? These words are so often overused, that they tend to lose their meaning just like when you say I love you every five minutes. It has become such a habit for people to say it, that you just never know when it is truthful or not. Besides, what are you supposed to say when someone says this to you? Oh yeah… I miss you too.

I have also realised, that there are two kinds of “I miss you”

  • There’s the I miss you when I am bored and lonely
    So basically, this is when you are bored in work, or at home and have nothing better to do. So you would miss certain people in your life. Perhaps a good friend or someone important to you.
  • There’s the I miss you when I am busy and having lots of fun
    The nicest kind of I miss you, as you are thinking of certain people while you are having a blast – You are having such a lovely time, yet you feel something is missing and you wish that person is there to enjoy it with you. True affection, need I say more?

I have never been the kind of person who overuses such phrases.

I am a romantic, I love literature, I think I am passionate and quite an emotional person with the right people.my

This in mind;
I make sure that when I say these words, I mean them.
When I say these words, I am genuine.
And I do not expect a mutual agreement.
Because… you should say such words not to seek attention, but because that is how you feel.

Happy Birthday to Me

Today is my 29th birthday.

It is only one year until I’m 30! When I say it like this, it sounds scary… I am growing old! Luckily I have a lot of older friends, so I do not feel too bad about it! Haha 😉

I am not much of a birthday person. As much as I enjoy the fact that family and close friends remember the day I was born, I do not crave the need to do something special on a day like this. (We age on a daily basis not on a yearly basis!) In fact, I am not too comfortable being in the center of attention. I would rather open up a bottle of wine, snuggle up on the couch and enjoy a good movie. If only it was not this warm right now in Malta….!

Having said that, this coming year I will try to be happy for what I have achieved, and where my life is taking me, rather than focusing on the fact that I am growing older. I will attempt to be thankful for who I have become, and welcome the coming year with arms wide open. I am grateful to those who have supported me, and listened to me complain about what was bringing me down. I appreciate especially those who pushed me to do well, change jobs and not to lose hope! When I stop thinking about how unlucky I am at times, I come to realise how good it feels to be alive, how I survived so many difficulties and heartache this year, and because of this, I have become a stronger person. More than ever, I know what I want in life and I am determined to not let anyone get in the way of myself following my heart and my dreams.

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Hello 29, let’s kick some ass!