International Week of Happiness at Work

Julie Denning, Managing Director, W2W


Over the last 6-12 months, I have been thinking a lot about happiness. This has had its roots in understanding compassion, self-soothing and switching focus. There’s a sense of contentment around happiness, a willingness to explore the unknown, a sense of security that comes from openness, a freedom. Children show happiness all the time. Often in the simplest of things, last week, it was the delight of my 12 year old catching me out in a ‘knock knock’ joke (in my defence, I was preparing dinner). As adults, I think we lose sight of what being happy is. We get so entrenched in the “busyness” of life that we don’t stop and take stock of the good stuff all around us. The stuff that makes us happy.


A bit of a turning point for me came last year when my children and I got “Netflixed” with Marie Condo’s series of keeping tidy the Japanese way. The ‘sparking joy’ concept resonated with us all and for a long time afterwards, we regularly asked ourselves ‘does this spark joy?’. We started to move away from items, stuff, things and towards experiences, day trips and events.


It wasn’t a huge leap for me to then introduce it into my work life with my patients. I started to notice just how much ‘fun’ wasn’t being paid attention to. People weren’t tuning in to the good things happening around them. Fun was lost. Suddenly asking the question ‘does it spark joy? made sense. It reminded me of a piece of research which has shown that tuning in to 3 good things that have happened each day can help us to feel less stressed, anxious and fed up. These three things don’t have to be big, just meaningful to you. You can write them down, expand on them, make an essay of them if you like. The main point is, focus on them. Help your brain to see both the good and bad in a day.


As this is happiness at work week, here’s my challenge to you: At the end of your working day, tune into three good things that have happened that day at work. It can be very small to really significant. I’ll start you off. My three things that sparked joy today were:
1) I resolved a difficult case I had been putting off, and it felt good to have dealt with it. 2) I heard from a patient I stopped working with over a year ago to tell me of her successes during that time. And 3), the final good thing? My daughter bringing me that cup of tea, just when I needed it.


So over to you, what were your #3goodthings? Tweet us at @work2well.



Working To Wellbeing (W2W) provides consultancy and intervention for health and wellbeing at work. We provide wellbeing and rehabilitation services, supporting employees with physical health, mental health and long term conditions, the 3 key causes of presenteeism and absence. We join the dots between the physical and mental health issues that cause and perpetuate poor health.

Our specialist clinicians are highly trained to provide a truly integrated service that results in health behaviour change and optimum work capability.