What does it take to be happy?

Mario Toral_TLTDon’t you just love that moment of quietness early in the morning? That early coffee followed by a hot bath at 5am, or however your morning routine begins. I have exactly 30 minutes to enjoy that quietness before my wife and my little one wake up and start running around like bulls in a china shop. It’s like seeing the coyote and the road runner in action right there in our little apartment!

I recently found myself alone, with all the quietness in the world, in a hospital bed for 30 days, after being hit by a car while training for my first marathon. It was then that I realised how much I love those noisy mornings, that happiness that moves my world and makes me be better at work and in everything I do.

The question is, can we use this happiness in our workplace to provide a better customer service? Research shows that happier people are more productive, creative and committed. If you’re happy, it can have a hugely positive impact on your company and the people around you. I can assure you that not only clients will notice the difference but also your team mates.

What makes you happy?

Whatever makes you happy, whether it’s your family, your friends, or a hobby, don’t take it for granted. Take time out of your day to appreciate the small things and recognise how happy they make you. Remembering these little things throughout the day will recreate that feeling and make you feel good.

A simple smile can make a big difference to someone’s day and is contagious too: over 50% of people will return a smile. Smiling is so important in customer service: it makes you look trustworthy, friendly, helpful and, it makes you feel better! Jeremy Firth, in his book ‘How to Make Work Fun’ says “smiling…moves the muscles in your face which encourages more blood to carry oxygen to your brain and this releases encephalins and endorphins from your brain stem. These help dull the pain when you chop your finger off, but if you aren’t injured, they just make you feel good.” Give it a go, smile for happiness – it’s scientifically proven!

During my time at the hospital, some of the staff I encountered looked a bit miserable and unhappy. However, I noticed that a smile, a compliment, a joke or simply asking how their day was going made a huge difference in their attitude towards me. They greeted me with a smile in the corridors, even if they weren’t taking care of me that day, some of them remembered my name or how I liked my coffee for breakfast, showing that your happiness and positivity leads others to think and feel the same.

Whatever comes your way in life will be easier to resolve if you remain positive. From where I’m standing, life is about being happy and, as author Steve Maraboli said, “happiness is a state of mind, a choice, a way of living; it is not something to be achieved, it is something to be experienced.” So, what will you do in order to experience it today?

Mario Toral is a Reception Supervisor for specialist front of house provider Mitie Client Services.

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