You wake up late, quarrel with your spouse, and a car cuts you off during your commute. When you get to work, you’re in a foul mood.
Researchers have found a link between that morning mood and your performance during the workday.
Stop a bad mood from hurting office productivity:
√ Reset a mood with an “intentional transition.” Stop for coffee, listen to inspirational music, or take a brisk walk up the steps.
√ Say “cheese.” Smiling can actually make you feel better. Research shows that saying the long “e” sound makes people happier than saying the German word “für,” which requires puckering one’s lips.
√ Share the emotion if you’re feeling good. Researchers found that when you show happiness or sadness, others feel the same. A classic study measured emotions after subjects watched a video of then-President Ronald Reagan speaking. Republican and Democrat subjects unconsciously mimicked Reagan’s facial expressions.
√ Order a batch of cookies (on the boss). Propose a Monday tradition of free afternoon cookies to lift moods on low-energy days. It works.
√ Sense a bad-mood meeting is coming? Set squeeze balls or Slinkys on the conference table.
— Adapted from “Put on a Happy Face. Seriously.” Nancy Rothbard, The Wall Street Journal.