This is the final post in a series on how to thrive at the office. To start at the beginning, click here.
You want a life of engagement and meaning. You want a life that can give you all of the energy you desire. You want a life that thrives. Here is the final step in that journey.
Connection with Nature and With Others:
John Ratey captures beautifully the pre-historic desire to connect with nature in his book, Go Wild:
An apartment with a commanding view of Central Park or waterfront property costs more. This is a measure of biophilia, the price tag on our genetically programmed preference for certain places” (p. 175).
This time spent with nature not only lifts our spirits, but also helps our body. Exposure to full spectrum sunlight activates the creation of Vitamin D, which is responsible for the health of muscles, bones, and vision. To gain even further benefit, grab a friend join you in the sun.
The evidence supporting the natural bonding hormone, oxytocin, tells us that we feel more empathy, trust, and belonging through connecting with others (Ratey, 2014). And connecting with others at work has been shown to increase broader thinking, greater resiliency for teams and individuals, and improved physiological and psychological health within organizations (Dutton, 2003).
Your Actions for Mastery:
If there is a tree outside your office, walk over to it. When presented with the opportunity, smile at someone as they walk past (even if you’re cranky). When you go to lunch and you’ve got the space, take a walk outside and ask someone to go with you. Exercise in the morning and take a friend with you. Help someone out for no reason at all other than that they are a person just like you, with their own challenges and dreams. All of these tiny, overlooked actions can mean the difference between being busy but content and feeling downright frazzled.
Engineering Your Program Right At Your Desk
Now, consider all of the elements I’ve mentioned in this series on thriving at work, and choose one thing to focus on this week.
Take the checklist below, print it, and put it right on your desk. Pick one thing. And then, keep going. What will your one thing be?
My One Thing Checklist:
Did I move today as much as I could? Yes or No
Did I look at something in my office that I haven’t noticed before? Yes or No
Did I smile at 5 people today? Yes or No
Did I get myself to bed before 10PM last night? Yes or No
Did I spend at least 20 minutes outside today? Yes or No