Welcome to HuffPost Canada’s guide to helping you pick up an easy, everyday ritual that can make your life a bit better, in a small but significant way.
Canadians are stressed out, anxious, and are feeling disconnected from each other. Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, we’ll share a tiny tip to help you feel good. We’ve got your back.
Today’s habit: Say ‘Good morning’ to a co-worker every day.
What it is: Have you ever noticed that when someone says “Good morning” to you that you feel a little bit better? Well, I’ve made it a habit to start saying it more often, to more people, every day because I am sure that it helps get their day off to a good start.
Even if I don’t work closely with a colleague, I try to say “Good morning” to everyone I come into contact with when I enter the office, when I’m getting my cup of tea, or when I just see them around.
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How it can help: I know how it feels to be “unseen,” to go unrecognized, to not be acknowledged. It lowers your self-esteem, and it makes you feel invisible. Making others feel seen and recognized is important, in the workplace and beyond, so don’t be afraid to say a chirpy “Mornin’!” to your neighbour or even a stranger on the street (if you feel comfortable doing so, that is).
Here are some benefits to saying “Good morning” or “Hello” to your co-workers.
1. It makes people feel valued
Don’t we all want to be acknowledged by the people we work with? Not just by our boss and immediate team members, but also by the CEO or other high level executive, and other colleagues we see every day but might not work closely with.
Being seen (a.k.a. having someone say “Good morning” or “Hello” to us) makes us feel valued and important; like we actually matter (because we do matter!). And when we feel that way, it not only makes us happy to come into work every day and be more engaged, but these feelings of worth can spill out into other parts of our life.
2. It connects us with others
We are social beings (yes, even us introverts), who thrive on having positive experiences and relationships with other people. So when we acknowledge others, we’re having a connection with them, even if we’re just saying “Hi.”
And let me tell you, that can do wonders for one’s self-esteem and mental health. Stanford’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education says that social connections are not only vital to our physical health, but they’re key to improving our mental and emotional health, too.
The centre’s website explains that “people who feel more connected to others have lower levels of anxiety and depression,” and adds that studies show that people have higher self-esteem, stronger immune systems, and even longer lives when they feel connected to others.
3. It’s an energizing way to start the day
Here’s a scenario: you walk into work, hang up your coat, and sit down at your desk, all the while people haven’t even turned their heads to look at you, or mumble a simple “Hello.” How does that make you feel?
Here’s another scenario: you walk into work, hang up your coat, and are greeted with good mornings and hellos as you sit down. How does that make you feel?I’m betting the latter makes you smile while the former makes you feel bummed out.
Being greeted with a positive attitude can be the boost your co-worker needs to energize their day. “Wishing someone a good morning might just be the thing they need to hear that ensures they have one. You never know how profound an effect your kind words can have on another person until you try,” notes the website A Plus.
How you can start: What’s most important is that you be authentic to yourself, so if you’re really not in the mood to say good morning to a bunch of co-workers, start small! Since you’re familiar with your immediate team and boss, get in the habit of greeting them first thing in the morning. Sometimes a simple smile and a “Hi!” is all you need.
Or, wait until you’ve brewed a cup of coffee and have gotten organized before you chat with your desk-mates.
Next, stay consistent: figure out when’s the best time for you to greet everyone, and then stick to that routine every day. Watch, within a week everyone will also be greeting you as soon as you get into the office.
How it makes us feel: As I’ve said before, nothing feels as good as being seen. When any of my co-workers wish me a good morning, my mood instantly lifts, even if I’ve been having a crappy morning. And I feel especially good about myself if a colleague who I don’t work closely with takes their time to say “hello.”
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