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You spend at least 40 hours per week at work — far more than you do unwinding at home or pursuing your hobbies. Yet many people don't think they deserve to be happy in the workplace. Instead, they try to make it through the 9-to-5. What you may not know is that there are 5 happiness traps that affect your wellbeing at work.

1. Overwork

There's constant pressure to be available 24/7 in the age of smartphones and social media. This expectation creates a downward spiral when the pressure to work all the time creates more stress, which leads to more pressure.

Take a break! When you care for yourself and set boundaries around availability, you can bring more of yourself to work.

2. Helplessness

Helplessness, is when you feel disempowered to make a difference at work. It’s human nature to desire control in your life. To get out from this trap, think about where you could exert an influence -- then talk to management.

3. Lack of Meaning/Purpose

Purpose is a powerful motivator in the workplace; it's why you do best when you feel connected to the meaning or purpose behind your role. If you feel a lack of meaning at work that may mean it's time to find a new position or double-down in your workplace to tap into those powerful connections. Once you're engaged again, you'll give your best work.

4. Relationships

If you have positive, strong relationships at work, every day will be more enjoyable just because you're around people you enjoy. People who have close relationships on the job are 50 percent more satisfied at work than people who do not have close relationships at work.

If your workplace is competitive or cutthroat, you may feel isolated and alone. When you don't feel part of a team, you do not want to bring your full, authentic self to the task at hand. Continuing down this behavior path can lead to depression and unhappiness. It's important to get out of a toxic workplace before it affects other aspects of your life.

5. "Should"

Are you following your passions in life, or doing what you think you're supposed to do? When your work connects to your passions, you will feel alive and filled with joy -- even when you're answering emails. When your work is not something that reflects your innate passions, then you can't connect on that deep level. Take a step back, think about what you feel called to do, and then move in that direction!

Want to learn more about human behavior in the workplace? Then a career in organizational psychology could be your calling. Alliant’s California School of Professional Psychology offers graduate programs in industrial-organizational psychology. For more information contact Alliant.

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