The Happiness Portal is designed to provide Binghamton University faculty, staff, graduate employees, retirees and their families with a variety of ideas for small, simple changes to manage stress and increase happiness. Here you will find education and information on stress management, research on happiness and proactive strategies for changing your life without actually changing your life.
Workplace Happiness Facts
The Scandinavians are the only people in the world who have a word for happiness at work: Arbejdsglaede
The Japanese have a word for death by overwork: Karoshi
Among age groups, those 50 and older are more likely to be very happy than younger Americans. Women are happier than men. And members of either the Democratic or Republican parties are happier than political Independents. See additional happiness research results at 2013 Happiness Poll .
do better work
are more productive
are more helpful
are better at service
are more focused on quality
are better team players
are more open
are more likeable
show more empathy
are more optimistic
are more motivated
are more engaged
are more energetic
are better leaders
Happiness Experiment Roadmap
Step One: Review the stress management educational materials
Step Two: Rate your stress level
Step Three: Rate your pre-experiment happiness level
- Authentic Happiness Inventory Questionnaire - click on the link then register to access this survey, which provides a personalized happiness rating on a scale of 1-5
Step Four: Review the happiness research
Step Five: Implement happiness strategies
- Getting Started (pdf 259KB)
Step Six: Rate your post-experiment happiness level
- Authentic Happiness Inventory Questionnaire - retake and compare your score with your baseline
The Happiness Experiment
In fall 2010, Binghamton University's Employee Assistance Program and the Office of the University Ombudsman collaborated on a joint, resiliency-based venture called "The Happiness Experiment." "The Happiness Experiment," based on NY Times bestselling novel The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, began with a simple hypothesis: If we committed to practicing at least one evidence-based happiness strategy each week, would our happiness increase? Three years, one flood, a Great Recession, one interim University president, one new University president, 39 participants and three "Happiness Experiments" later, here are some of the things we learned, themes we explored, materials we looked at and results we got:
- Change Your Life without Changing Your Life - Overview (ppt 552.1KB)
- "There's Hope" by India Arie - youtube music video
- Five Things to Stop Doing and Start Doing for Yourself - online article
- TEDX video - Shawn Achor: The Happy Secret to Better Work (12:21 min)
- Gretchen Rubin's Interview with Happiness Researcher Dr. Sonya Lyubomirski - online article
- Dan Gilbert: The Surprising Science of Happiness TED talk (21:20 min)
- Suggested resolutions (pdf 108.3KB) by Binghamton University Happiness Experiment graduates
Exercise and Healthy Lifestyle
- Change Your Life without Changing Your Life - Exercise and Healthy Lifestyle (ppt 574KB)
- Fitness for the Workday (pdf 265.7KB)
- Want an exercise routine you'll stick to? Ask yourself these 11 questions. - online article
- Health: The Biology of Joy - online article
- Change Your Life without Changing Your Life - Relationships (ppt 731.9KB)
- Resolution Ideas for Coping with Negative Relationships (pdf 138KB)
- 7 Keys to a Happy and Healthy Relationship - online article
- How to Cope with Negative People - online article
- What to do when Blamers make Negative Comments about Others - online article
- A social experiment: Ballpit video link (4:35 min)
- Change Your Life without Changing Your Life - Fake it til you Make it (ppt 90.3KB)
- "I Smile" by Kirk Franklin - youtube music video
- Fake it 'til you make it: Does it lead to real happiness? - online article
- Laughter Yoga - video exercises
Making the Time to be Happy
- Change Your Life without Changing Your Life - Time (ppt 1.35MB)
- If Money Doesn't Make You Happy, Consider Time - online article
- Making Time to be Happy handout (pdf 159.7KB)
Happiness and Play
- The Key to Happiness: A Taboo for Adults? - online article
- Schedule Time for Play - online article
- Consider the Three Levels of Fun - online article
- Playing with Music - video by Bobby McFerrin
Happiness at Work
- The Five Drivers of Happiness at Work - online article
- Valerie's Happy Restroom - youtube video (20 sec)
- Top 10 Ways to be Happy at Work - online article
- TED Talk by Alexander Kjerulf at Meaning 2012: "Happiness at work" (29:57 min - I know it's long but it's really worth watching)
- Who is Happiest at Work? - online article
- Southwest Airlines Rap - youtube video (2:22 min)
- Happiness at Work infographic - online article
- 6 Ways to find Happiness at work - online article
- Happiness at Work Sample Resolutions (docx 11.6KB)
Can Money Buy Happiness?
- Change Your Life without Changing Your Life - Money (ppt 146KB)
- If Money Doesn't Make You Happy You're Not Spending it Right - online article
- Happy Times - The Relation Between Time, Money and Happiness - online article
- TEDX video - Michael Norton: Money Can Buy Happiness (12:08 min)
Happiness Nuggets of Wisdom
- Binghamton University Happiness Experiment wisdom (pdf 46.5KB)
- Happiness Experiment Commandments and Secrets of Adulthood (ppt 571.9KB)
Workplace Stress Facts
The World Health Organization calls job stress:
- A "worldwide epidemic"
- America's #1 health problem
What is work-related stress?
- Work-related stress is the response people may have when presented with work demands and pressures that are not matched to their knowledge and abilities and that challenge their ability to cope.
- Stress occurs in a wide range of work circumstances, but is often made worse when employees feel they have little support from supervisors and colleagues as well as little control over work processes.
- There is often confusion between pressure or challenge and stress and sometimes it is used to excuse bad management practice.
Stress costs an estimated $200 billion annually.
Stress is now the most common cause of absence due to long-term sickness according to 2011 research from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.
Research suggests that one in six people of working age have a mental health problem such as stress, anxiety or depression.
Additional Educational Resources and Information on Stress Management
- Stress Rating Facts from APA 2012 Survey Stress in America™ (pdf 233KB)
- How does stress affect the body? (pdf 259KB)
- Worried Sick about Work - online article
- Where does my stress come from? (pdf 50 KB)
- Understanding Stress (pdf 254 KB)
- The Martial Art of Stress Management
Happiness studies and stress management materials for this page were compiled by Heather K. Hubeny, LMSW, CEAP. Special thanks to Colleen Stanley, SUNY Stony Brook Lead EAP Coordinator, for generously sharing materials from her presentation "Managing Stress – Tools for Healthy Living."