You spend many hours at work. We think that should be a happy time.

It’s true, happy employees are generally more engaged and productive, and that’s great. But we’re not so concerned about how your happiness benefits your employer.

We think you should be happy at work because it’s good for you – for your health, for your relationships, for your psyche.

But being happy, especially at work, doesn’t necessarily come naturally. It’s a choice you have to make, a mindset and perspective you have to adopt.

Here are some ways to support the choice to be happy at work:

1. Seek Happiness

Think hard. There has to be something you love about your job. If it isn’t what you do, maybe it’s the people you work with, the autonomy you have or something else. Focus on the parts of your job that make you happy. You’re still going to have to deal with the not-so-great aspects of your work, but concentrate on the things that make you happy and everything will become more bearable.

2. Shun Negativity

You roll in the mud, you’re going to get dirty. The same applies to negativity – if you indulge it, you’re going to get negative. Do your best to avoid coworkers who dwell down in the dumps. And when you do interact with them, don’t feed their negativity . Listen if you must, but don’t contribute (even if you’re just trying to be sympathetic). If you do, you may find yourself slipping into their negative mindset.

3. Focus on Why

Why do you go to work every day? Dig deeper than just “to pay the bills.” Is it to support your family? To maintain a lifestyle you enjoy? To provide opportunities for your children? Focus on the good things that result from your job.

4. Engage

There are plenty of excuses for not putting forth your full effort at work: They don’t pay me enough; I’m not going to get promoted anyway; I’m not passionate about this job.

It may seem easy to while away the workday doing the bare minimum, but such lackluster performance may be hurting your psyche and nourishing your discontent. Try to get more engaged in your job and take pride in your work – when you know you’re doing your best, good feelings often follow.

5. Be a Force for Happiness

Making others happy – or at least refraining from contributing to their unhappiness – will bolster your own happiness. Compliment a coworker. Acknowledge someone’s contribution to a project. Simply smile and say hello. You have the power to bring a little joy to someone’s life every day. And when you do, you’ll find that it brings joy to yours as well.

6. Take Control

If the culture of your workplace is inherently negative, chances are you’re going to have trouble getting happy there no matter what you do. If that’s the case, it may be time to start planning an exit. Think about where you are right now and where you want to be – and what would make you happy at work — and start looking for a new job. Though it seems that there are about a million miles between looking for a new job and actually getting one, taking control and actively seeking something better can bring a degree of happiness.

By Luke Roney, CareerBliss Editor