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Happiness at Work

Happiness at Work
Mindfulness, Analysis and Well-being

First Edition
  • R. Anand - Senior Vice President (Human Resources), HCL Technologies Ltd

January 2019 | 232 pages | SAGE Response

A handful of stressors and internal psychodynamics derail the happiness of normal people like you and me. Fortunately, rigorous science and psychology can be applied to this problem.

Happiness at Work: Mindfulness, Analysis and Well-being tells you what to apply, how to apply and why it works. It is utterly simplistic to wish away external stressors. However, are you taking the best decisions about them? Everyone gets some of their decisions  wrong, aver the behavioral economists, as universal distortions are always at work. We can deploy some decision-making paradigms to minimize these distortions. We are beset with individual distortions too, as we are wired with certain tendencies and default modes. As soon as you understand the source and dynamics of these individual distortions, you would begin to heal. Your everyday errors, interpersonal interactions, nighttime dreams and body language, all give useful clues to this wiring. On top of this insight, you can build a fine temperament of mindfulness about your body, mind and interactions as well as your entire life. This would lead to peak emotional and mental wellness. Even as professionals leading busy lives, you would see the signs of progress yourself, in weeks and months. This is what ‘happiness at work’ is all about.

Foreword by S. Y. Siddiqui
Needle in a Haystack
Defining Well-being
The Stoics
The Psychoanalysts
The Philosopher: Bertrand Russell
The Physician’s Perspective
The Positive Psychologists
Mind–Body Connection
Policy and Institutions
My Stress Profile
Outer Realm
Inner Realm
Well-being Enablers
Understanding Our Sources of Stress
The Outer Theatre Factors
Family Dynamics
Relationship Stress
Lack of Financial Predictability
The Deadly Commute
24/7 Work
Dealing with a Surfeit of Information
Difficult Boss, Office Politics and Competition
Connecting Outer and Inner Realms
How Do I Know That I Am Stressed?
Well-being Beyond External Circumstances
Anxiety about the Future
Exercises for Overcoming Anxiety
Grief about the Past
Exercises to Overcome Grief of the Past
Discomfort with Present Circumstance
Effectively Dealing with Present-moment Stressors
Do I Know Myself Well Enough?
Universal Distortions
Anchoring or Priming
Overcoming Anchoring or Priming
Base Rate Neglect
Overcoming Base Rate Neglect
Loss Aversion
Overcoming Loss Aversion
Some Combination Distortions: The Choice Architecture
Overcoming Choice Architecture
Mental Accounting
‘Focusing’ and ‘End of History Illusion’
Personal Distortions
Freudian School
Transactional Analysis
Rituals, Pasttimes, Games and Scripts
My Working Self: A Personalized Analysis
Why and How We Transact
How Do We Break Free?
Games We Play
A Journal of Mistakes, Forgetfulness and Errors
Well-being Through Dream Analysis
Why We Sleep?
Why We Dream?
Retrieving and Recording Your Dreams
Carrying Out Dream Analysis
Dreams Are Wish Fulfillments
My Body as a Well-being Compass
Body Language
Bio-chemical Markers of Well-being
Blue Zones and Longevity
Moderate, Regular Physical Activity

Life Purpose

Stress Reduction


Pro-social Focus

More Biological Markers
Cultivating Pro-social Behaviours

Compassion-Temple Exercise

Collective Prayer


Mental Subtraction and Savouring

Meditation: Why, When and How It Works?
Types of Meditation
Why Does It Lead to Well-being?

Zen Meditation
Transcendental Meditation
Vichara: Inquiry into Identity
Can Hobbies Be Meditation?
The Common Thread
The Route and Milestones to Well-being
How We Came Here?
Can We Measure Our Progress?
What Next?

Evolving the Well-being Protocol

In this wonderful book, R. Anand provides practical advice that can help you make the most of your life. Anand combines ancient wisdom and modern science, storytelling and compelling data, all in the service of helping you find more happiness as well as more success.

Tal Ben-Shahar,
Author of Happier

‘Happiness is a state of well-being—physically, mentally, socially, psychologically and emotionally. The book handles the topics extremely comprehensively with 10 chapters. This book addresses virtually every possible aspect—separate and distinct. Each chapter is well outlined. I strongly recommend this book to everyone who wants to be happy—emotionally and psychologically.’

H. K. Chopra,
Chief Cardiologist, distinguished author and editor of cardiology journals and Past President, Cardiology Society of India

‘Anand has explored the theme of happiness in a fascinating manner, building upon psychological concepts and presenting real-world dimensions. This is an ideal playbook for all urban professionals as they embark on critical decision-making junctures several times in their career trajectories and go through a vortex of emotions. This is where Anand’s book delivers a solid impact and makes an exhilarating read. This book in my opinion is a must-pick as a “transition coach” for all professionals dealing with high-stakes personal decisions in their careers.’

Tarunesh Madan,
Partner, Amrop—Executive Search, Board Practice and External Successors (Amrop is the world’s largest retained executive search firm)

‘If happiness is something that you have been seeking or are interested to know more about, look no further. Anand, an industry veteran, brings you a book that decodes happiness at work along with our conscious and unconscious behaviours and actions. Real-life examples of work and home situations along with tools to understand, apply and practise enable reader to self-analyse an important and complex concept with simple and in-depth tools and undertake the journey to well-being. This is an important and must-read book for both individuals and practitioners who are interested in the concept of happiness.’

Amit Malik,
Chief People, Operations and Customer Services Officer, Aviva India

‘As a musician and simultaneously a corporate executive, both worlds’ come together when I hear the RJ on a popular channel sympathizing on a Monday morning with the weary whitecollar worker. The powerful concepts in this book should ideally be used by readers to obtain insights into their current state. They can then take the steps towards happiness and fulfilment that most of us yearn for but almost never discover. I firmly believe that holistic happiness and an ability to experience our world in its entirety are precious gifts we can discover as Anand takes us on this journey.’

Krishnan Chatterjee,
Musician, and Head of Marketing, Indian Subcontinent, SAP

‘It is rarely that we come across a book which creates a symphony of science and the art of living! The book is contemporary and much needed in today’s complex as well as exciting era. Readers will find a unique work that helps them find inner peace, a centred personality and also a guide to take personal and professional decisions. The author has worked hard to explore multiple areas of scientific research for baselining, exploring and enhancing individual happiness and well-being. The many threads of being well that this book weaves is certain to attract future work in this area.’

Dhananjay Singh,
Director General, National Human Resources Development Network (NHRDN)
Key features

·         The book draws on several emergent disciplines like behavioral economics, lifestyle related medicine, biofeedback and applies well proven disciplines like psychoanalysis to illuminate on well-being of the urban working professional who undergoes well-documented stressors and transitions.

·         Each reader will get a personal profile pattern that will help them reflect on their current stressors. It is practical and individualized with specific takeaways for the reader.

·         The caselets help readers relate to problems of other working professionals.

·         ‘Happiness Mantras’ interspersed throughout the text act as small actionable items that readers can apply in their lives.

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ISBN: 9789352808052