How & Why to Cultivate a Positive Attitude at Work
Look on the bright side!
Don’t worry, be happy!
There’s so much out there these days about the “power of positive thinking” that it can start seeming like a bunch of self-help hooey.
As long as you get your work done, you may wonder whether it really matters whether you have a positive mindset or not.
The short answer is…it does.
And it’s not just the Tony Robbins of the world who are saying it. More and more, science is backing it up, too.
Interestingly, positive thoughts and emotions are more fleeting and diffuse than negative ones. However, study after study has shown that positive emotions contribute in a major way to important life outcomes including friendship, marital satisfaction, higher incomes and better physical health and longer lives.
If that wasn’t enough, positivity can also have an effect on those around you, whether it’s at home or at work. A positive disposition helps motivate and inspire others in a way that negativity can’t.
Of course, cultivating a positive attitude in the workplace can be easier said than done, depending on your corporate culture. But with just a little intentional effort, you’ll start seeing changes in both yourself and others before long.
Here are a few ways to get started:
Imagine your day
Take a few moments at the beginning of each workday to envision a positive outcome. See yourself easily moving through tasks and effectively addressing problems as they arise. This doesn’t mean you won’t encounter frustrations, but preparing yourself mentally ahead of time will help make them easier to handle.
Smile and laugh
Studies have shown that smiling and laughing, even if we don’t necessarily feel happy, has the effect of lifting our mood and reframing our outlook. So make it a point to smile at others more often and share a joke with your coworkers.
One of the best ways to feel good is to make others feel good about themselves. When you recognize the efforts of your boss or coworkers, praise their accomplishments and say “thank you,” you’ll be surprised how great it makes you feel.
Employ positive language
How we think and speak has a direct effect on our mindset. Instead of saying “can’t,” “won’t” and “shouldn’t,” start using phrases like “I can,” “I will” and “I am able.”
Focus on solutions
When things are stressful at work, it can be all too easy to fall in the trap of complaining about the situation. An easy way to break free of this is to simply focus on the solution to the problem and the steps needed to accomplish it.