Fear of layoffs. Longer work hours. Budget cutbacks. The list of today’s on-the-job stressors goes on and on – creating the perfect storm for workplace negativity. But with a few tweaks to your attitude and daily routine, you’ll sail through turbulent times with a smile on your face and a lot less tension.
Keep complainers from darkening your day. Nothing sucks the joy out of a workplace like a perpetual pessimist. These naysayers always have plenty to gripe about – from the snacks in the vending machines to a new computer system to the weather. If you’re not careful, you’ll quickly find yourself dragged down by their contagious negative energy.
Put up a mental buffer. To prevent grouches from ruining your workday, refuse to react to their outbursts. Don’t provide ammunition for their tirades by offering an emotional response. Instead, remain neutral and resist the urge to fire off your own complaints.
Map out your day. Whenever possible, mix up your routine to avoid getting trapped in lengthy conversations with grumpy co-workers. Consider taking your breaks on an adjusted schedule to avoid a potential water cooler gripe fest.
Once your gloomy co-workers realize you’re not interested in being their sounding board, they’ll be less likely to dump their complaints on you.
Chose to see your glass half full. While you may not be able to change your co-workers’ bad attitudes, you can keep your own attitude upbeat. Like sunshine on a cloudy day, other people are naturally drawn to those who exude positive energy.
Live long and prosper. Need more motivation to look on the bright side? According to a recent study by the University of Pittsburgh, optimists live longer, healthier lives than their more cynical counterparts.
Don’t get typecast as a grouch. Take control of your outlook by recognizing when you’re letting negative thoughts have the last word. If your inner monologue sounds more like a tragedy than a comedy, lighten up, and take a look at the bright side. Counter self-pitying thoughts by listing three things you’re thankful for.
With practice, you’ll find yourself more prone to positive thinking, which will more than just boost your mood, but likely improve your health as well.
Extinguish stress. When tension threatens to erupt in a volcano of negative energy, take time to cool down and regain your composure. Try taking deep breathes in the break room for five minutes, catching a quick laugh by watching a funny video, or enjoying a relaxing lunch with friends. Whatever you chose, make releasing stress a top priority.
Leave it at the door. Every now and then, you’re bound to have a rough day at work. But some people prolong the stress of the day by fixating on everything that went wrong. Instead of taking your troubles home with you, give yourself a mental break. When you leave work for the day, resolve to not dwell on negative situations.
Focus on you. To keep on-the-job problems from overwhelming you, it’s important to find healthy outlets to relieve stress. That might mean taking a photography class, going for an evening jog or getting a massage. By separating yourself from the tension of the workplace, you’ll feel more refreshed and have better work-life balance – which is essential to maintaining a positive attitude at work.
By choosing to face difficulties with optimism, you’ll soon discover the benefits of positive thinking to your health, friendships and career. Then, no matter what the workday brings your way, you’ll be able to keep your outlook bright.