How To Stay Positive At Work

Struggling to stay positive at work? You are not alone. In 2016, a survey conducted by SEEK Learning revealed that less than half of Australian adults are happy in their employment. With job satisfaction levels on the decline, it’s time we considered adopting a new approach to work - a positive attitude.

People who possess positive feelings towards their jobs are more physically and emotionally healthy than their pessimistic colleagues. They are better able to perform in professional environments and strive in the face of adversity.

If negative thoughts are dominating your time in the office, try implementing the following strategies to help you stay positive at work:

 
  1. Start as you mean to go on: Beginning your day on a positive note helps limit the potential for negative thinking as the day progresses. Whether it’s working out, meditating or eating a nutritious breakfast, set yourself up for success by prioritising the things you love.

  2. Befriend your colleagues: Spending your work day in isolation will do little for your mental health. Become more content at work by developing friendly relationships with your co-workers. You can begin this process by striking up a non-work related conversation, offering praise and support or participating in extracurricular office activities. Once you’ve initiated the process, allow friendships to form organically over time. Resist the temptation to talk about other staff members as this could lead to unnecessary drama.

  3. Contribute: Despite looking like the obvious solution, taking a back seat can sometimes be the worst option when you’re feeling unimpressed with work. Increasing your involvement by volunteering to manage a project or mastering a new skill could provide you with the motivation you require to move forward and uncover a renewed sense of optimism.

  4. Keep learning: One key trait of a resilient worker is an aptitude for continuous learning. If you’ve been stuck in the same role for a while, fostering a new skill could boost your chances of promotion and help you feel more positive in the process. You can expand your competencies by academic or practical means. Shadowing a colleague from a different department can increase motivation by enhancing your understanding of how the business works as a whole, while undertaking a course of interest could help you become an expert in your field.

  5. Decorate your desk: Life inside an office cubicle is anything but inspiring. Reclaim your space by personalising your desk with photos of loved ones to relieve negative thinking, potted plants to boost productivity and perhaps a little mess to stimulate creativity.  

  6. Take a break: If you’re struggling to stay focused at work, try taking a break to improve cognitive function, inspire creative thinking and increase your energy levels. Temporarily distancing yourself from a task even for just a few minutes is vital to preserving a positive mentality.

  7. Set goals: It’s very easy to lose your sense of purpose when you’re not working towards anything in particular. Consider outlining your goals for the coming months, breaking them down into manageable tasks as you go. When you’re feeling down at work, remind yourself of how far you’ve come and reflect on how each day brings you closer to achieving your overall ambition.

  8. Treat yourself: Between work, family and additional commitments we often fail to make time for ourselves. Be sure to recognise your value and achievements every now and again by booking a trip to the salon, going for walk or rereading your favourite book.

  9. Practice gratitude: When negative thoughts threaten to overwhelm you at work, take a moment to reflect on your blessings. Positive people recognise the importance of being grateful for what they have already accomplished while moving forward with their current projects. Try keeping a gratitude journal to acknowledge the good in every day.

  10. Don’t beat yourself up: No one gets it right 100% of the time, but positive individuals tend to view setbacks as opportunities for growth rather than failure. Next time something doesn’t go your way, take a moment to reassess, learn what you can and move on.