Work Got You Down? Three Ways to Stay Positive in the Office

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01Nov2013

Work Got You Down? Three Ways to Stay Positive in the Office

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Most of us have had a morning or two that started with this thought: I really don’t want to go into work today.

It’s only natural to feel that way once in awhile. After all, there are many things that we would rather be doing with our time than work: catching some sun, clearing our DVRs, or spending time with friends and family.

Sometimes, however, there are bigger reasons for dreading the workplace. Maybe you’re feeling unappreciated for all of your hard work, or perhaps there is a co-worker you really don’t get along with. For some people, the workplace is an overwhelmingly negative place, and it can be a challenge to stay positive.

Being positive at work is a good thing, and there are plenty of benefits in it for you as well as your co-workers. A good attitude can make work less stressful, give you some job security, and help you feel empowered in your position. It also can be infectious, which can result in improved workplace morale. That being said, there are a few different areas that you can work on to make a positive mindset a reality for you.

Your Work Environment
When it comes to your attitude, nothing affects it quite like your surroundings.

Personalize your workspace to keep yourself happy and motivated. Put up pictures, bring in a plant, write inspirational quotes on Post-Its and place them where they are easy to see.

If you’re unable to personalize your workspace, carry something around with you – a photo or a quote – that you can peek at throughout the day for a pick-me-up.

Set up a way to reward yourself for a job well done as the day goes on: A piece of chocolate, a 5-minute health break, etc.

Enjoy your lunch break. Go for a walk, read a book, take a quick shopping trip, listen to music, but, most importantly, don’t work.

Do your worst task at the start of the day. Imagine how relieved you will feel to have that dreaded task off of your plate with the rest of the day ahead of you!

Your Relationship With Others
It’s likely that you spend more time with your co-workers than you do your friends and family. It makes sense, then, that your relationship with them will affect your overall attitude in the office. Here are some steps that you can take to improve your interactions with those you work with.

Get to know your co-workers. Encourage social activities such as pizza parties and potlucks, organize a happy hour event outside of work, or put a company sports team together.

Avoid negative conversations. Office drama can be difficult to avoid, but do your best to focus on the positive aspects of your company and co-workers, and encourage others to do the same.

Be appreciative, and say thank you as often as possible. A little appreciation goes a long way.

Practice random acts of kindness to make your co-workers’ days a little brighter. Set a goal to do something nice each day, whether it be staying late so someone can make it to their child’s choir concert or taking the initiative to clean out the fridge in the break room.

Your Life Outside of Work
Our lives are not always as compartmentalized as we would like them to be. If we are having problems at work, those negative thoughts can overflow into our home life, and vice versa.

Leave your issues at the door. This can go both ways, depending on the situation. If issues at home are making you negative at work, then think of your workplace as a mini-vacation from those issues, and do your best not to think about them. Same thing applies when you go home – leave work problems at the office.

Take some time off. Companies give you paid time off for a reason, so use it. If work is bogging you down, and you can’t seem to lift yourself back up, maybe you need to disengage for a few days.

Keep your eyes open for other job opportunities. Don’t pass up any opportunities to network with other professionals, and always keep your resume updated and available on sites like LinkedIn.

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