How to Stay Positive at Work

Adjust Your Behavior

Trying to become an optimist? Wonderful. Practicing turning around those negative thoughts? Good for you.

But let's face it. This may take a while.

The quickest way to bring positivity into the workplace is to act the part. Smile at co-workers. Compliment anything and everything that could possibly deserve the slightest bit of praise. Help organize birthday parties. Start a 10-minute-yoga group that meets during breaks. Reload the copier when you're not even using it. Bring donuts.

Communication is another key: Talk to your co-workers. Share your fears, successes and perceived failures. Commiserate about difficulties, laugh about ironies, laugh about anything, in fact, and offer an ear when something goes differently than planned, expected or hoped for.

In this way, staying positive can be a group effort. Unless you're born with it, optimism can be difficult to achieve, let alone maintain, and sharing positive actions can help inspire and reinforce positive thinking. If you inject some optimism into your workplace, even if it's not all that sincere yet, it will affect the way you experience your environment. There's no faster way to feel good than to make someone else feel good, and no surer way to gain a more positive outlook at work than to actually go to work in a more positive place.

Your actions, like your thoughts, are within your control, and actions are easier to change. Crossing your fingers instead of packing up when the boss surprises you might take more time. So start with yoga and donuts. There's nothing to lose but anxiety, stress, sleeplessness and all those sick days wasted on actual colds.

For more information on positive thinking, workplace problems, and solutions and tricks to turn that frown upside-down, check out the links on the next page.