No matter what industry you’re in, being at work can be stressful and even depressing at times. Long hours, demanding deadlines, and even office politics can make your job feel like it’s draining the life out of you.
This can also happen if you have a boss or colleagues who constantly criticize you and put you down. If you want to stay positive, keep your spirits up, and enjoy your time at work, there are some things you can do. These 12 steps will show you how to stay positive at work when faced with a negative environment.
1. If it can be fixed, fix it
Although work can be difficult sometimes, a little perspective can go a long way. Take what you can from bad situations and think about how to fix them for yourself and your co-workers.
And if nothing can be done, make sure you know what’s going on so you can stay calm. When things get bad at work, ask why it’s happening to learn from it, or just wait out bad situations. Think positively while you’re at work and keep working hard to stay positive!
2. Focus on your job duties and responsibilities
Focusing on your work duties and responsibilities will help you stay positive at work. Instead of thinking about why you’re stuck at a job you hate, focus on your skills, knowledge, education, and experience that led to your getting hired for that position in the first place.
Remember how valuable you are to your employer and remind yourself of that fact daily. Avoid focusing on why you dislike your job; it will only make things worse for you.
If possible, try to find an aspect of your job that makes working there worthwhile. Maybe it’s great co-workers or a potential promotion—it doesn’t matter what it is as long as it helps keep a positive mindset while at work.
3. Look for the bright side
It’s easy to lose perspective at work. In an effort to keep up with unrealistic deadlines and high expectations, it’s all too easy to dwell on what we didn’t do instead of what we did. For example.
If you were let go from a job because your boss was having personal problems, think about how much better prepared you are for your next opportunity. If a project was canceled because of budget cuts, consider how grateful you are that other projects will continue moving forward.
Thus it goes… Every situation contains something positive; all you have to do is look for it! Make sure you take breaks whenever necessary!
4. Take breaks when needed
Take breaks at work. Work is a vital part of our lives, but it’s also hard to be productive all day long. If you work in an office, schedule some time off every day or every week and get out of your office to refresh yourself.
You can also take a 5-minute break in your lunchtime and go outside to enjoy the fresh air. Other ways to relax include drinking herbal tea, talking to your colleague, or reading inspirational quotes. Stay positive at work by creating time for yourself when you need it.
5. Get out of negative situations quickly
If you find yourself in a negative situation at work, do your best to immediately remove yourself from it. You can do so in a number of ways—you could politely excuse yourself and leave or ask to have your conversation moved elsewhere.
Or, if you feel like there’s no way to escape an awkward situation, don’t hesitate to call a time out or take a short break to collect your thoughts. When it comes to staying positive at work, being able to remain unemotional is key.
If you find that one particular situation or individual has you feeling down more often than not, you may want to reevaluate whether that’s where you belong.
6. Remember what you enjoy about your job
One way to focus on staying positive at work is to remember what you enjoy about your job. For instance, if you like networking with others or being able to make your own hours, reflect on that when things get stressful.
When you’re engaged in a challenging task, think of it as a learning experience rather than some kind of hindrance to success. These are just a few ideas for how to stay positive at work so come up with more ways to give yourself a boost when needed!
7. Surround yourself with positive people
While you can’t always pick your coworkers, or choose who you work with every day, there are a few things you can do to make sure that how to stay positive at work in even difficult situations.
When it comes to staying positive at work, it’s not all about attitude—it’s also about keeping yourself safe and secure. Being surrounded by supportive people who can help lift you up is an important part of that.
To stay positive at work, try making sure that any negative people around you don’t affect your positivity! Simply limiting your interactions with them should do wonders for keeping yourself feeling good. Before long, positivity will be second nature to you!
8. Don’t forget to smile
People who smile more seem to have more positive outlooks on life. Smiling also helps us as our coworkers better and enjoy being around them more. Staying happy at work means focusing not only on staying positive, but also on smiling, being upbeat, and making others feel comfortable.
It’s something we can all work to get better at if we try. So remember to smile—not just when you leave work for home but throughout your day too!
9. Keep learning
If you’re surrounded by negative people at work, it can be easy to allow their attitudes to infect your own outlook. In an office that’s always gossiping and complaining, it becomes hard to remember how to stay positive at work.
Rather than trying to act as if you love your job and you love being in an unpleasant environment, you can instead remain positive even if the work environment is a challenging, rather than going on about how tough it is to do your job or how much you dislike it, look at it as an opportunity to learn. If you can understand what you can learn from difficult situations, things will get much easier for you.
10. Keep your reactions in control
In a perfect world, we would never feel angry, depressed, or anxious at work. We’d be completely thrilled to attend meetings and handle assignments with our usual sunny dispositions.
But if you’re anything like me, your head is sometimes in turmoil with feelings that get in the way of your job performance. How can you stay positive at work when you have these unpleasant emotions to deal with? One thing I’ve learned is that it helps to keep my reactions under control so they don’t disrupt others or cause people to wonder what I’m thinking.
11. Don’t bring work stress to home
If you are unhappy at work and don’t know how to stay positive at work, chances are your home life is suffering. There’s a fine line between having a little stress and being overwhelmed, and that difference should be reflected in your workday as well as your personal one.
If you find yourself bringing work home at night, try to maintain some separation between your work and home life to avoid becoming burned out. Don’t check emails after hours or bring up problems with coworkers while out of the office; they won’t remember what they were upset about by tomorrow morning anyway.
12. Keep your focus on one task at a time
According to a 2011 study, multitasking makes it harder to focus on any one task and can be detrimental to productivity. To stay positive at work, keep your focus on one task at a time.
When you have several tasks that require your attention, tackle them in order of importance rather than bouncing back and forth between them (which will only cause headaches).
Trying to tackle everything all at once is not an effective strategy for staying positive. Don’t let criticism bring you down: It’s natural to feel bad when someone criticizes our work or behavior, but if we take negative feedback too personally we risk letting our emotions get in the way of what really matters – results.