Ways to Stay Positive

Posted February 19, 2014 by Denise DeGennaro in On the Ladder
How much does work affect your mood? If you thought to yourself “a whole lot,” you’re probably not alone. Think about it – we spend around 40 hours each week at the office. It’s bound to have a profound impact on our inner selves! The stress that comes with work can be magnified when your work environment is suffering from a bad case of negativity. When coworkers are unhappy, or jaded, it can be hard to maintain a positive attitude. This is especially challenging if you are entering an organization for the first time. A new job can hold the promise of exciting new challenges, but lose its luster quickly if you’re surrounded by negativity. Succumbing to the negativity may be tempting, but can really take a toll on your mood and the way you carry yourself every day. Additionally, science has shown people who think positively enjoy a number of health benefits over those who don’t.

So, what can you do to beat the negative workplace blues?

  • Take charge of your physical space: Surround yourself with pictures, quotes, and trinkets that make you feel happy. If you can listen to music at work, try an upbeat playlist. The website 8tracks.com allows you to select what type of mood and/or music you want to listen to and recommends pre-made playlists depending on your selection. Make sure you are comfortable and organized!
  • Find allies: I firmly believe no one wants to be miserable at work. Scout out like-minded people and make it a point to surround yourself with them as much as possible. Try hosting a weekly or monthly lunch where no work talk is allowed. Start with a few friends, or better yet extend the invite far and wide. This can help you to meet and network with people who have a similar mindset to you. Workplace culture can take a long time to change, but you have the power to make small changes that can lead to big results.
  • See the good: You likely took the job your in because some part of it was appealing. Try to remember that and focus on the parts of your work that bring you joy. If your coworkers villain-ize your boss, try to look for the positives in that person. We are all people, all have different sources of stress, all have lives outside of work, and all bring something to the table. Try to find that good “something” in everyone.
  • Quit complaining: This is absolutely easier said than done. Have a couple people outside of work who you can vent to, but don’t go overboard. One strategy is to get it out of your system right when you get home, but don’t talk about work for the rest of the night. The last thing you want is to allow negativity from work to leak into other parts of your life. Try to laugh off the stress instead of letting it get the best of you.

Career Girls, don’t let anyone drag you down! Keep your head up, remember that you can be a change agent, and know your limits. If you workplace is a toxic environment to the point where you can’t do it anymore, take a step back and evaluate your situation. Life is too short to spend it stressed out and in a job that makes you completely unhappy.

About the Author

Denise DeGennaro

Denise DeGennaro is a student affairs professional who helps undergrad and graduate students (and sometimes friends and family) at all stages in their transitions from school to career. She is an expert resume and cover letter writer and reviewer. Denise received her Master's in Higher Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Outside of work, Denise enjoys all things girly and loves testing out the latest beauty and nail art trends.