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15+ ways to stay positive at work

Stay positive at work – A new year, a new beginning, a new you



By Joy Wood,  Espresso.  

It’s that time of year again—folks are dusting off the tinsel and heading back to work after the holidays. But if your commute is tinged with dread, it may be high time to change your workplace vibe. As with all things, change starts with you. It’s time to exit the negativity! It is possible to change your attitude at work and stay positive this year, no matter what’s happening in the office next to you.

Looking for a fresh start in the workplace? Here are some solid ideas to help you stay positive at work. Added bonus: they may enhance your personal life too.



1
Stay positive at work – A simple smile

It’s scientifically proven that smiling can reduce stress and improve your mood. So instead of trudging in looking like Grumpy Cat, try forcing a smile and see how easy it is to trick your brain into feeling happy.



2
Stay positive at work – A little gratitude goes a long way

If you find yourself slipping into a negative headspace, grab a piece of paper and a pen. Take a few moments to jot down three things you’re grateful for (it can be something as simple as the pen in your hand, if you get stuck). The act of feeling grateful can quickly move you from sad to glad.

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3
Stay positive at work – Brighten your space

Bring in photos of loved ones, inspirational quotes, or even your favorite mug for your mid-morning java to brighten up your space—and your day.



4
Stay positive at work – Practice compassion

Ed in accounting driving you batty? Going out of your way to avoid certain coworkers? Try taking a compassionate view of their behavior. If you can see a deeper reason for the way they’re acting, it can temper your annoyance. Plus, it gets you further on your path to Buddhahood. Om!



5
Stay positive at work – Learn something new
Does your company offer educational opportunities? Take advantage of every offer to expand your skill set (and beef up your résumé). Learning new skills automatically shifts you out of stuck mode and into creative mode.

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6
Stay positive at work – Breathe: fresh air

If you feel the walls of frustration closing in on you, grab your coat and head outside for a rejuvenating speed walk around the block. No matter what the weather, the movement and fresh air will shift things pretty quickly. Some people even claim that solutions simply come to them once they’re outside and moving.



7
Stay positive at work – Reach out and build relationships

Not everyone who works together is going to wind up as BFFs, but if you take the time to get to know your coworkers, even just a little, you’ll find it softens your view of them. Katie in sales crazy about her cat? Take a moment to ask her about Buttons—you’ll be surprised by the amount of goodwill generated by the connection.



8
Stay positive at work – Eat well

Don’t use food to drown out the well of frustration—it’s only going to make you feel worse. Pack your own lunch the night before or identify a few lunch places nearby that offer healthy options. Eating poorly is only going to weigh you down and make work difficulties more challenging.

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9
Stay positive at work – Treat yourself

Remember that rush of joy when your mom would include a little surprise in your school lunch? Well, you can give yourself a little treat too. Whether it’s cutting your sandwiches into heart shapes or adding a piece of chocolate for a late afternoon pick-me-up—treat yourself!



10
Stay positive at work – Arrange your space for optimal joy

Distracted by an endless stream of colleagues that pop in to chat all day? Institute some “closed door” time during the day when you can put your head down and get some work done. And pay attention to your desk position as well: if you have a view, take advantage of it!



11
Stay positive at work – Treat your colleagues

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to melt the ice—try bringing in a plate of homemade cookies and see what happens. You may just find yourself having some lovely interactions that will build connections.



12
Stay positive at work – Something driving you nuts? Speak up!

If a situation is seriously getting under your skin and messing with your serenity, you have an obligation to yourself to say something to the right people. Finding your voice empowers you. Don’t be a victim of circumstance—be a changemaker.

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13
Stay positive at work – Get organized before the morning rush

If you spend the mornings frantically searching for clean shirts while brushing your teeth and burning your toast, you can benefit from a nighttime routine. Taking the time to get organized the night before makes for an easy morning and saves you from the stress hormones that can derail your day before it’s barely begun.



14
Stay positive at work – Evaluate your work style

You might be creating stress for yourself by taking on too much work, micromanaging, or not trusting others to “do it right.” Sometimes a little personal reflection can show you where you’re sabotaging your own happiness—time to let it go and move into a new phase!

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15
Stay positive at work – The magic of a to-do list

Keep a to-do list—at the beginning of your day, jot down all the items you want to accomplish, then prioritize them, and check them off as you move through your day. Even on your worst days, you’ll find a bit of satisfaction in this visual cue as to how much you actually accomplished.



16
Stay positive at work – Make time to move it

Desk job? It’s critical to take frequent breaks from sitting and pay careful attention to your posture and your breathing. Keep a straight back with both feet flat on the floor and take deep breaths while you work. If your body isn’t happy, your mind will soon follow.

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17
Stay positive at work – Be the solution

If a situation at work has you stressed, slip into problem-solving mode. Taking the issue, along with a few possible solutions, to HR will have you looking like the star you are, instead of a complainer.


 
18
Stay positive at work – Be mindful

A growing body of research is showing that certain mindfulness practices, like meditation, actually produce positive effects in the brain. So try incorporating it into your daily commute—put those headphones on and practice the art of Zen Not your thing? Find a motivational speaker that awakens your inner sparkle. Set the tone for the day and shine on!

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19
Stay positive at work – A student of life

If you view every challenge, be it work-related or interpersonal, as an opportunity to grow and learn, you’re embracing the spirit of “life as learning.” The process of navigating these challenges will reap the richest rewards, so don’t back down—face them with a positive mindset. You’ve got this.


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Career Advice: 15+ ways to stay positive at work
15+ ways to stay positive at work
Stay positive at work – A new year, a new beginning, a new you
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