Staying positive at work is as important and as basic as putting on your shoes before you walk out the door. With heavier workloads, concerns about job loss and fewer resources and people to complete projects, it's easy to fall into a funk. Too many people allow a negative attitude to color their outlook and performance. • Sometimes you have no control over what's going on. Negativity thrives when people expect a logical explanation to a situation that doesn't have a logical explanation. They get angry and frustrated about changes; they rail against events that put them outside their comfort zone and they look for someone to blame. • Often that someone is the boss, but we all know that speaking out against your superior at work is dicey. So before you say or do something you'll regret, here are some tips to help you keep a positive attitude.
Look for at least two things that make you happy on your way to work each day. They could be as simple as a flowering plant that you pass along the way, a group of cheerful school children waiting for the bus, or a funny or inspirational billboard.
When you're stressed take a moment and breathe deeply. Then let your breath out slowly. You'll feel yourself calm down, and the oxygen filling your lungs and going through your bloodstream will give you a burst of energy and help you refocus.
Avoid the office gossips and people who complain all the time. They'll only bring you down.
Make a list of all the things you like about your job. Things might seem negative now, but there are bound to be aspects of your work that give you pleasure and a sense of purpose.
List how your job benefits you. Income, training, ability to be with other people — the list can be longer than you think.
Get away from your desk or work area at least twice a day. Take a short walk around the area. It's good exercise and gets your mind off the things that are pulling you down.
Take baby steps as you attack your workload and set realistic goals. You'll feel better about your job and yourself when you complete what you can. Then forget about work until the next day.
To the extent you can, make your work area someplace you enjoy. Use colors you like, pictures and reminders of happy times.
Percolate the perks. Take advantage of training, networking opportunities and recognition programs that are available to you. Sharpen your skills, add new abilities and stay in a positive frame of mind.
Remember. Life doesn't just happen. You are in charge and you can control how you react to everything that happens to and around you.
Marie Stempinski is president and founder of Strategic Communication in St. Petersburg. She specializes in public relations, marketing, business trends and employee motivation consulting.