It’s hard to feel happy at work when we focus on the negative. Making the small shift to accentuate the positive can go a long way toward greater happiness at work. Finding ways to focus on the positive aspects of your life, your job, and your workplace, even when negative things happen, can foster your workplace happiness. Positive thinking is in many ways a choice – when we choose to see the positive rather than the negative, it attracts positive experiences to us.
Use a Daily Affirmation
One way to start your day off on a positive note, and to focus on positivity throughout the day, is to use a daily affirmation. Affirmations are simple, positive statements that you repeat throughout the day, either mentally or out loud. A simple affirmation could be, “Today is going to be a great day.” You can write your own affirmations, or use affirmations written by others – there are many books and websites that offer up daily affirmations. You might use the same affirmation each day, or choose a new affirmation every morning, once a week, or once a month. An affirmation gives you something to focus on when you are tempted to drift into negative thinking or you are faced with other people’s negative attitudes. Some people find it helpful to print out or write their affirmation and keep it somewhere visible. There are also beautiful pieces of art with affirmations available, if you choose to put your affirmation in your office.
Surround Yourself with Positive People
One way to stay positive is to surround yourself with positive people. While you may have to interact with people who are less than positive in order to accomplish tasks at work, you can choose to surround yourself with positive people whenever possible. Choose to interact with coworkers and colleagues who have a positive outlook. When you put together your support team, choose people who have a consistently positive outlook. This doesn’t mean choosing people who will never tell you hard truths or who never have a bad day, but it does mean choosing people who attempt to find the positive in even difficult situations, who act with compassion, and who seek to lift others up rather than bring them down.
Limit Your Negative Interactions
Another way to keep yourself focused on the positive at work is to limit your negative interactions. There will be times when you will have to interact with negative people, but it is important to limit these interactions if at all possible. Avoiding office gossip is another way to limit negative interactions. Once you have a list of positive people to surround yourself with, seek them out instead of engaging in negative interactions. It can be tempting to vent or join in when others complain, but this can bring negativity into your day. It’s understandable to want to vent frustrations, but if possible you should find a way to turn this into a positive interactions. If there are people in your workplace that are consistently negative and with whom you do not have to interact, keep your interactions with them professional and pleasant, but brief. Another way to limit negative interactions is to be aware of the type of media you consume – we can’t avoid bad news and negative images totally, but being sure to also feed your mind positive images is key to staying positive and happy.
Building friendships at work also helps keep you focused on the positive. Having strong friendships at work gives you a built in support network. When you choose positive people to build friendships with, it is easier to avoid negative interactions and choose positive ones instead. The time you spend socializing with colleagues helps to lay the groundwork for work friendships. Seek out colleagues and coworkers who share your interests, who make you smile or laugh, or who appear to share your goals and values. Collaborate with these people when possible, and seek to spend time with them that is not focused on work.
Do One Thing Every Day That You Love and Enjoy
Taking time each day to do one thing you love and enjoy goes a long way toward fostering happiness. Whether you do yoga in the morning, drink a cup of your favorite tea, visit a funny website, or engage in a rewarding hobby, finding something you love and making time to do it is key to your well-being. It is not even necessary to do the thing you love in the context of work – just knowing it will be part of your day fosters happiness. When we don’t take time to do things we love, our lives become a series of obligations. Taking time to engage in something you love and enjoy activates parts of your brain associated with joy and pleasure, and this fosters an overall sense of mental and emotional well-being.
Seek to Make Positive Changes
Happiness is a process. Even when we decide to choose happiness, it won’t happen overnight. Seek to continuously make positive changes in your life, and you will find your happiness growing. Whether it’s implementing the suggestions from this post such as doing something you love each day or limiting your interactions with negative people, every step you take towards a more positive life leads to greater happiness. Adopt a continuous improvement mindset and constantly look for ways in which you can make positive changes. Also reward yourself for making changes! Happiness is a journey!
This post is from Septembers’s topic on “Increasing Your Happiness“.