It’s enough to make even the most positive person feel like crawling back into bed and pulling the covers over their head. But, as tempting as that may be, it’s not exactly an option when you have a job to do.
So, what can you do to avoid letting negativity seep into your work life? Here are some tips for avoiding negativity on the job, with a healthy dose of humor thrown in for good measure.
Surround yourself with positive people
As the saying goes, “you are the company you keep.” If you’re constantly surrounded by negative coworkers, it’s going to be difficult to maintain a positive attitude. Seek out colleagues who have a positive outlook and surround yourself with their energy. Not only will it help you feel better, but it may also rub off on those around you.
“Imagine that you’re working in a department where the negativity is pervasive. Every day, your coworkers complain about their workload, the management, and the company culture. You find yourself getting caught up in the negativity, and it’s affecting your work and your mental health.
One day, you decide to seek out a colleague who always seems to have a positive outlook. You strike up a conversation and find that their optimism is contagious. You start spending more time with this colleague and find that your own outlook begins to shift. Instead of complaining about the challenges, you start focusing on finding solutions.
You begin to feel more energised and productive, and you find that the negativity around you has less of an impact.”
Start the day on a positive note
How you start your day can set the tone for the rest of it. Instead of waking up to the sound of a blaring alarm clock, try waking up to your favorite song or podcast. Take a few minutes to meditate or do some light stretching. Do whatever you need to do to start the day feeling energized and positive.
“It’s Monday morning, and you’ve got a big project due at the end of the week. You wake up feeling groggy and unprepared, and you immediately feel the stress building. You drag yourself out of bed and stumble into the kitchen to make coffee.
As you’re waiting for the coffee to brew, you realize that you’re running late and start to panic. Suddenly, you remember a tip you read about starting the day on a positive note. You turn on your favorite upbeat playlist and start dancing around the kitchen.
You make yourself a healthy breakfast and take a few minutes to meditate. By the time you leave the house, you’re feeling energized and ready to tackle the day.”
When you’re feeling down, it’s easy to focus on everything that’s going wrong. Instead, try focusing on what’s going right. Take a few minutes each day to write down three things you’re grateful for. It could be something as simple as a delicious cup of coffee or a friendly coworker who brightened your day.
“You’re in the middle of a hectic day, and everything seems to be going wrong. You’re behind on your deadlines, your computer is acting up, and your boss is in a bad mood.
You start to feel yourself spiraling into negativity, and you know that it’s affecting your work. You remember a tip you read about practicing gratitude, so you take a few minutes to jot down three things you’re grateful for.
You write down that you’re grateful for your supportive coworkers, your comfortable office chair, and the delicious sandwich you had for lunch. Suddenly, you start to feel a shift in your mood.
You realize that even on the toughest days, there are things to be thankful for, and that can help you reframe your perspective.”
Take Breaks and Practice Self-Care
It’s easy to get caught up in work and forget to take care of yourself. But neglecting your physical and emotional needs can lead to burnout and negativity. So, take breaks throughout the day, even if it’s just a quick walk around the block or a few minutes to stretch. Practice self-care by eating healthy, getting enough sleep, and doing things that bring you joy outside of work.
“You’ve been working long hours for weeks, and you’re starting to feel the effects. You’re exhausted, irritable, and prone to snapping at your coworkers. One day, you decide to take a break and go for a walk outside.
As you’re walking, you notice the sun shining, the birds singing, and the leaves rustling in the wind. You take a deep breath and feel a sense of calm wash over you. You realize that you’ve been so caught up in work that you’ve forgotten to take care of yourself. You start to make small changes, like taking a lunch break away from your desk and going to bed earlier.
As you start to prioritize your well-being, you find that the negativity at work has less of an impact on you.”
Laugh it off
Humor is a powerful tool for combating negativity. When things start to feel overwhelming, try to find the humor in the situation. Share a joke with a coworker, watch a funny video, or simply take a few minutes to laugh at yourself. Laughter truly is the best medicine.
Mindfulness is all about being present in the moment and focusing on your thoughts and feelings without judgment. When you’re feeling negative, it’s easy to get caught up in your thoughts and lose sight of the present moment. Take a few minutes each day to practice mindfulness. Focus on your breath, your body, and the present moment. It can help you feel more grounded and centered.
Set Boundaries and Manage Your Time Wisely
It’s important to set boundaries and manage your time wisely to avoid becoming overwhelmed and negative. Don’t be afraid to say no to tasks that don’t align with your priorities or take on more than you can handle. Use tools like calendars and to-do lists to manage your time effectively and avoid feeling like you’re drowning in work.
“You’re a people-pleaser by nature, and you have a hard time saying no to your coworkers and boss. You often find yourself taking on more than you can handle, and you’re starting to feel the effects. You’re working long hours, skipping meals, and neglecting your personal life.
One day, you realize that you need to set boundaries and manage your time more effectively. You start by prioritizing your tasks and delegating some of your workload to others.
You also start saying no to tasks that don’t align with your priorities or that you simply don’t have the bandwidth for. As you start to take control of your time, you feel more empowered and positive.”
Celebrate Small Wins and Learn from Setbacks
It’s important to celebrate the small wins along the way, even if they seem insignificant. Take time to recognize your accomplishments and acknowledge the progress you’ve made. And when setbacks occur, try to see them as opportunities to learn and grow, rather than failures.
“You’ve been working on a challenging project for months, and it feels like you’re never going to finish. But one day, you realize that you’ve made significant progress, even if it’s not yet complete.
You take a moment to celebrate the small wins along the way, like finishing a difficult section or getting positive feedback from a coworker. And when setbacks occur, like an unexpected roadblock or a mistake, you try to see them as opportunities to learn and grow. You take a step back, evaluate what went wrong, and come up with a plan to move forward.
As you celebrate your wins and learn from setbacks, you find that your positivity and resilience grow stronger.”
Disorganization can lead to stress and negativity. Take some time each day to organize your workspace and prioritize your tasks. This will help you feel more in control and less overwhelmed.
Focus on solutions, not problems
It’s easy to get caught up in the problems of the day-to-day. But instead of dwelling on the problem, try to focus on finding a solution. When you approach a problem with a solution-oriented mindset, you’re more likely to find a positive outcome. It can also help you feel more in control and less helpless.
It’s important to note that avoiding negativity on the job is not always easy, and it may not be possible to completely eliminate negative experiences. But by taking these steps, you can minimize their impact and build resilience to handle them. Remember to be kind to yourself and others, and to seek help if you’re struggling with persistent negativity or mental health challenges.
With a little bit of effort and a lot of positivity, you can create a work environment that is enjoyable, productive, and fulfilling.
So, take these tips to heart, and start cultivating a more positive outlook today. Your mental health, job satisfaction, and overall well-being will thank you for it.