Keeping Cool: Tips on Staying Positive in the Workplace

Life isn’t always perfect.

Depending on what is going on in your life, your mood can be drastically changed. For many folks (including myself), sometimes it is just really hard leaving problems, moods and general negativity in the parking lot before coming into the office. Whether you just found out your girlfriend was cheating on you via Facebook, forgot to make your credit card payment, or heard your favorite basketball player would be taking his talents to South Beach, there seems to be a never-ending laundry list of possible scenarios for people to become upset and boil over with pessimism. People say that a good mood can be contagious, but the same goes for someone dealing with something less than a pleasant state of mind.

It is okay to be upset with something or someone. Being upset or angry is simply how humans try to cope when they feel wronged, and it does indeed feel good to get cynical feelings off your chest. Still, negative moods can be hurtful to productivity in the workplace and can rub off on your fellow coworkers. Not every day is always filled with endless sunshine, perfectly brewed pots of coffee or easy assignments galore when it comes to the professional world. There are going to be days where the sky is that lifeless white-gray, the coffee in the break room is long gone and your tasks are more than unpleasant to deal with. Nonetheless, I am a firm believer that life is ten percent of what happens to you and ninety percent how you react to it.

At Incept, do people have bad days? Of course. However, it is important to remember that you are the one in control of your mood and how you deal with it. Here is a quick list of ways to be positive (and their benefits) during a rough day at work:

  • Remember, this too shall pass…

Remember this: whatever problem you had that made you feel angry or discontent before work will ultimately, in most cases, be waiting for you when you are done with your shift. While you are at work, take the time to put outside problems you are having on pause, and focus on your job. The benefit of this method is that you have time to calm down, focus on matters unrelated to the source of your negativity and will be able to greet your predicament with levelheaded judgment when you go home. Use the workplace as a positive retreat from external disarray.

  • Be appreciative of the people you work with…

At Incept, when I’m having a bad day, I can almost always count on my friends and colleagues at work to cheer me up. Showing them equal appreciation is a great way to relieve ongoing stress and create teamwork around the office. Take some time and rather than focusing on what is bugging you, focus on saying thank you to someone. A simple thank you can go along way in lifting someone’s mood while also strengthening company culture. Ultimately, it’ll make you feel good. Plus, it’s probably one of the easiest ways to create positivity.

  • Question if it is worth being upset or complaining about…

It is easy to complain – anyone can do it. I have complained to the point where my better judgment speaks up, and I actually think to myself, “Wow! You are complaining a lot about this!” Then I end up feeling almost embarrassed. Ask yourself, “Am I that upset about the situation or circumstance that I need to openly complain?”  In doing so, you will put things into perspective for yourself. One should also stay away from being sarcastic. Sometimes things are not worth the effort or time to complain about.

  • Take a mental break…

Sometimes all that is needed is a quick step outside – or just away from your desk – to regain a quick bit of sanity to keep you going throughout the day. Taking a brief drink of water or coffee is also a good way to mentally relieve stress. People deal better with circumstances when they can slow things down and evaluate not only the situation causing them grief, but also the choices they can make in an effort to keep positive the rest of the day.

When it comes to keeping positive, it’s not all about productivity. It is also a reflection of your company’s culture. Are your employees ready to tackle their assignments or tasks or do they seem constantly depressed and dragging? Positive thinking can create positive results. Next time you feel like you are having a bad day at the office or feel a tug of negativity on your heels, try one of the above tips and take the first step towards keeping positive at work.

What are some ways you stay positive while at work?