Career Development

7 Tips for Thinking Positively at Work

March 8, 2021

Thinking positively at work has many mental and physical benefits. An optimistic mindset can improve your mood, elevate your confidence and increase your effectiveness in the workplace. In this article, we will discuss why you should think positively and explore steps you can take to start incorporating more positivity in your work life.

Why thinking positively at work is beneficial

When you maintain a positive mindset at work, you may find your environment and day-to-day tasks more enjoyable. By maintaining a positive outlook, you can focus on areas of improvement and future goals rather than the challenges you’re facing. Positivity also tends to influence others, so you may also make your coworkers happier at work as well. 

Related: Social Skills: Definition and Examples

How to think positively at your job

Here are several tips to follow to think more positively at work:

1. Appreciate the small successes

One of the easiest ways to develop positive thinking at work is to find several small achievements to celebrate each day. Noting successes could help you feel optimistic and more motivated. For example, if you have a major project to finish, focus on the last few tasks you accomplished and be proud that you successfully completed them.

2. Take time to cultivate positive thoughts

Consider taking experiences you may not normally enjoy and turn them into something productive and positive. For example, you can use time spent in traffic as an opportunity to prepare for the upcoming workday, such as listening to recorded notes of your last meeting or a motivational speaker. You may even begin to look forward to this time each day, as you know you will spend it educating yourself.

3. Make every situation a lesson learned

When you finish a task or project, take a few minutes to think about what went well and what you would like to change next time. Think about the challenges you faced and plan ways to work through them to make your next project more successful. For example, if you just finished managing a project, you can think of three different strategies for future projects so you have options as you work toward your goals. 

Related: Character Traits: Definition and Examples

4. Surround yourself with positive people

Making an effort to be around other positive people can help you think better about yourself and your environment. You could do this by having lunch with coworkers who tend to be optimistic comments. During your time with them, you might bring up challenging projects and listen to their opinion on them. They may present you with a new way of approaching the situation that you had not considered before.

5. Use positive language

A simple way to improve your positivity is to employ positive words to use in your workplace conversations. Examples of these words include “accomplish,” “believe,” “encouraging,” “energized,” “generous,” “kind,” “optimistic,” “progress” and “rewarding.” Using these and other words with good connotations can help you create a positive environment.

When speaking at a meeting, you could say, “I believe we can accomplish this project successfully” or “I am encouraged by the progress we are making.” This can make you and your team feel more optimistic about an unfinished project or impending deadline. 

6. Express gratitude

Take time during your day to reflect on the people, events and accomplishments you’re thankful for. In a journal or planner, write down five things you are grateful for each day. You might find that you had a great workout at the gym that morning, gave a successful presentation at work or enjoyed having lunch with a colleague. Recognizing the positive effect of these activities can be a great way to end your day.

Another simple way to practice gratitude is by saying thank you during the day. You can make it a goal to say this to three people while at work. This could include thanking your secretary for planning a meeting, expressing gratitude to your coworker for following up with a client or thanking your supervisor for their feedback about your performance. Showing gratitude for what others do for you can have a positive influence on others in the workplace.

Related: Guide To Thank You Notes

7. Write down three positive aspects of each situation

One way to stay positive at work is to find three positive aspects of a challenging situation. This helps focus and makes a difficult situation more manageable. For example, if you have a time-consuming project, write down three parts of the project you enjoy. You might find that you enjoy the team you are working with or you learned a new skill. Seeing the achievements within your challenges can help you maintain a positive attitude.

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