5 Ways To Stay Positive When You Think Everything Sucks

When we are positive, we focus on solutions, ideas, and possibilities. It makes us happier and more efficient workers.

We know that we are in charge of our own happiness, but some days our circumstances make this task harder for us. Sometimes our work isn’t going the way it is supposed to or your know-it-all colleague is trying to block all of your ideas.

A very real obstacle to positivity is that our brains are hard-wired to look for and focus on threats. This was a great asset in our caveman days, back when sabre tooth tigers were trying to kill us, but in the modern world it just allows for pessimism and negativity. How do we stay positive and happy at work when there are concrete circumstances working against us? Here are five affirmations to stay positive, even when it seems like everything is going wrong.

1.This too shall pass

This is an old adage which means that all situations, good and bad, are temporary. Even though you aren’t seeing the sun during the winter of your life, it doesn’t mean that spring won’t eventually come. Trust that it will all come together in the end, even if you can’t see it now. This doesn’t mean that we should just wait for things to blow over all of the time, but things can always turn around.

2. is it all in your head?

One thing our brains are (unfortunately) designed to do is wander until we find a threat. This means that sometimes, in the absence of external threats, we will make a mountain out of a molehill. We make things seem bigger in our head than they really are. This is again an asset thousands of years ago, but today it just skews our perception of reality and sometimes has disastrous effects on our life.

3. Fake it

We know we’re supposed to be genuine with our thoughts and feelings but sometimes that just isn’t going to cut it. Even if you are feeling down – tell people you’re doing great, smile, and project happiness. If you say you are having a bad day, then you If you change your behaviour and mindset, the feelings will follow.

4. Stop focusing on the stressors

It’s all too easy to just focus on the things which are getting us down and brush off all the positive things we have going on. A lot of the time, things are going exactly as they should be but we don’t notice it. It’s only when things in our life start to unravel that we pay attention. This is easier said than done of course.

5. Stay Calm

I know that it sounds cheesy, and usually this is the last thing you want someone to say to you when you’re really fired up. But take it from someone who has a bit of a Latin temper – losing your cool and getting emotional will get you nowhere! If you are not able to stay calm, divert your mood temporarily. Grab a cup of coffee/tea or go for a walk but do not include your friends at the office. This will help you to gain some time to calm down a bit.

There is a time to get angry, because after all, most good things came about because someone got angry. If there is something truly wrong, you should speak up and change it. But sometimes we just have to let things pass and push through the negativity to stay positive.

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Image from here.

Anna Guastello
27 Aug 2014

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