Why Keeping a Positive Attitude at Work Is More Important Than You Think

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Truth: We all complain about our jobs at some point throughout the day (whether you're annoyed with your workload, your boss, or the less-than-stellar snack situation in the office kitchen).

While letting out some steam is totally normal—and something everyone needs to do occasionally to rid their minds of negative thoughts—if those thoughts are constant (and affecting yourself and your teammates), then there might be an issue.

At our recent Wellness Collective event in Los Angeles, Sarah Panis, founder of Gritty Movement, asked how positive everyone was about their job on a scale of one to 10. Out of the 40 people who joined for the wellness-filled morning, maybe (and that's just maybe) 10 people held up all their fingers.

What Panis suggests doing is recognizing and reframing your negative beliefs into a positive mindset. And that doesn’t mean radiating rainbows when you walk into the office. Panis defines positivity as “a feeling of optimism and confidence that’s constructive. What it’s not: Constant joy, fake happiness. What it is: Recognizing the power you have over your mindset."

The process of cultivating positivity takes three easy-to-implement steps. First, write down what's bothering you. Do you feel like your boss is micromanaging you? Are you having a hard time trusting your team? Let it all out in a journal.

After that, pay attention to how it makes you act after feeling this way—do you retaliate by snapping back to others? Do you fail to delegate tasks to your co-workers because you feel you can't trust them, only leaving you with more work? "Negativity limits you, whether you’re aware of the missed opportunities or not," says Panis.

Lastly, once you recognize the issue and the consequences that are directly impacting you, form a plan. How can you reposition your situation into a better one? "Every experience is neutral, it’s our perception that makes it negative or positive," says Panis. Consider how others, like your boss, might be stressed, and how you could step up to help—and in turn alleviate some of the tension that feeds the negativity loop in the first place.

If you need an example of the power of conscious positivity, just think of the difference between collaborating with those co-workers who are genuinely supportive versus those who are counting down the minutes to leave. "Leave a positive lasting impact on those around you," advises Panis. And who knows, maybe you'll inspire someone else to pay it forward, too.

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