How To Develop A Positive Attitude In The Workplace

Developing a positive mindset at work can help you achieve success. Being encouraging and empathetic of others and yourself will help build and maintain a positive attitude. Making an effort to avoid negativity is important in building a positive mindset. This article is for anyone who’s looking for ways to develop positive attitudes and mindsets in the workplace.

Let’s face it: Work needs to be done. It doesn’t matter whether you are an employee or an entrepreneur; what separates you and others is how you approach your work. Having a positive attitude in the workplace can be one of the keys to getting your work done effectively and improving your overall work experience.

Embracing a positive outlook at work helps to create a collaborative and supportive culture that fosters productivity and personal growth. Positivity benefits not only you but also your employees, co-workers and customers. How to develop a positive attitude and mindset

Having a positive attitude can provide a crucial benefit for your workplace, but this helps only if you can develop the right kind of perspective. The stresses of work can make it difficult to sport the best possible mindset every day. Here are some strategies for how to develop a positive outlook.

Any employer looking to make their workers happy without offering more money can benefit from our 12 secrets to keeping your workforce happy.Be encouraging and empathetic. 

Two colleagues high-fiving each other

Developing a positive attitude in the workplace can start with how you interact with your associates, regardless of their place in the hierarchy. Whether it’s celebrating the small victories or helping deal with a bad case of the Mondays, injecting optimism and encouragement into the workplace can benefit everyone.

Rachel Sheerin, a speaker on burnout and happiness, said positive people radiate a different energy. “Positive people show their positive attitude in their words, actions and feelings,” she said. “Positive people radiate differently, just by walking in a room with their energy — it changes the world and people around them.”

It’s important to not just develop a positive outlook but also to maintain it. It’s easy to be positive when things are going well, but sometimes, people will be going through tough times. Showing your employees, co-workers or clients empathy and respect demonstrates you care about their well-being. [Read related article: Best Careers for Empaths]

“I encourage my clients and their teams to remember that everyone is trying their best,” Sheerin said. “No one wakes up in the morning wanting to screw up or do a bad job — so give some consideration and empathy to others.”Be a team player.

Your workplace is full of people working toward a common goal; you’re all acting as a team, whether directly or indirectly. Talk with your employees and co-workers to see how you can assist them. Helping others lighten their load, within reason, can strengthen your team.

A strong team maintains a level of success and productivity no matter the circumstance. We laid out how to cultivate a resilient and adaptable team.

“You can show a positive attitude through the words you use,” said Deborah Sweeney, CEO of MyCorporation. “Become a ‘yes’ person, and try new things to see how you do. Give your time, and ask co-workers how you can help them out if you have a free moment. Volunteer to take the lead on new assignments. Be kind to everyone and genuine — do not gossip constantly or spread rumors.”

When you can do your job effectively and become a dependable team member, that trust you earn can improve your perspective and standing in the company. Security in your team and company provides you with more stability. Work with the right people. 

Person with thumbs up and smiley emojis around their head

Surrounding yourself with positive people in your work life can dramatically improve your attitude. Negative people can increase your stress level and make you doubt your ability to maintain success at work. 

“If you find yourself surrounded by negative co-workers, see if you can switch cubicles or teams within the same department,” said Jessi Beyer, a speaker and personal development coach. “Make conscious decisions with your space and your time at work that will result in surrounding yourself with co-workers with positive attitudes.”

Both positivity and negativity can spread quickly throughout the company. “I am someone who will deliberately avoid spending time with people who have a bad attitude at work, or anywhere for that matter,” said Amy Finlay, co-founder of Edinburgh IFA. “As a positive attitude can be contagious, unfortunately, a negative attitude can also spread through people, and before you know it, your mindset can completely change with too much exposure to these types of people.”

Working with positive people will help you handle everyday stress in a more constructive way. 

Getting your team to work together fosters a strong, collaborative work culture. Here are six ways to get a team working together.Focus on what’s in your control.

Realistically, you cannot control every single aspect of your work. You can be the beacon of positivity, but some people at your job will still be negative. But while you can’t control how people behave, you can decide how you let it affect you. 

“No matter the positive or negative attitudes at work, it’s important to be mindful in the workplace,” said Lizzie Benton, a culture consultant at Liberty Mind. “Rather than letting yourself be consumed by a negative attitude, question why that person might be coming across in that way. Don’t take it personally, and do your best to build a barrier against negative comments or behaviors.”

Focusing on what you can control will help you manage the amount of stress you allow in your life. Your mission at work is to get your job done as effectively as possible, so focus on the factors you can oversee. Treat yourself positively. 

Person looking at themselves in a mirror

No matter what stress you are experiencing in your work or personal life, you should always remember to be your biggest supporter. Practice positive self-talk. Framing daily events in a more positive light will help limit negative thinking. One way to approach this is to not say anything to yourself that you wouldn’t say to anyone else. It’s important to be gentle and encouraging with yourself. 

If you start to think negatively, evaluate these ideas rationally. Replace defeatist thinking with affirmations of your strengths. Think about things you’re thankful for in your life, and reframe obstacles or roadblocks as opportunities for growth.The importance of a positive attitude in the workplace

Whether it’s you or a co-worker who is going through a hard time, try to keep the negativity at bay.

“Misery may love company, but negativity has never lifted anyone up,” Sweeney said. “You feel better when you surround yourself with positive people. They encourage you to reach for the stars, work hard and stay focused on fulfilling your dreams. Positivity begets more positivity. Over time, you may find that even the most stubborn person in the office who refuses to enjoy something has a change of heart and changes to be more positive, all because you had such a great attitude.”

The presence of negativity in your company can be like dropping dye in a glass of water: You need only a few drops to change the whole look. Instead, try to make the work environment more conducive to positive attitudes and help diffuse the negativity.

Attitudes “either move the needle forward or keep it still,” Sweeney said. “A positive attitude keeps everyone trying new things, feeling brave about brainstorming new ideas, and makes people feel excited to go to work with their co-workers.”

Psychologists generally agree that our brains are hardwired to focus more energy on bad news. That tendency is exacerbated by instant news and videos of tragedies being uploaded seconds after they happen. But does that mean humanity is doomed to live in a cloud of negative energy? Most experts say no.

“The thought that you need 10 positive experiences to write over one negative one can definitely be true,” Beyer said. “One way to combat this is to approach the outcomes of negative situations with a learning mentality. Find one small takeaway from a situation, and your perception of that situation as negative will start to shrink.”Maintaining a positive attitude takes work

Person meditating at work

Developing a strong positive attitude and mindset is a key to achieving success at work, but maintaining it isn’t always easy. To do so, you must not allow negative thoughts and energy to affect your daily progression.

By keeping your workforce in the right frame of mind, making your workplace as stress-free as possible and prioritizing the well-being of your workers, maintaining a positive attitude at work can be another challenge you conquer. 

Jennifer Post contributed to this article. Some source interviews were conducted for a previous version of this article.

Positive Attitude: 12 Tips For Feeling Uplifted Every Day

Finding joy and maintaining a positive attitude can boost your physical and mental health

It’s no big secret that it’s been a rough few years for all of us. Deadly viruses, tense politics, higher prices—any one of our modern-day worries can be enough to shift our mindsets to the pessimistic side. Stress can suck the optimism out of anyone’s attitude, and when it’s prolonged, it can increase the risk of anxiety and depression. That’s certainly not a formula for maintaining a positive attitude.

Fortunately, when unsettling things happen in our lives, they happen around us, not within us. “Ultimately, we are not our thoughts,” says Henry G. Lawrence, creator and host of The Positive Mindset Podcast. “If you are having negative thoughts, those are not you. When you are stuck in the negative energy, you feel that energy.”

It’s one thing to want to be a more positive person, but it’s quite another to wrap your head around how to make that happen. And yet maintaining a positive attitude is possible no matter what life throws at you. Once you achieve a more optimistic place in your head, the rewards will soon follow. You may even learn how to be happier in your daily life, practice gratitude even in tough times, set boundaries for yourself and determine your non-negotiables to maintain a sunnier outlook.

Get Reader’s Digest’s Read Up newsletter for humor, cleaning, travel, tech and fun facts all week long.What is a positive attitude?

At its core, a positive attitude is having an optimistic outlook and expecting good things to happen. “A lot of people come to my podcast because they feel the opposite,” says Lawrence.

And he believes that a positive attitude runs deeper than just keeping your thoughts on the bright side. “I think finding inner peace is the true positive energy, not just the joy and happiness. You absolutely want those, but inner peace is the highest form of positivity,” he says. “When you have that, you are able to observe or find what you want out of every situation in your life.”Why is having a positive attitude important?

First and foremost, an optimistic mindset is associated with better overall health. According to the Mayo Clinic, a positive attitude can increase your lifespan, lower rates of depression, boost your immunity and even lower your risk of death from cancer and cardiovascular disease.

A JAMA Network Open review of 15 studies, involving more than 200,000 participants, found a 35% lower chance of getting heart disease and a 14% lower chance of early death in people who were optimists.

And not surprisingly, a sunnier outlook is also associated with a raft of mental wellness benefits. It’s linked to better well-being, fewer symptoms of depression and a greater likelihood that you’ll adopt good mental health behaviors and coping strategies, according to an article published in a 2022 issue of Frontiers in Psychology.

“You will start to see the good in every situation,” says Lawrence. “If you have a positive mindset, you will see the silver linings in every situation.”Tips for staying positive

Maintaining a sense of optimism can come from both sustained efforts to keep it and little mood pick-me-ups when you need a quick shift in your mindset.

Happiness isn’t always directly connected to a positive attitude (we all know an optimistic grump or two), but these strategies can help you spark cheerful thoughts, promote optimism and learn how to be more positive—and how to stay positive too. And you may just find yourself in a better emotional place without even trying to be happier.1. Stop the negative self-talk

For many of us, there’s no harsher critic than our own brains. Instead of giving ourselves well-deserved compliments, we beat ourselves up internally, which drags our self-confidence and positive energy down. “We devalue who we really are,” says Lawrence. “If you are going through tough times, why shouldn’t you be the positive healing energy that’s needed?”

If you find yourself blaming yourself for everything, personalizing things and catastrophizing that any bad thing is likely to happen, take yourself out of that headspace as soon as you recognize it. The tips below will give you tools that’ll help you to do that.2. Believe in the magic of music

Call it the power of positive thinking: Research shows that listening to happy songs improves your outlook, so long as you believe it will. A study published in the Journal of Positive Psychology found that participants who listened to cheery music with positive intentions noticed an improvement in their moods. The group that wasn’t told to think of the music as a happiness booster didn’t feel the same way.

Not sure what tunes to crank to cultivate a brighter outlook? “Choosing music that is uplifting to you can really help with that,” says Lawrence. Put in a set of earbuds at the office to help you stay positive during your workday too.3. Volunteer for a meaningful cause

There are many good-vibe benefits of volunteering, from reducing feelings of loneliness to giving you a sense of purpose, all of which can give you a brighter vantage point in life. But to get the most positivity from helping others, your intentions need to come from the right place.

“Giving and supporting your community is great,” says Lawrence. “But there are a lot of people who do so many good things on paper but still feel so empty inside. If you’re volunteering just to check a box, it won’t have the same mood-enhancing effect. Serve in a way that you needed when you were younger. We should become the person we needed when we were growing up.”4. Stop and smell the flowers

four happy looking daisies on yellow background; the right-most daisy has a few petals spread in a formation
four happy looking daisies on yellow background; the right-most daisy has a few petals spread in a formation

mrs/Getty Images

Sure, they put a smile on your face when you look at them, but the smell of flowers can cause a major mood boost too. A study from the American Society for Horticultural Science found that floral scents boosted cheeriness by improving energy levels and suppressing feelings of depression.

And there may be other reasons why making the effort to sniff floral scents can help cultivate a more positive outlook: “Being present in the moment, like stopping to smell the flowers, is incredibly valuable for inner peace,” Lawrence says.

Double the positivity by taking note of these moments. Pick up a gratitude journal and make a habit of gratitude journaling to keep track of the times you stop and smell the roses. Speaking of habits, learn how practices like habit stacking trains your brain to make good habits last.5. Try napping

Naps are often considered a guilty pleasure rather than the mood-maintenance tool they can be. Rest is the tonic that our minds need to help us refocus and rebalance. (Does anyone have a positive mental attitude when they’re feeling exhausted? Nope.) “Sleep is self-care,” says Lawrence. “If you’re using naps for that, they’re perfect.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that both short (15 minutes) and long (one hour) naps can be beneficial, but it’s better to avoid slumbering for much longer than that because it can disturb your essential nighttime shut-eye.

If you’re working from home these days, fitting in a daytime nap can help you stay more positive about your work life and be happier at home. Research from the Journal of Administrative and Business Studies found that daytime napping boosts happiness and can also help you improve work performance.6. Hang out with optimistic people

Feeling like your attitude could use an adjustment? Inspirational books and quotes can help, but what really makes a difference is spending more time with people who have good outlooks on life, says Lawrence. “Being around positive people will help make you more positive over time,” he says. So the next time you’re looking to hang out with someone, reach out to a pal who always puts a smile on your face.

Have a co-worker with an attitude problem that makes you feel like you hate your job whenever you talk to them? Skip that next lunch date and make plans with a cheery office mate instead.7. Stay hydrated

Staying properly hydrated isn’t just important for your physical health—it lubricates your brain too. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that even mild dehydration made healthy women feel more pessimistic.

Dehydration was also linked to fatigue and scattered concentration, neither feeling ideal for a positive outlook, so aim to quench your thirst on a frequent and regular basis. According to the Mayo Clinic, men should aim for about 15.5 cups a day (3.7 liters), and women should consume 11.5 cups (2.7 liters).8. Try a digital detox

By now, we’ve probably all heard the news that too much time spent on social media can be bad for our mental health, leading to negative feelings about ourselves and an increased risk of depression—especially in younger adults. Putting down the glowing rectangle and spending more quality time in the real world can help us foster a more positive mindset. “A digital detox as a road to a more positive attitude? It’s a simple yes,” says Lawrence.

Feel like it’s a big leap to give up social media entirely? Balance the time you spend on it with healthier activities. “If you get on social media for 10 minutes, then meditate for 10 minutes to help practice gratitude, for example,” he says.9. Dance like no one is watching

disco ball with light reflecting on orange background
disco ball with light reflecting on orange background

Oleksandr Latkun/Getty Images

Think you have two left feet? Bust a move anyway. Research from the University of Northern Colorado found that people who make time to dance have improved cognitive development and creativity as well as a better sense of self-worth.

So the next time you’re down in the dumps, blast some Beyoncé—or some Donna Summer, if you’re feeling a disco vibe—and put on your dancing shoes. Having your family or roomies join you can help brighten the outlook of your entire household. Bonus points if you add at-home karaoke to really ratchet up the fun.10. Move more

There’s no shortage of anecdotal evidence that exercise helps clear the mind, but the solid research will help you truly believe it: A study in Frontiers in Psychology found that people who expect to get mental benefits from exercise are more likely to reap attitude-improving rewards.

Whether it’s taking a walk, getting your blood pumping with a Zumba class or lifting weights to strengthen your muscles, exercise of any kind is helpful for a positive outlook. The effects of exercise on our emotions do more than yield a positive attitude. Exercise can also reduce stress and anxiety. So go with a favorite sport or try something new, like rock climbing or kayaking, to reap the mental health rewards.11. Watch what you eat

There’s an old saying that we are what we eat, and our brains and our moods follow that same principle. “Rewarding our body with food that heals us makes us grow stronger, and a healthy diet keeps your body and mindset in balance,” says Lawrence.

A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains is a proven winner for both physical and mental health. Think of it as a happiness diet.

It’s fine to eat comfort foods for a mood boost every once in a while—doesn’t everyone smile when they eat a cookie?—but keep an eye on what your go-to foods are, particularly in times of mental stress. When you reach for a bite, “ask yourself, Is this food rewarding temporary pleasure centers, or is it treating my body as it deserves?” Lawrence says. “If you keep answering ‘pleasure center,’ your mindset probably isn’t so good.”12. Go outside

Spending time in the great outdoors can change your outlook in a hurry (and provide you with plenty of opportunities for small moments of joy). A study in the journal Scientific Reports found that spending as little as two hours a week in the open air is associated with a boost in feelings of well-being.

The vitamin D in sunshine may also have something to do with it. A study in the Journal of Clinical Medicine found that the mood-boosting benefits of the vitamin are more effective coming from the sun than from supplements. “There’s a lot of science behind the sun being good for your mood and other health factors,” says Lawrence. “We need it to grow just like the plants.” Next, learn how strongly clothes can impact your mood.


How To Tell An Employee To Be More Positive

Nicole Long is a freelance writer based in Cincinnati, Ohio. With experience in management and customer service, business is a primary focus of her writing. Long also has education and experience in the fields of sports medicine, first aid and coaching. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from the University of Cincinnati.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *