Approaching work with positive thinking can significantly affect how you perform your tasks, whether you are an employee or an entrepreneur. This mindset is a powerful tool to help you achieve better results and build stronger relationships with your colleagues. It can help you overcome challenges, cope with stress, and achieve your goals. However, mastering how to think positively takes practice.
How to Develop Positive Thinking
Changing negative thought patterns can happen in small ways, such as a kind word or a smile. But maintaining enthusiasm for work in the face of difficulties requires continuous effort. These tips can help you learn how to transform a pessimistic voice into a refreshing breath of positivity.
1. Watch your words.
“How can I develop positive thinking?” you ask. Learn the language of positivity. Add encouraging phrases to your vocabulary. For instance, instead of directly calling out a team member for a mistake, give guidance and constructive advice to help them improve. Assuming that everyone is doing their best makes it easier to practise empathy when communicating.
2. Cultivate an attitude of gratitude.
Instead of sweeping negative self-talk under the rug, acknowledge its presence. Shift your focus from what’s lacking to what you can do. Take a moment to reflect on your accomplishments as you look forward to achieving more goals. Gratitude takes practice, but the benefits are worth your time.
3. Establish a solid morning routine.
No one wakes up in the morning and thinks, “Today I’m going to have a horrible day at work.” Set the tone for the rest of your workday with habits that fuel your positivity tank. Sneak in a quick workout before clocking in. Set your alarm an hour early to eat breakfast at a leisurely pace.
4. Seek constructive solutions.
Be honest. Venting to a friend about your overwhelming workload feels good. However, complaining will only get you so far, so shift your perspective towards potential solutions. When a client requests more than you can handle, think about how to address the issue without giving up before even trying. For instance, gather your colleagues for a brainstorming session where everyone can contribute ideas without judgment.
5. Celebrate small wins.
Recognising and acknowledging success is crucial in any workplace, regardless of whether you are a team leader or a member. A Journal of Quality Assurance in Hospitality & Tourism study found that emotional rewards (compliments and recognition) and material rewards (promotions and incentives) keep hotel workers satisfied with their jobs. The next time you want to increase your team’s motivation and morale, tell them how you appreciate their work.
6. Get quality sleep.
Sleeping well can help you maintain positive thinking at work and boost your immunity. According to research published in Nature Reviews Immunology, sleep can help the body prepare for potential threats by creating a robust immune system. Protect yourself further by getting enough exercise and eating nutritious food.
7. Smile more, stress less.
Smiling puts you in a good mood and makes others feel more comfortable around you. Researchers from a Nature Human Behaviour study suggest that facial expressions can influence emotions. They found people felt happier when they imitated happy faces or made voluntary facial expressions.
If crooked teeth make you shy away from smiling, ask your dentist about ClearCorrect, which offers discreet and comfortable aligners. The clear orthodontic appliance can straighten teeth without anyone noticing, giving you the confidence to show off your winningest smile.
The Benefits of a Positive Mindset at Work
Studies conducted by Gettysburg College reveal an average person will spend 90,000 hours working in their lifetime. While it’s unrealistic to maintain positive thinking throughout this time, it’s important to be mindful of your reactions when challenges arise.
Optimism does not mean ignoring the negative, but rather acknowledging the truth of your situation and finding ways to make the most of it. Also, going to work with a bright outlook offers the following benefits:
- Safe environment
- Enhanced productivity
- Stress relief
- Improved collaboration and team dynamics
- Better leadership and decision-making
- Increased creativity and innovation
- Healthy wellbeing
Although you may not have control over every aspect of your job, you can still manage your thoughts and emotions. The benefits of positive thinking improve your performance and job satisfaction. You also build better work relationships and effective collaboration. So, when things go wrong, remain calm and take deep breaths. Every problem has a solution; you only need to believe in yourself and those around you to find it.
Irwin, M. R. (2019). Sleep and inflammation: partners in sickness and in health. Nature Reviews Immunology, 19(11), 702–715.
Koo, B., Yu, J., Chua, B., Lee, S., & Han, H. (2019). Relationships among Emotional and Material Rewards, Job Satisfaction, Burnout, Affective Commitment, Job Performance, and Turnover Intention in the Hotel Industry. Journal of Quality Assurance in Hospitality & Tourism, 21(4), 371–401.
Kour, J., El-Den, J., & Sriratanaviriyakul, N. (2019). The role of positive psychology in improving Employees’ performance and organizational productivity: an experimental study. Procedia Computer Science, 161, 226–232.
One third of your life is spent at work. (n.d.). Gettysburg College.
Young, E. (2022, November 16). Adopting a smile can make you feel happier, large global study finds. BPS.