A simple smile, an act of kindness and showing gratitude go a long way with people, especially in the workplace or on a team. It can be difficult to maintain a positive attitude when dealing with stressful situations and pressing deadlines, but choosing to do so can play a big role in success and stress reduction.
And attitude – positive or negative – is contagious. A positive one motivates others, reduces stress, increases quality and productivity, creates teamwork and encourages creative thinking. Your team members have more potential to accomplish its goals, develop resiliency and improve psychological prosperity when they work in a positive environment.
Are you taking an active role in creating a positive atmosphere? Here are a few ideas to encourage positivity:
- Step up.
Tackle the jobs that no one is willing to do. Wendy’s founder Dave Thomas famously credited his success to his MBA, but he wasn’t referring to a graduate degree; he meant his “mop-and-bucket attitude.” In other words, jump in and get the job done. When you help with a project or task that no one else wants to do, you’re immediately seen as a go-getter. The sense of accomplishment you feel once the job is complete could be enough to turn your attitude around and put you on top of the world.
- Attitude of gratitude.
Studies show that people who take time to be grateful are typically more successful in life and feel more invigorated throughout their day. Wake up each morning and take a minute to be grateful for one thing. Focus all of your energy on that one thought and allow yourself to feel joy. It might take some time to train your brain, but pay attention to the little things that occur throughout your day and acknowledge gratefulness for them.
- Never underestimate the power of a smile.
You’ll not only appear cheerful, but start to feel that way, too. Your body associates the muscle movements in a smile with feelings of happiness. A warm smile adds value and can change one’s outlook on the day. As with attitude, smiles are contagious; they’re the easiest way to share good vibes. Even if you’re having a rough day, force one out. It takes discipline to bounce back after something goes askew, but a smile will release endorphins that can change your emotional outlook, not to mention others’.
- Acknowledge success.
It is easy to get caught up in the big picture and lose sight of all the smaller accomplishments that lead to achieving the ultimate goal, so be sure to recognize all the small wins. Acknowledge your peers and superiors for everything they do to help your organization achieve its goals. High-fives and genuine praise go a long way to drive positivity.
- Set goals.
Creating goals for yourself can help give you focus and a feeling of accomplishment. With your eye on the prize, goals can help you work harder. I find it helpful to visualize a 10-year plan. Where do you see yourself in a decade? Who do you know? What hobbies do you have? Where are you in your career? Find photos and images online to create a collage of your 10-year plan and keep it at your desk. It will help you stayed focused on achieving your goals.
- Do something nice.
Random acts of kindness don’t go unnoticed by others. They could make you feel better and they don’t require a huge effort or cost a lot of money. Give a genuine compliment, take time to listen to your team member, bring a snack or lunch to a friend, write a thank-you note, help a classmate with a project – the list goes on. Random acts of kindness will not only help brighten your day, but also someone else’s. Repeated kindness could even create a better work environment and improve team culture.
- Turn negatives into positives.
Not all bad situations are negatives, as long as you use them as learning opportunities. Life is tough and you will have obstacles to overcome, so use this process to sharpen your skills and become a better team member and person overall.
- Get moving.
Stay active during your day. An active body is a low-stress body. Take extra steps to ensure you’re getting enough exercise. Instead sending a text or an email to a friend, hall mate, or team member, speak to them in person instead. Human interaction will help improve your outlook and mood.
Attitude is like a boomerang: Good or bad, it will always come back to you. The more positivity you project, the more positivity you’ll receive. No matter what the day brings, how you choose to respond holds enormous power in the success or failure of the challenges you face each day. Attitude is everything, so choose positivity!