When so many workers are required to do more with less and the economy seems to be in a state of stagnation, it’s very, very easy to be negative. It can be quite challenging to look on the bright side of life when you haven’t had a raise, but the cost of living keeps going up.
But negativity can take its toll. According to an article in AllBusiness.com, negativity can result in serious health issues as well as a loss of productivity. The problem for many workers is that even if they want to be positive, it is difficult to do so when you are surrounded by negative people.
The following Q&A gives some tips for staying up when others are down:
1) What can people do to keep a positive outlook when their coworkers are negative?
I recommend that people take a couple of steps to stay positive in a negative environment. First, whenever and wherever possible, surround yourself with positive people. If there are any positive people at all in your workplace, associate yourself with them. If there are no positive people at work, then make sure you surround yourself with positive people outside of work. Second, physically take yourself out of that environment when it’s feasible. For example, you don’t have a choice when it comes to being around negative people when you are in the office, but you can use your lunch break to get out of the office and take a breather. Going for a brief walk during your lunch break can help rejuvenate you.
2) How do you think coworker negativity can impact mental health and overall health?
If you do not make a conscious effort to fight the negativity, you will find yourself becoming negative as well, and this can make you a bitter, negative person. That definitely impacts your mental health, and of course there is a mind-body connection. If you are not in a good place mentally, your body will suffer and you will become more susceptible to disease.
3) Do you think it’s a good idea to try and help negative coworkers see their work and life in a more positive light? If so, what are your suggestions for doing that?
I do think that it is a good idea to help negative coworkers if they are open to receiving help. One way to do this is to focus on the positive aspects of the job and/or organization. You can usually find something positive if you look for the positive. Another way to help coworkers is to focus the conversation on positive things outside of the workplace. Instead of talking about work all the time and how bad things are, you can talk with coworkers about their families and outside interests.
If, however, your coworkers do not respond positively to your efforts to help them look on the bright side, it’s probably best to focus on the other tips that I shared above for staying positive yourself.
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