Smile AM at Work: Navigating Challenges with Positivity


Smile AM

Although you can't always choose who your coworkers will be, try spending more time around those with an array of interests and an optimistic approach to work - they may provide additional healthy motivation to boost your energy in the office!

People tend to take on aspects of those they spend too much time around, often unknowingly taking on aspects of their perspectives if you spend too much time around negative people who constantly gripe about something.

1. Reframe the Situation

Smiles can be powerful symbols for many emotions, from happiness and friendliness to nonverbal communication and bonding with others. Smiles also serve to strengthen connections with people you work with and when your workplace happiness increases productivity may increase too! But how can you maintain a positive outlook when life throws curveballs your way? Reframing can help: by shifting perceptions by choosing more positive interpretations of events or feelings (for instance if feeling embarrassed because you missed an important meeting due to being sick); instead, try remembering this can shift perception by reminding yourself how dedicated you are to prioritizing wellbeing over any embarrassment!

Reframing can be challenging because it requires practice to transform negative thoughts and feelings into more constructive ones. To start reframing successfully, identify any negative thinking patterns so you can recognize when they arise in your mind, then challenge them by asking "Is this thought helpful or unhelpful?" and considering other possibilities when approaching a situation.

If your boss tells you to smile more at work, your initial reaction might be to cringe and feel awkward; but take a moment to reframe this situation and consider that perhaps they simply want you to relax more or enjoy life more (perhaps they care more about your job satisfaction than just making sure everyone smiles more!) may help reduce stress levels and help alleviate anxiety.

When receiving an angry or critical email from a coworker, rather than instantly responding negatively, try understanding what might be going on in their lives at this moment and how this situation could impact them if they're feeling overwhelmed. This might help shift the tone from them venting their feelings onto you to something you can help support and encourage them with.

Enhancing your capacity to positively navigate challenges can help build resilience and improve emotional well-being during difficult times. Though it may be challenging, finding silver linings when things go wrong may become easier with practice; using strategies like reframing can help change perspective and stay resilient during workplace challenges.

2. Embrace a “Glass Half Full” Mindset

Though external circumstances and negative thoughts cannot always be controlled, you have control over adopting a positive outlook. Although this may sound simple, this concept lies at the core of "positive psychology". Positivity refers to one's general attitude of looking on the bright side in life.

There are various strategies you can employ to become a more positive person, including practicing gratitude, thinking positively of yourself, meditating, stepping outside your comfort zone and saying positive affirmations. People who practice these techniques typically experience increased energy, lower stress levels, and can deal with challenging situations more effectively than before.

To become more positive, you need to learn to identify and eliminate negativity from your life. Engaging in mindful meditation, decluttering your brain through techniques such as neurofeedback or avoiding toxic people can all help with this endeavor, along with being more observant of things happening around you.

Reminding yourself to recognize what's good in your life can help you find an upside in otherwise negative experiences, like when an office presentation doesn't go as planned; such obstacles could become challenges that forced you to sharpen your skills while showing you are capable of facing and overcoming difficult challenges.

Being optimistic makes it easier to identify potential solutions in any given situation and provides greater engagement between yourself and those around you. Being positive also creates more opportunities to spread positive energy around.

Note that living on either extreme of the pessimistic/optimistic spectrum is generally unhealthy. Excessive optimism that disregards or ignores negative emotions is not productive and can be extremely unhealthy, while excessive pessimism can lead to feelings of hopelessness and despair, comparable to what optimists may experience. While optimism and pessimism are both natural states of being, learning how to better control both can make us more resilient individuals.

3. Stay Focused on Your Goals

One of the best ways to stay motivated is to clearly outline your goals and how they align with your values. Once you know what's important to you, staying on course when faced with obstacles will become much simpler.

If your project seems daunting, try breaking it into smaller, more manageable tasks with clear deadlines. This strategy helps overcome inertia by making it easier to focus on small steps toward your goal and experience frequent, satisfying accomplishments that reinforce long-term achievement.

Pattern disruption techniques can also help break bad habits that prevent you from focusing. For instance, if you find yourself watching silly YouTube videos when feeling bored, use the 15-minute rule as an antidote: simply set a timer for 15 minutes and work on the task you need to finish in that amount of time - breaking neural pathways which cement procrastination into our minds over time will reduce procrastination over time.

Motivating yourself during an arduous project can be challenging, particularly if its results seem distant and uncertain. To keep yourself motivated when faced with this type of endeavor, it is key that you link this task directly with your career or life goals - whenever inertia threatens, remind yourself that long-term satisfaction lies ahead!

Next time a challenging work situation arises, remember that with practice and persistence, you can overcome any obstacle. A positive outlook and smile will go a long way to helping navigate challenges successfully for both yourself and others alike. By adhering to these tips you can stay on course towards reaching both professional and personal goals this year.

4. Take a Break

When situations become difficult, you may feel helpless and powerless to escape them. This is a telltale sign that it's time to take a break, which allows your energy and emotions to recover while helping reduce stress and anxiety.

Breaks don't have to be complicated affairs; all it takes is talking with friends, going for a stroll or listening to some music! Just taking five or ten minutes off of work can make all the difference in productivity levels and outlook.

Not only is taking breaks a great way to recharge, they can also help prevent burnout by improving the quality of work. A recent study concluded that employees who took frequent short breaks experienced more productivity and decreased stress than those who didn't.

If you forget breaks, try agreeing to find with a colleague to create an accountability schedule, or set reminders on your calendar so that you take breaks as often as necessary. If you're uncertain how long breaks should last for you, experiment with various intervals until finding what works for you best.

Eyal also suggests selecting activities for your breaks that do not rely on using your PFC, so that your goal-oriented part of the brain can relax while shifting its focus in other directions. For instance, when working on reports, switching focus could involve doing creative activities such as drawing or selecting photos for presentations.

As it can be easy to forget to take regular breaks when we feel overwhelmed or in difficult circumstances, remembering it will pass is essential in maintaining our mental well-being and productivity.

Implementing these strategies into your routine can increase the quality of your work and help you face challenges more positively. However, if you feel overwhelmed or stressed at work you must seek support and advice from a mental health professional if symptoms such as difficulty thinking clearly or feelings of hopelessness arise; or lack of enthusiasm in daily activities are present.

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