Have you ever worked with someone who always sees the glass as half full? They’re always cheerful, happy to help, and seldom bothered by trivial troubles. Optimists tend to be easier to work with and they brighten the workplace. Not only that, but optimists in general tend to be healthier—with better immune systems, longer life spans, a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, and all around better well-being. Typically, happy employees are more motivated and productive at work. Read more to learn how to be more optimistic at work and in everyday life.
What employees can do:
- Reframe your frustrations. In other words, find the silver lining in the clouds. Try to look at problems from a new perspective. For instance, if you get stuck in traffic, instead of focusing on the stress of the situation, think of it as extra time you have away from chores, work, and the other hectic aspects of your life.
- Be mindful. Try not to hurry through all aspects of your day. Be present enough to notice enjoyable small things, like the taste of a hot cup of coffee or the warmth of sunshine through the window. Make a list of things to be grateful for, even if it’s just a mental list. The practice of concentrating on things that make you happy will spread to other parts of your day.
- Accept your mood. While it may seem counterintuitive, don’t force yourself to be happy when you aren’t. If you feel sad, accept your mood and try to find ways to move forward. Don’t deny what you’re feeling in the present.
- Surround yourself with positive people. It’s easier to be happy when you’re around happy people. Try to limit the amount of time you spend with coworkers and friends who always seem to be negative.
How supervisors can help:
- Many times, just talking about an issue can help. Employees that complain frequently might do so because they don’t feel heard. Acknowledge what they’re saying, and let them know you’re available to help. Communicate with them and learn why they are upset. If there’s a legitimate issue, offer to help solve the problem. Otherwise, listening itself might do the trick.
- Provide opportunities. Sometimes staff feel discouraged if they don’t feel like they have control over their position. Provide employees with some decision-making power in their position. Allow them to choose to work on projects they’re passionate about.
- Create a positive culture. Make sure you have an encouraging workplace. Support an atmosphere of teamwork by giving everyone roles in projects, and giving everyone a stake in company goals.
- Set an example. Like most things, sometimes the most effective thing you can do is set a positive example. If your employees see that you generally have a good attitude and rarely complain, they’ll most likely follow suit.