• Negative attitude makes your work life a fucking misery
  • Positive attitude at work increases productivity, efficiency, and happiness
  • Retrain your mind away from the default negative setting to a more positive one and make life more enjoyable
We’ve all had at least some experience dealing with negativity at work, whether it’s an asshole boss that’s always giving you a hard time or an overly chatty coworker who can’t seem to shut the fuck up about their bullshit problems.

Then, there are always new negative rumors going around about someone or something about the company. Or, maybe you find yourself dealing with work peer pressure like you were back in high school.

“Oh, c’’s just one shot of tequila! Don’t be lame!”

Work happy hours like this suck.

These are just a few kinds of environments that make work-life an absolute misery. They always make it feel like such a chore to get out of bed every morning and go to work knowing that it will be just one shitty day after the other. The unfortunate result is that days always seem to drag on with no end in sight.

Light at the end of the tunnel?

Yeah, right. Don’t think so.

You may be tired of hearing about keeping a positive attitude at work but we’re here to tell you that it is true and with a little effort, you’ll get big gains.

Your own outlook and attitude can be powerful enough to overcome almost any amount of negativity. It just takes a little planning, practice, and perseverance. Three P’s, nice huh?

The Effects of a Negative Attitude in the Workplace

You already know that a negative attitude or workplace can ruin your day. But, did you know that it goes way beyond that?

It has ripple effects.

A bad attitude in the workplace has been proven to have huge negative effects on not just the employees, but also the whole company. This kind of environment creates unhappy workers. And unhappy workers have much less motivation, creativity, and productivity.

No shit, right?

Check this out.

This study from Harvard Business Review basically says rudeness at work can result in huge financial loss from wasted time and energy - to the tune of almost $3 billion worldwide. The study said that 66% of people indicated that their performance declined and 80% spent a lot of time worrying instead of working.

Been there, done that.

So that not-so-nice comment you got from your resident office asshole may have cost the industry a quarter of a billion dollars or something.

And then there are the annual performance reviews.

When your boss gives you nothing but critical negative feedback, you feel like shit and you lose all motivation. If you’re constantly worried about your work being criticized and rejected, you’ll stop being creative and just do the bare minimum that won’t get you lashed.

And, guess what happens when it’s not just happening to you but to all of your coworkers?

That’s when the company culture goes down the shitter, and eventually, so do the company’s profits. Multiply that by all the companies in the world and that’s your 3 billion dollars right there. 

Humans Are Pre-Programmed For Negativity

What is it about negative feedback that gets us all worked up?

Well, criticism leaves a much more powerful and lasting effect on you than positive feedback. Humans’ inherent negativity bias is behind it all.

Negativity bias is when you react more intensely to negative emotions than positive ones.

Think about it - most people will click on news headlines that are all about doom-n-gloom, accidents, deaths, risks, dangers, etc. And, the media companies know this and that’s why most news is negative news.

Research also says that we are more likely to remember and learn from negative experiences than positive ones because we give more importance to negative experiences.

Slipping on ice and doing a faceplant into the concrete sidewalk hurts like a motherfucker. You feel it and will never forget it. You learn from that experience.

This all comes from our ancient caveman days.

Back then, prehistoric human ancestors were always on the lookout for natural threats in their day-to-day lives. Being eaten by a saber-toothed tiger was a real possibility. So, the default behavior was to always think that you may be another animal’s next meal.

This kind of negative fear-based behavior is what kept them alive. It got embedded in human genetics and passed down through evolution to modern humans today.

This is why you’ll usually have a negative view or attitude on things.

It’s seeing the Powerpoint presentation as a pain-in-the-ass ordeal versus an opportunity to showcase your creativity. Or, cursing at the excel spreadsheet because it “doesn’t work” versus seeing it as a challenging puzzle to solve.

This negativity bias is what’s been pre-programmed in our heads. However, this default setting can be undone.

Training Your Mind For Positivity

It’s unrealistic to expect anyone to be happy and cheerful all the time (they’re annoying anyway). However, there are some ways you can change your behavior to maintain a more positive attitude in the workplace - even on the shittiest days.

1) Find One Good Thing To Be Happy About

Starting your day thinking about how bad it can get is only going to make things worse. Your mind can and will find a million plausible scenarios where it all goes to shit.

Next thing you know, you’re walking into the office with a bad attitude and being bitchy for the rest of the day.

Instead, why not start your day on a positive note?

It doesn’t have to be all rainbows and unicorns, but something simple to smile about.

Give yourself a few minutes each morning to think of something you’re happy or grateful about. It could be during your morning coffee meditation. Or, when you’re commuting into the office. Whenever you have a minute.

Being grateful is the simple little trick to triggering happiness at work.

Just take a deep breath, and think of at least one thing that makes you smile. It doesn’t matter how small or trivial it is. There are 101 things to smile about.

Set the bar low and just think of simple little things that you like, love, enjoy, etc. All it takes is this little positive thought to head in the right direction for the rest of the day.

2) Celebrate Small Victories 

It’s very easy to feel stuck at work.

Every day, you’re grinding away at all the emails, tasks, follow-ups, meetings, etc. You’re making progress but do you ever stop and look back at what you accomplished at the end of the day?


We know how that goes.

You gotta give yourself props.

Celebrating small victories at work throughout the day helps you stay motivated, keep momentum and remain productive, which in turn leads to more victories and the cycle goes on.

And when you tie a few cycles together, that’s when you’re in the zone and unstoppable.

Replied to 5 emails?

Completed the report?

Finished the deck?

And when you have a big task, chop it up into small wins and savor every single victory. Squeeze the goodness out of everything you do until the last drop of that sweet, sweet dopamine is all yours.

3) Use Constructive Language

It’s way too easy for your negativity bias to go from thoughts to verbal communication. You don’t want to be a Debbie-Downer all the time saying how shitty things are all the time. Nobody’s gonna wanna hang out with you.

But, at the same time, you don’t wanna be all fake-happy either. People will see through that bullshit.

What you want to do is use constructive language when you’re trying to express or point out stuff that isn’t positive.

For example, if you are presenting an idea that does not entirely work, point out the bit that works while giving constructive criticism on how to improve the areas that don’t. This is a more positive and useful way to do it.

A negative thinker in that situation will basically just shit all over the project.

4) Make Legit Friends At Work

This study from the University of Oxford says that when you spend long periods of time in a lonely or isolated environment, you up the odds that you’ll get dementia and die earlier.

Not surprising really.

On the other hand, this study from Regent University has some good news. It says that social positivity among coworkers makes work life much more enjoyable and even makes your job more rewarding.

Well, yeah. Duh.

What this all boils down to is that when you have friends at work, the office turns into a petri dish of goodness. The best is when you have your very own work BFF. And if not, just having friendly coworkers can do the trick too.

So, don’t be a cubicle hermit and stare at your monitor all day. Give your eyes a break and get up, walk around and go socialize for a bit. It’ll also do wonders for dead butt syndrome too.

5) Surround Yourself With Positive People 

If you spend a lot of time with positive people who enjoy their work, that sort of attitude will rub off on you. You might even find yourself also thinking positively about yourself and other people.

With that being said, if you mostly hang out with a bunch of Negative-Nancies, who always seem to find things to bitch-n-complain about, then you’ll take on that same behavior pattern.

You gotta ditch that crowd.

Entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk lays it out in this 2-minute video below.

VIDEO: Surround yourself with the right people
LENGTH: 2:38
Summary points:
  • Check your circle of friends and drop the loser
  • Attend events where the positive types of people are
  • Add a winner to your circle
It’s important to remember that you have complete control of who you surround yourself with. So, choose to be with people that have a more positive outlook on things.

And, when you do this consistently, your mindset, perspective and behavior will change for the better.

6) Avoid Complaining (Not to Be Confused With Venting)

Constant complaining is one of the worst things you can do to your mental health. It’s your inner asshole that’s speaking its mind. It’s not the real you.

Complaining to your coworkers about everything wrong with your job, the office and life in general all the time will only create a toxic atmosphere for you and others around you.

You’re bringing the entire place down with your negative vibes, dude.

You don’t want to be labeled “whiny” or else people will distance themselves from you. This will alienate you from the group which will mess up your bad mood even more.

Instead, make your words count.

Only vent when necessary or complain when the situation justifies it.

7) Leave Gossip Behind in Middle School

Gossip can be extremely damaging since it completely shatters the trust between people.

Whenever a rumor is being spread, people are always looking over their shoulders because they don’t even know whether the rumor was true or not. Or worse, whether or not it’s about them.

Gossip doesn’t just waste valuable time and damage one person’s reputation, but it also hurts the whole office’s reputation. So, you gotta avoid the gossip trap.

Stay professional and friendly and it’ll do wonders for your personal brand at work.

8) Find Ways To Relieve Stress 

Easier said than done, right?

We know the struggle.

Being able to manage work stress and relax in the workplace can drastically improve performance levels, productivity and happiness.

There are many easy and extremely helpful things that you can do to relieve the stress that is draining the life out of you. And, one of them is meditation.

Hold off on the eye-rolling for a sec.

Meditating at work can be very beneficial for getting rid of stress and making room for a more positive attitude. The more you practice meditation, the more effective you’ll be in getting rid of the shitty stuff in your head and replacing it with good vibes.

Meditation consists of many different exercises all aimed to reduce the chaos in your head and lower your heart rate and calm you down.

No, you don’t have to become a yoga guru to master mediating.

A meditation exercise as simple as breathing slowly and deeply can significantly reduce stress and anxiety and improve focus and attention span.

If you haven’t meditated at work before, check out our ultimate newbie’s guide to meditating at work and you’ll get off to a great start.

It’s Time To Make The Switch To Positivity

We should always remember that our attitudes affect our mental health, our careers as well as those around us.

Having a constant negative mindset will only turn you into a bitchy, whiny, complainer that nobody wants to be around. However, on the flipside, when you’re realistically and authentically positive, good things tend to happen to you more often.

The point in staying positive is basically doing yourself and others around you a favor. Being more collaborative, engaged, and optimistic not only makes you feel better but also makes others feel better too.

Maintaining a flow of positivity can help you stay clear of that victim mindset and turn you into your own best cheerleader at work. You can transform yourself into a more happy, productive and efficient person by retraining your mind for positivity.

As you walk into work tomorrow and beyond, give one of the ideas above an honest try. Start laying the groundwork with small incremental improvements.

What’s the worst that can happen?

There’s no downside to this.

So choose to be better, more collaborative, more positive. It makes all the difference.

Feel Better,

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