How to Keep a Good Work Attitude in a High-Stress Workplace

Your own attitude influences those of the people around you.

Your own attitude influences those of the people around you.

Maintaining a good attitude in the workplace is an excellent way to reduce stress. When you can smile in the face of demanding managers, impending deadlines and snarling customers, you reduce your chance of developing stress-related illness, and you can enhance your effectiveness at work. As someone with a positive attitude, you'll not only make your own workdays more tolerable, but will influence others in your workplace to adopt an upbeat style of relating, as well.

Change the circumstances that are causing the stress, advises the Mayo Clinic. While quitting your job is likely not an option, you can try to eliminate stress-inducing factors. For example, if your job involves lots of running around, make sure you wear comfortable shoes so you don't have to deal with the added stress of aching feet. Prioritizing tasks can help you to maintain a positive outlook. There's nothing like looking at a to-do list with the important items checked off to make you feel accomplished, even if you still didn't have time to get everything done.

Take care of yourself when you are not at work. Staying up too late reading an engrossing mystery novel and eating a quick take-out dinner with questionable nutritional value may feel good in the short run, but you'll pay the price when you are attempting to keep up with the frenetic pace of your workplace. Turn out the lights early, eat a balanced, whole foods diet and get regular exercise to prevent stress from turning a sunny disposition into a sour one. Add fish oil to your diet to see an even greater benefit. Dr. Barry Sears, author of "The Zone," states that fish oil can help to increase levels of the mood-booster neurotransmitter serotonin.

Show appreciate for your colleagues. This not only has the effect of making you notice the positive things happening around you, but makes coworkers feel good as well, resulting in a workplace that is less stressful. The next time someone sets yet more work on your desk, smile and thank them for saving you a trip to your mailbox. Thank the UPS guy for carrying the 40 lb. box of supplies up the stairs, and let the receptionist know that you're grateful for her patience with you when you borrow her pen.

Make a list of the things you are thankful for in your work life. Even a highly stressful job often has many positive qualities such as a living salary, a few friendly coworkers and grateful customers. Write down as many things as you can think of, and carry the list with you to work so that you can sneak a peek when circumstances threaten your positive attitude.

Surround yourself with colleagues who themselves have a positive outlook whenever possible, recommends Carl ToersBijns, a retired deputy warden of a prison -- a stressful job if there ever was one. For example, eat lunch with a coworker who likes to chat about fashion or her volunteer work rather than accompanying a group of complainers to the pizza joint next door. Attitudes are contagious, and the company you keep matters.

 

About the Author

Elise Wile has been a writer since 2003. Holding a master's degree in curriculum and Instruction, she has written training materials for three school districts. Her expertise includes mentoring, serving at-risk students and corporate training.

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