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5 Ways to Remain Positive When Your Work Life Is a Downer


Over time, having a not-so-desirable work life can take its toll and, eventually, start negatively impacting your personal life. A typical adult spends two-thirds of his or her entire life working, so there’s no use in wasting all that time being miserable. If you feel that your work life resembles the depths of hell, then hopefully these tips can help you see the light at the end of the tunnel (until you find your dream career).

dead-end job

(Photo Credit: Mike Mozart/Flickr)

There’s no doubt that workplaces are filled with interesting individuals, and for those unfortunate few, the most interesting of them all are their bosses. If the cocktail of personalities doesn’t get you, then maybe the unnecessary and ridiculously petty drama is the straw that broke the camel’s back. Regardless of what drives you up the wall about your workplace, the reality is that it’s wearing on you and you need a solution … STAT!

Do You Know What You're Worth?

1. When the going gets tough, take a break. We all have our breaking point, and reaching that point shouldn’t happen at work (or ever, really). Therefore, when you feel as though the stressors at your job are getting the best of you, step away for a bit to regroup and center yourself. Consider taking a walk outside for some fresh air, meditating in a quiet environment, or listening to soothing songs for a bit. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how just five minutes of changing stimulus will help you refocus and make it through another day, however painstaking it may be.

2. Quiet the “noise” and surround yourself with positive people. There’s always one or two of those drama-ridden, miserable co-workers who are constantly complaining and gossiping about every single thing and person in the office. Choose to not surround yourself around this type of person — or someone who’s constantly a Debbie Downer — because it’ll only bring you down, too. If your objective is to get through the day without having any unnecessary “noise” contributing to your already less-than-desirable day, then isolate yourself from co-workers who are only there to suck you into their own unhappiness and misery. Remember, misery loves company.

3. Take ownership of your thoughts, feelings, and actions. Feeding off of number 2 (above), you need to also take ownership of how you’re behaving at work. If you go to work every day complaining about how much you hate work to co-workers, then, guess what, you’re playing a huge role in your everyday work life being so dismal. It’s easy to continue the vicious cycle of letting one little thing (anything, really) set you off at work, so put an end to this downward spiral into an endless, unproductive pit of darkness and start turning lemons into lemonade, as they say. It’s your happiness at stake here, so you make the choice.

4. Find something to be grateful for each and every day. Take a piece of paper or a Post-it note and write down one thing that you’re grateful for that day. It could be a something as miniscule as you being thankful for a hot cup of coffee in the morning, or something as pivotal as completing a project at work and getting praise. The point is to remind yourself of the things that bring joy to your personal and professional life so that you can replace negative thoughts with happy ones. As Norman Vincent Peale once said, “Change your thoughts and you change your world.”

5. Consider a career/job change. If all else fails, then maybe it’s time to switch up careers in the New Year. The thought of starting over in a new career can be scary, but it doesn’t have to be. If you really think about it, what’s scary is you staying at a dead-end job and continuing to waste your life and career away. So, take action today and start taking steps towards a career and life that you love — maybe a fresh start is all you really need. Read this post to learn about some mistakes to steer clear of when making your career-changing decisions.

It’s pointless to dread your everyday life, so find ways to boost your morale here and there, because it will make a difference.

Tell Us What You Think

Are you someone who has a less-than-favorable work life? Share your experience with our community on Twitter and let us know what steps you plan to take to change that.

Leah Arnold-Smeets
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