Joni Daniels

How to Stay Upbeat

When times are especially challenging, there is an extra emphasis on positive psychology. In fact you can get a degree in positive psychology!

There is no magic to positive psychology; it’s a focus on the things that improve people’s lives. Good old Abe Maslow might be the first person to use the term back in the 1950’s, although Martin Seligman is the guy who gets the modern day credit. But as long as there has been the study of psychology, its’ practitioners have examined people’s aspirational goals, intelligence, creativity, curiosity, imagination, and peak performance.

When times are tough the field of “positive psychology” gets extra attention. Many people try to balance the continuing deluge of bad news with an optimistic outlook. Given today’s headlines, a difficult workplace climate, or hard personal challenges, our ability to find hope can certainly be tested.

Happiness feels better than anger or depression. There are studies that actually measure the positive effect an upbeat attitude can have on the bottom line. There is research that suggests that being happy at work can improve revenue, employee engagement and retention, customer loyalty, and even creativity. I don’t advocate acting as if a bad situation isn’t happening but I do think it makes sense to focus on what you CAN do, what you are good at doing, and what brings joy into your life.

Take Action
Upbeat professionals and optimistic organizational leaders behave in ways that generate positive energy. Apply some of these tactics at work when you feel things dragging you down:

Hope can vanish if left to flourish on its own, so doing nothing at all can make the workplace a drain on people’s psyche. If you want to impact climate in a positive way, be intentional about it. Your goal should be to help folks stay focused on doing what they CAN so they will be more upbeat. Since each person is unique, employees will define happiness at work differently from each other. There is no ‘one size fits all’ but there is an outlook that communicates:

It can be better, it will be better, and we can do it together.