Considering the amount of time we spend at our workplace, it is safe to say we want it to be a place oozing with positivity – meaning each individual needs to focus on bringing a positive mindset and attitude to work.
According to the late Zig Ziglar, “your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude”.
Some people wake up with a positive mindset each morning, others require a little more work to ensure they are training their minds to do and see the great things around them and extend this into their work environment.
How the mind can affect performance in the workplace
Lifestyle Medicine Physician Dr Jenny Brockis said it was important for the workplace to have a positive culture, contributed by each individual.
“We spend a third of our lives at work and it must serve a greater purpose, more than just providing a paycheck,” she said.
“While bills will always have to be paid, doing work that you enjoy doing, for a boss you like working for, in a working environment that is supportive and respectful, and you look forward to being with your work colleagues because you get on well with each other, creates work worth doing."
“A positive attitude contributes to being a better team player and being happier to contribute, cooperate and collaborate."
“Work gets done more quickly and more effectively.”
Health and Community Psychologist Marny Lishman said our minds controlled everything – the way we think, feel and behave.
“In the workplace, it can control everything from our mood and how we interact with our colleagues, our creativity, the way we problem solve, the way we adapt to change, our memory, how we process information and how we make decisions,” she said.
“Basically our minds control our performance, so if we are not mentally healthy, the flow-on effect is that we are not bringing our best selves to our personal and professional lives.”
Developing a positive mindset within the workplace
Luckily, we have the power to change our brains to have a different outlook and develop a positive mindset and attitude to bring to the workplace.
Dr Brockis said some of the ways we could develop a positive attitude were quite simple, however it needed to be repeated often to become habits.
“Set the intention by figuring out what you need to do that day to ensure you are meeting goals and staying positive,” she said.
“Ramp up your enthusiasm in the workplace, it’s contagious.
“Get better at celebrating all wins both great and small.
“We are all busy but taking the time to recognise a great outcome, to call out the good we see in others, makes us feel rewarded, and this extra dose of dopamine will motivate you to keep working hard and doing your best.
“Express gratitude for what you have or for what someone has helped you with. ‘Thank you' are two tiny words that pack a punch for the giver and the receiver.
“Begin meetings on a positive note, ask the attendees to share a win or present one yourself.
“Put a smile on your dial and make it authentic. Smiling more has been shown to shift your psychology towards the positive and, as with all our emotions, you’re spreading positivity germs to others.”
Self-care outside the workplace contributes to productivity in the workplace
Dr Lishman said bringing a positive mindset to the workplace had a lot to do with how you looked after yourself outside of work.
“People are not their jobs, so they need to make sure they are looking after their body and mind outside of work,” she said.
“This means having a good night’s sleep before work and having a healthy morning routine so you feel good before you even get to work.
“At the end of the day, you may need to do something to release the stressors from the day to prepare yourself for the next day – walking the dog, chatting with your partner, or anything that helps you to relax and unwind.
“Make sure you are engaging in activities outside of work that make you feel good too.”
Positive mindsets improve life as a whole
Developing a positive mindset, according to Dr Brockis, means you are ready for anything that life throws your way.
“A positive mindset builds greater psychological resilience against adversity, meaning you can cope better when things go wrong or don’t turn out as expected,” she said.
“It helps to protect you from burnout, anxiety, or the risk of depression.
“The good news is the human brain has a greater storage capacity than any of our current computers, so we are unlikely to run out of storage space anytime soon.
“This means there is always the capacity to keep developing a positive mindset.”