Fours years ago, amidst the toughest and most trying part our lives, my friends and I got together to talk about what we were going through. We discussed how our work was boring yet trying, we weren’t getting anywhere, and worst of all, we considered the life experience we were having as negative, not positive. It plagued us. We weren’t happy.
After a very present and aware discussion, we came up with a solution to the problem that changed all of our lives. That solution we called “The Energy Super Highway.” What is that? Well, it’s the highway that we all want to be on, where what we are doing in life and work is moving, and moving fast. Its what we shoot for. Because you know, without a doubt when you are on it, and you know when you are not.
We all have negative influences and we all get down at some point. Science even shows we are born with a predisposition.
Cognitive scientist and business consultant Dr. Art Markman reveals that “about 50% of how happy you are is genetic…The other 50% is split between the environment and people’s habits. Both the environment and your habits are (at least to some degree) under your control. So, you can influence your level of happiness in a positive way, even if you have a genetic predisposition to focus on the negative.”
Where we put our minds when those thoughts and feelings approach makes all the difference, especially in the complicated workplace. The key is controlling that.
When things start going to the dark side in your head at work, you can use these three tips to get your mind in the right space, to be more positive…and jump on that Energy Super Highway
1. Have a Gratitude Journal – When I was searching for the best way to flip my mind from negative to positive, I got this suggestion more than any other. And I tell you, IT WORKS. Every morning when you wake up (when anxious or negative thoughts tend to come on) write down 10 things you are grateful for in your work…genuinely grateful for. After two weeks of this, you will see a big difference. After one month you will feel it. It’s only 10 things! If you are ever in a negative state of mind, flip that journal open and read a past entry…it’s sure to bring some peace to your mind.
2. Schedule the Mundane Tasks – Not every task or project at work will always be fun and happy. “The best way to get through a mundane task is to make sure it doesn’t bleed into work you really like” Says Vanessa Van Edwards, renowned Behavioral Investigator at the Science of People. She reminds us “We all have tasks we hate doing–bills, paperwork, difficult clients. These cannot be helped. But you do want to make sure that they don’t drag you down. Set aside very specific time each day to tackle the difficult task so you can segment and rock through it as fast as possible”. Once you apply this, the tasks still won’t be great, but they sure will be separated from the fun stuff. Your mind will change from “this sucks,” to “this has to get done…then I can go have fun.” After all, without the not so great times, the great times wouldn’t be nearly as awesome.
3. Dance – No joke, this is one of the best ways to stay positive. You should have a playlist of your favorite fast songs, that already make you want to shake. When you need to harness good positive energy, put the headphones on (or turn the speakers up), step away from the work, and dance. It’s amazingly liberating. “Fast thinking helps to create a positive mood. Listening to fast music forces your brain to keep up with it, which makes you think fast, which makes you feel better” says Dr. Art Markman. Furthermore “Exercise also makes you feel better. If you’re feeling down, you tend to want to sit alone in a dark room. Get out and move around… That will help you think more positively.”
You know what dancing is? Exercise too! And its damn fun, whether you are good at it or not. You may be thinking, “that’s ridiculous, I can’t do that at work.” Yes you can, and get that negative thought out of your head already. Go into a room if you need to or take a walk with your headphones. Shake what your momma gave you and laugh. Then go kick ass on your current project.
You don’t need to do all these at once. Pick one that speaks to you most. And this won’t happen over night. Slowly and surely make these habits, and you are sure to be jumping on that Energy Super Highway.
See you there.