By Carla Watson and Shelley La Mancusa, authors of Getting Out of A Rut
Being positive is a key part of shaping you as a person and shaping the direction your career heads in. Working life can be a rollercoaster of happy and sad times and for some of us the sad times can linger a little longer and have considerable negative impacts on our lives.
Many of us feel like this was the hand we were dealt and therefore we just coast through life settling and living the hand we were dealt. We used to feel like this, but fortunately the process we went through showed us that you can find the path to positivity no matter how bleak and unattainable it may seem.
Without positivity in your life, it is very hard to commit and achieve vital lifestyle changes. We strongly believe that positivity is the key to making change happen, which is exactly what happened to us.
There are many benefits to gain from ridding yourself of negativity and replacing this with positivity, however we feel that the main three are stress, health and relationships. These are all very closely linked but are key areas where significant improvement can be felt.
Stress is a key offender in stopping positivity blossoming and with work comes stresses. Be them big or small, they will affect us all at some point in our working lives. The way we perceive a situation can have a negative effect on our stress levels, therefore positive thinking is a great way to eliminate stress and the effects can be long term and life changing. These changes are not only psychological but also support positive physical changes for us.
A positive outlook helps us deal with stressful situations more appropriately – this does not mean stressful situations are no longer stressful but it means we are better equipped to deal with them without these stresses having too much of a detrimental effect on our health. Looking for the good aspects of a situation will mean you are immediately hit with a positive focus, therefore limiting the attention given to any negative.
Negative self-talk plays a huge part in stresses and is an area we explore in our book ‘Getting Out of a Rut’. Too often we are knocked down by our own negative thoughts both personally and professionally and become our own biggest critics. In this situation, you have two options – move forward or ignore them and turn the negative into a positive ( which is easier said than done but not impossible!). Changing how we view ourselves is fundamental to encouraging others to have a more positive view of us.
Positivity has a significant impact on our health and medical evidence suggests that it can promote decreased depression and distress, increased life span, better coping skills, better psychological health and less chance of catching the common cold. Positivity can also benefit your mental health in many ways and make you feel far more optimistic about your life and where you are heading. When you’re at work and have a heavy work load, this can make you feel stressed and depressed but approaching it with a calm and steady mind will help you overcome the hurdle. A positive and rational mind means you can plan a constructive way forward without sabotaging this with negativity.
To maintain this positivity, you need to avoid the negativity. In our book ‘Getting Out of a Rut’ we discuss how you can avoid the negative, manage it and support you to consider the people you have in your life and how these people impact your world. For us, ‘the key to self-improvement of any kind is who and what you surround yourself with’.
Positive thinking is a great way to transform relationships. Unhappy relationships come from negative thinking patterns. Find your negative thinking patterns and turn them into positive and this will benefit you in the long term. Having a support network in the workplace is essential for you to achieve positivity. Negativity limits our potential, it is suggested that those who surround themselves with negativity are also risking their health with increased stress, increased absence from the workplace and limited professional development opportunities.
Negative thoughts can be self-fulfilling, the more we believe in the negative the greater chance that the negative thoughts will be realised. Your negative mindset could influence relationships in the workplace and contribute to a workforce that is not as productive as it could be, resistant to change and unhappy. We’ve all been in the presence of a negative person who leaves you feeling tired and drained after spending a working day in their company, even if their negativity isn’t aimed at us per se. Both personally and professionally, no one wants to be around the negative person – injecting a little positivity will open your relationships and may even make room for a few more.
Positivity benefits us all in some way or another. The benefits are endless, but don’t just take our word for it, give it ago. Get yourself out of your rut.
About the authors
Carla is a manager for a homeless service in Hertfordshire. Carla has struggled with her weight throughout her life, which, despite several losses, has continued to increase. In the year ahead Carla is looking forward to continuing on her life-changing journey and fully conquering the battle with her weight and finally feeling comfortable in her own skin.
Born in Northern Ireland, Shelley was coasting through life when a family tragedy changed everything. Her brother was involved in a serious car accident which had a significant impact on family life. Shelley returned to the UK in 2011 with the dream of starting a family and, following years of fertility treatment, she finally welcomed her son into the world in 2015.