Dissatisfaction in the workplace is merely something that we can avoid; we are all prone to encountering some kind of disappointment at work. Understandably, people can be stressed and unhappy for many reasons, including job security, lack of opportunities to develop, perceived failure, uncomfortable change and dysfunctional workplace dynamics. As with many other things in life, some of these can be out of our control however we can control how we perceive and interpret these events to achieve a more positive sense of mental well-being.
How to challenge negative thinking patterns?
1 – Challenge your thinking
By identifying, challenging and re-evaluating negative thought patterns in relation to a particular situation or event that resulted in a disappointing outcome – for example, let’s take a colleague chosen for a promotion over you.
By using this process and breaking down negative thoughts, it is undoubtedly visible where any distortions may lie and you can challenge these thoughts in order to develop a more positive and realistic interpretation. If you’re feeling particularly negative, why not confront those thoughts; give yourself a reason to feel positive and think about how you’ll overcome the problem.
2 – Engage in imaginal thinking
A group of researchers, Driskell, Copper and Moran (1994) found a relationship between positing imaging and enhanced performance. If you can mentally construct a positive future for yourself and you embed this deeply in your mind, you will be able to alter your performance for the better to achieve fantastic results. So the next time you’re feeling negative, why not try and visualise an end goal for yourself.
3 – Focus on the positive
Once you’re in a negative frame of mind, it can be hard to shift these thoughts to something more positive – so why not try a simple technique? Make a note of something good that has happened to you each day; every day might not be good, but there will be something good in every day.
4 – Embrace failure
View failures as an opportunity to learn a valuable lesson – it is a failure that breeds success after all, not success itself! Regardless of the difficulties you face, there will be a solution to each problem you face and you are guaranteed to learn something from the experience.
5 – Maintain a Positive Attitude
What a better way to beat the blues than to schedule fun activities to look forward to? By engaging in activities that you enjoy, you are more likely to experience positive emotions that will buffer against the negativity that you feel and this will boost your mood and self-esteem. Also if you associate yourself with other ‘positive’ individuals that make you feel good about yourself and the future ahead of you, chances are that this will reflect on your mood.
6 – Minimise use of negative words
If you start replacing ‘can’t’ with ‘can’ and the ‘won’t ‘with ‘will’ – if you proactively try to make a difference, you will. By believing more in yourself and your capabilities, you are more likely to develop a stronger sense of confidence and competence.