The coronavirus pandemic has taken our stress and anxiety to the next level. Frustration, worry and anger are all emotions that have spiked since March 2020. While it’s easy to neglect negative emotions in the moment, they can deeply impact how we go about our daily personal and professional lives.

Studies show that merely witnessing rudeness inhibits our working memory and decreases our employee performance. When surrounded by negativity, we tend to shut down and stop being our best selves.

So, what do we do with the toxic emotions that are within us and around us at work?

Luckily, there is a productive way to fight negativity in the workplace. This article will provide you with tips for reaching your full potential, and help you discover what it means to thrive in the face of adversity.

A Learning Philosophy for Thriving

Thriving looks different for everyone, but it can be broadly defined as the psychological state in which people feel both challenged and comfortable. Thriving individuals take on new learning experiences, grow from their mistakes, and are energized by their professional and personal endeavors. So, how do we reach this productive state? Follow the tips below to get started.

Avoid Negativity

We live in a world where we are constantly bombarded with images and digital distractions. It’s easy to get stuck in a negative rut when you are constantly being reminded of what you could be doing, what you aren’t doing and what everyone else is doing.

While it’s important to stay informed, studies show that more than half of Americans report feeling stressed, fatigued, and anxious as a result of keeping a constant eye on the news. To find some inner peace, take note of the media you ingest daily.

When you can, remind yourself to be present in your body and surroundings, and actively limit your exposure to stress-inducing content.

Practice Gratitude

Gratitude is a powerful tool. It reduces stress, makes us happier, and helps us stay focused on achieving our professional development goals. When you are openly grateful to those around you, it lets others know they are appreciated. This kind of expression of thankfulness can help strengthen your relationships at work and put your stress into perspective.

If you are navigating trauma brought on by the pandemic, take a breath and take stock of what you have. Take out a notebook when you have a free moment, and jot down five things you are grateful for. Seeing your gratitude written out on paper will energize you and help you overcome workforce development challenges with a fresh mindset.

For example, maybe you have started a weekly Zoom meeting with your extended family. Writing this down on paper will help you meditate on the possible positives of this. Maybe, as a result, you’ve become closer to family members spread across the globe that hadn’t been a big part of your life before.

Watch What You Say Out Loud

 Language is powerful. In his book “It Takes What It Takes: How to Think Neutrally and Gain Control of Your Life,” Trevor Moaward says it is 10 times more damaging to our sense of thriving if we verbalize a negative thought as opposed to just thinking it. Instead of stating that you are angry or sad, try writing down your negative thoughts and expressing your positive ones aloud.

It’s true that those around can influence your mood, but remember you have more control over your thoughts and feelings than anyone else.

Employee Satisfaction and Mental Health

Manage Your Energy

Start your journey to thriving by focusing on yourself. You can increase your chance of thriving in the face of negativity by prioritizing the following:

Exercising: For an even greater dopamine boost, try exercising outside with your friends, or listening to a high-energy playlist.

Eating well: Healthy eating provides you with a solid base for thriving in the professional world. Think about how well you respond to frustration when you’re hungry. When hungry, we often lack the self-control required for responding to our co-workers with patience and respect.

Getting enough sleep: A lack of sleep impairs our ability to stay in control and focused, which can contribute to negative thinking and a lack of employee productivity. Studies show that bad sleep leads actively to frustration, impatience and even unethical behavior in the workplace.

Seek out positive relationships: Toxic relationships can be hard to recognize, and easy to fall into. It’s important to know that they are bad for both your physical and mental health. Ask yourself if your current relationships within your personal and professional networks are giving you what you need to succeed in your role as a learning leader

In both your professional and personal life, try to gravitate toward people who make you smile, laugh and see the silver linings in difficult situations.

Smart Choices Plus Small Steps Equal Success

It’s no easy feat to put a stop to negativity, especially in today’s environment. But you have the power to make smart choices about who and what you surround yourself with, your perspective and the information you consume.

By taking even the smallest steps to a thriving mindset, you are setting yourself up for personal and professional success.

What are some of your methods for staving off negative thoughts and being your best self? What are some of the hardest things you are facing at the workplace right now, and what is your plan for overcoming them with positivity? Share your thoughts with us on social media by tagging @WeLearnIs.