How to maintain a positive attitude in 11 simple steps

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 5 September 2022

Published 29 September 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Keeping a positive attitude is essential if you want to increase your happiness and accomplish your desired professional goals. When you have a positive attitude, overcoming personal and professional challenges becomes easier because you're able to keep moving forward in the face of adversity. To learn how to do that, you may want to practise gratitude and engage in other common ways of boosting your optimism. In this article, we help you discover how to maintain a positive attitude in 11 effective steps and share how staying positive can help you succeed at work.

How to maintain a positive attitude

There are many ways to maintain a positive attitude. You may consider trying out different things to see what works best for you and then stick to them. Here are some popular steps on how to maintain a positive attitude that can help you increase your positivity levels:

1. Practise gratitude

Reminding yourself to be thankful for what you have is one of the most common ways to maintain a positive attitude. To do that, you can dedicate a few minutes at the end of every day to think about three things that you're grateful for and why. This practice may help you recognise each moment of your life as a gift and celebrate even the smallest accomplishments. You can even keep a gratitude journal to acknowledge these positives.

Related: How to practice gratitude while working remotely

2. Realise how far you've come

Reflecting on your past can boost your positive attitude because it makes you realise how far you've come on your life journey. To find meaning in your current situation, remember how you overcame past challenges and reflect on the progress you've made. It's also a great method to gain more courage to aim for more ambitious goals in the future.

3. Organise your days

Working on your organisational skills can help you better manage your days and increase your productivity at work. As a result, you may feel more accomplished throughout the week and have a better mood. Consider using simple organisational tools first, such as to-do lists, and set calendar reminders to know when to prepare for important meetings.

Related: 13 task management apps and tools for organising your life

4. Have a strong morning routine

Sometimes, the first moments of the morning can set your mood for the whole day. If you start the day strong, you have a high chance of increasing your happiness. Be sure to try out different morning routines to find the one that works best for you. For example, you can spend your morning journaling, taking a relaxing bath, meditating, practising yoga or reading your favourite author's latest novel. Consider not looking at your phone for at least an hour from the moment you wake up to truly appreciate taking time for yourself.

Related: How to create a positive morning routine: tips and examples

5. Use positive language

Remember that your language can shape your thoughts. This means that the words you use to describe yourself and your environment can have a direct impact on how your brain perceives reality. Using positive language and words that are filled with hope and compassion can help you treat yourself and others with care and be happier in general. For example, instead of worrying that you've got a stressful meeting this week, consider describing it this way: 'I'm excited to have the opportunity to challenge myself this week. I know I'm doing everything I can to prepare for my upcoming meeting.'

Related: How to be a positive thinker: 6 ideas for positive thinking

6. Keep your body active

Engaging in daily activities can help you boost your energy, reduce stress and sleep better. Regular exercise also helps you keep your mind and body functioning. If you're not a fan of high-intensity training, you can still be active by choosing moderate training. A good way to start is also to increase your daily steps. Consider setting a goal to walk 6,000 steps each day at first and, once you feel comfortable with the distance, increase this number to get to 10,000 daily steps after a few weeks or months.

7. Get inspired

It's sometimes easier to maintain a positive attitude if you can relate to other people who have had similar challenges or goals because it can inspire you to do more. There are thousands of inspiring movies, books or series about other ambitious individuals who've successfully achieved their goals. Consider getting a closer look at where they came from and what their journey looked like. Doing this might help you believe in yourself more.

Related: How to write an action plan to help you achieve your goals

8. Surround yourself with positive people

Surrounding yourself with people who view life in a similar way and have similar career goals may help you succeed. If you'd like to work on introducing more positivity into your life, you may consider spending time with people who understand that. Positive people are also more likely to support you throughout your journey and accept you the way you are, which can make achieving goals more comfortable for you.

9. Make other people feel happy

Showing appreciation for others allows you to start a positive chain reaction and boosts your mood. Remember that when it comes to giving support, the more you give, the more you receive in return from the world. Giving someone a compliment helps you make their day and bring more positivity into their life. Next time when you're feeling down, they may remember your kind words and want to cheer you up.

10. Practice dealing with rejection

Although it can be hard to deal with, rejection is a natural element of life. Sometimes, hearing a 'no' from someone can help you notice other opportunities in life or grow professionally. Handling rejection well allows you to stay positive even during stressful situations. To achieve that, remind yourself that other people's opinions and decisions are often out of your control, and they don't have to hold you back from achieving your goals.

Related: How to handle rejection personally and professionally

11. Take time for yourself

A key element of maintaining a positive attitude is recharging your energy levels from time to time. Consider engaging in self-care practices during the weekend to relax. You can distract your thoughts and keep your mind at rest by taking a long walk, doing something active or spending time with your loved ones. These practices can make it easier for you to reflect on the week and analyse if improving the way you think or act can keep your positivity levels up for longer.

Related: What are stress relievers? 10 effective stress relievers

Why it's important to stay positive at work

Here are some advantages you may experience professionally if you learn how to maintain a positive attitude:

Your productivity goes up

If you're positive, you're more likely to like what you do and find a true passion in your job. Your optimism can also influence others in your team and significantly improve everyone's performance. Being grateful for everything that surrounds you makes it easier to be creative and productive at work.

Related: 20 ideas for increasing productivity in the workplace

You're more effective

Maintaining a positive attitude allows you to see challenges as opportunities for growth. When you're positive, you're also more likely to try new things and come up with innovative solutions. These are signs of proactivity and engagement that may make you a more effective employee. A good method to stay effective for longer is to tackle the most important or difficult tasks first.

You can build good relationships with co-workers

Taking care of yourself and maintaining a positive outlook on life also makes it easier to build relationships with your colleagues. When you radiate happiness, you can be their source of inspiration, and support them when they're struggling to complete a difficult task. Be sure to offer your assistance and let them know that they can always rely on you.

Related: Forming relationships with work colleagues

You maintain a healthy work-life balance

When you keep a positive attitude and you're satisfied with where you're at in life, it's easier to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Once you organise and plan your long-term goals, you can make room for improving your professional skills, exploring passions or spending time with your family and friends. Balancing your life like this allows you to take better care of your physical and mental health. To improve this about your life, you may want to learn how to be an independent and assertive individual who's ready to ask for help and focus on nurturing important relationships in your life.

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