Anyone who has ever had a case of the Mondays (and isn’t that pretty much everyone?) knows that it’s hard to always put on a happy face at work. But a new study discovered that staying positive can completely change workplace vibes.
Research from Binghamton University, State University of New York, specifically looked into positivity in the healthcare workplace and learned that having a positive mindset is key to a happy and healthy work environment, and even makes people more productive.
Nina Flanagan, clinical professor of nursing and program coordinator of the Adult-Gerontological Nursing Program at Binghamton University’s Decker School of Nursing, researched the topic after considering her own personal experiences working at a range of healthcare organizations. She noticed that the more negative workplaces had a damaging effect on their leaders and the staffers. She believes that because the healthcare industry is notoriously tough and constantly in flux, people in the field often feel stressed out and overwhelmed, contributing to a poor work environment.
“It’s easy to be negative,” Flanagan said in a statement. “It’s much harder to go against the grain and be healthy, and positive, and look at things in a positive light. I think the lack of recognition is a lot of the reason why people get negative in healthcare. You hear a lot about what you don’t do right and not enough about what you are doing right. Our workplace environment feels unstable, and instability can invoke fear and anxiety. This affects the way we respond to change, but being positive and reframing these situations can help to decrease some of the fear and anxiety.”
Ultimately, it’s up to you to push yourself to take on a more positive perspective, especially if you’re in a leadership position, since it will trickle down to employees. “[Negativity] can easily become a culture wherever you are working. To me, it has to be shed from the top, it has to be a leadership initiative. It has to be something that’s expected and understood,” she said.
Need a few pointers for staying positive? It’s much easier than you think. Something as simple as giving a co-worker a compliment, showing gratitude, or even just smiling can go a long way. When you stay on message, it’s easier for others around you to do the same, and that’s exactly how to boost morale. It’s good for your health!