Benefits of positive thinking in the workplace

Get a free consultation

Health Assured team

30 April 2021

As in all areas of life, a positive attitude can be a great help at work. Talent and hard work are obviously important, but actually liking what you do, and coming across to others as positive, are equally so.

Attitude is a key factor in many work-related things. It’s likely that got your current role, or even passed over for others, because of a perceived attitude.

From entry-level positions to c-suites, your attitude defines how you work, how others work with you, and the impact you have on the workplace.

What is positive thinking and self-talk?

Many people think positive thinking is blind optimism or living with their head in the sand. However, positive thinking means you approach unpleasantness in a more positive and productive way. You think the best is going to happen, not the worst.

Setbacks are inherent to almost every worthwhile human activity, and several studies show optimists are both psychologically and physiologically healthier.

Positive thinking often starts with self-talk. Self-talk is the endless stream of unspoken thoughts that run through your head. These automatic thoughts can be positive or negative. Some of your self-talk comes from logic and reason. Other self-talk may arise from misconceptions that you create because of a lack of information.

If the thoughts that run through your head are mostly negative, your outlook on life is more likely pessimistic. If your thoughts are mostly positive, you're likely an optimist — someone who practices positive thinking.

What are the benefits of positive thinking?

The benefits of positive thinking are myriad and diverse. When people embrace a positive attitude in general, they:

  • Suffer less stress: people who think positively about all situations are more likely to find workable solutions quickly, avoiding a lot of stress.
  • Better coping skills during hardships and times of stress: it is not possible to eliminate stress from life, but positive thoughts and outlooks increase resilience and allow employees to bounce back quicker.
  • Have more confidence: positivity means faith in your own ability to overcome
  • Show better focus and improved decision making: optimistic minds arrive at decisions quickly and can focus on the task at hand without external anxiety.
  • Manage time well: less stress, faster decisions and more confidence mean high organisational skill.

These are all exceptional skills for employees to have. It’s clear that these are significant benefits of positive thinking in the workplace. Someone displaying all the attributes described above is likely to go above and beyond, deliver skilled work, and be a natural leader.

Positive thinking and leadership

Leadership is something that is almost completely dependent on positive thinking. After all, we’ve all worked with negativity and that negativity rarely results in greatness.

A good leader can use their natural positivity to influence those around them. By this, we don’t mean constant cheery sunshine and smiles, that can become grating quickly, but a general faith in your team.

Some encouraging words and rewards when employees hit their targets are exactly the positivity a work environment needs.

Positive people’s effect at work and home

But the benefits of positive thinking and attitudes don’t stop there. It’s not just at work. This positivity will leak into their personal life and improve their long term wellbeing.

People can spend eight hours a day, five days a week, with the same few people at their jobs. It’s easy for that to become a bit of a drudge.

But when there’s positivity afoot, people look forward to their time at work and bring a little piece of that positivity home with them.

Health benefits of positive thinking

Given how positive thinking influences the workplace, it’s not surprising to learn that taking positivity home, and living life with a more optimistic attitude, is a boon.

Healthy living and the benefits of positive thinking are interlinked and again, many:

  • Longer lifespan: yes, thinking positive will help you live longer! It’s all about that lack of stress—it lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Lower incidences of depression and anxiety: think positive, be positive
  • Boosted immune system: a more mature engagement with stressors means your immune system benefits from positive thinking
  • Improved wellbeing: of course! All the above, including those workplace benefits, means both a better outlook and better wellbeing, both mentally and physically.

How to identify negative thinking at work

Negativity at work can be a drain on productivity. Not just for that employee but their peers as well. A negative attitude and outlook at work is infectious.

Therefore, it is important to identify these behaviours at work. Whether you or your employees display these behaviours, it is vital you take action.

Here are some examples of a negative mindset:

  • Filtering: you magnify the negative aspects of a situation and filter out all the positive ones.
  • Personalising: when something bad occurs, you automatically blame yourself.
  • Catastrophising: you automatically expect the worst.
  • Polarising: you see things only as either good or bad. There is no middle ground. You feel that you have to be perfect or you're a total failure.

You shouldn’t punish employees who show negative thinking but more try to help them. Positive thinking isn’t a genetic or inherent trait of a person. It can be learned.

Providing them with resources to improve self-talk as well as potentially any corporate counselling or workshop sessions.

Get help with workplace positivity and wellbeing with Health Assured

Itis your responsibility to look after your employee’s wellbeing at work. If you don’t, you will face legal consequences, see your best employees leave, and experience decreased productivity.

If you’re looking to improve the positivity of your teams, we’re here to help. Our Employment Assistance Programme (EAP) is proven to reduce stress & anxiety, boost return-to-work rates and combat absenteeism—but we can also provide workshops and training on positivity, stress management, coping with change, and much more.

Having wellbeing resources, such as our wellbeing app, you can support your employee’s wellbeing and keep productivity high.

Want to find out more? Book a free consultation with one of our wellbeing consultants. Call 0844 891 0352 for ideas on promoting health and wellbeing at work.

Make your enquiry

Please complete the form below and we'll be in touch to answer your enquiry

Book a place on this workshop

Get a free consultation

Please complete the form and we'll be in touch to schedule your free consultation

An error occurred

We appologise but an error has occurred submitting your form. Please try again.

Mindful Employer
Stonewall Diversity Champion
Disability Confident Employer
bacp Accredited Service
International EAP Association
National Suicide Prevention Alliance
The Workplace Wellbeing Charter
Mental Health at Work
Cyber Essentials Plus
Investors in People Silver 2022
Employers Initiative on Domestic Abuse
The Prince's Responsible Business Network
SEQOHS Accredited
helplines partnership