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Going to work day after day, week after week can quickly grind on you. It’s a rare person indeed that can keep their head and spirits up all the time, but they exist, and those people are usually rock stars at work. It isn’t impossible to be one of those perpetually upbeat people, it just takes a bit of effort and a few tips on how to stay positive at work.

Give Yourself a Break

It’s not healthy or plausible to sit at your desk for eight hours a day working nonstop. Stand up and walk away from your desk every now and then. When lunchtime rolls around, find somewhere else to eat rather than at your desk. You won’t be able to respond to emails or answer the phone if you aren’t there.

Leave Work at Work

If your eight-hour day turns into a sixteen-hour day because work follows you home, going back can feel like torture. If there’s a dire emergency that requires your attention, of course, take the call, but otherwise, it can wait until tomorrow. Work will always be there waiting, so take some time for yourself, family, and friends.

Watch Your Mouth

This means more than not using foul language at work, but you probably shouldn’t be doing that anyway. Be aware of the tone and words you use with co-workers. Complaining a lot will drive people away and give you a reputation as a negative person. Use uplifting words when helping a coworker and they’ll see you as a positive influence.

Make Friends at Work

Fostering a friendly environment will make the workplace lighter, more fun, and almost enjoyable! You don’t have to know everything about the guy in the cube across from you, but if you can talk about Sunday night’s game, you’ll look forward to going in each Monday morning.

Mistakes Happen, So Let it Go

There’s no point in beating yourself up over little mistakes because they happen. Only you will remember the embarrassing thing you said in the meeting. Learn from mistakes, try to do better next time, and move on.


A smile is a small thing that may seem cheesy or false but give it a try. It’s easy to stay in a foul mood and skulk around the office—it’s remaining positive that takes work. Smiling, even if you don’t mean it, will boost your mood, and before you know it you’ll be happy and smiling for real.

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Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.