Staying Positive In Negative Environments

Vol. 6 No. 4

riskmanager eletter Vol6 No4 positive

The holidays aren’t joyful times of the year for everyone. In fact, for some, the season triggers depression and lingering sadness.

It can be a challenge to hold onto your positivity when those around you just want to rain on the parade. Staying positive is good for your health, though. Pessimistic people have a 20% higher risk of dying over a 30-year period than optimistic people. Smiling is healthy. Laughter is healing. And, even if you, are in a seasonal slump, these few tips can help you to keep focused and keep positive.

Smile. If those around you aren’t in a smiling mood or you’re not feeling particularly smiley yourself, sneak into a bathroom, look at yourself in a mirror, and force a smile. You might feel crazy at first, or silly for staring at yourself in a mirror and forcing smiles, but this trick actually helps to lift spirits and calm nerves.

Take a deep breath. When intense moments come crushing in, stop and take a few deep breaths. Try to inhale longer than you exhale. For example, count to 10 while inhaling and count to six while exhaling. This breathing rhythm is common in yoga classes. If you hit the mat every now and then, you’re probably a pro at not only this rhythm but a few more advanced, diaphragmatic techniques as well. For those not so keen on yoga, no worries—the 10/six trick will work magic.

Sing. Yes, singing is self-healing and a natural stress relief. Humming, singing, and whistling can all help to refocus a scattered mind and lift weight off your shoulders. If there’s a complaint session happening in your office, plug in your earphones and hum along in your mind. This will help you escape from the impeding negativity and keep your tasks on point.

Remove yourself from the situation. The only actions in life you can control are your own. This is a hard reality to face if you’re a control junkie. So, if you find yourself surrounded by negativity, graciously remove yourself. While you can't fix anyone else's mood, you can keep others from corrupting yours.

Look at nature. It sounds cliche, but it’s a proven fact that, when looking at nature, your blood pressure decreases. Even if you’re a city dweller, take some time to stroll through a park or perhaps take a ride outside city limits where there are less concrete monuments and more greenery. Green is good for your health—and can help you regain your mental clarity and focus. Even little touches count, such as office plants or fresh flowers.

Additional ISM resources:
The Source for Risk Managers Vol. 4 No. 4 Battling Holiday Blues
The Source for Risk Managers Vol. 5 No. 5 You’re Brillinat! You Will Get Through These Winter Doldrums
The Source for Division Heads Vol. 11 No. 4 Rally The Troops From Their Seasonal Slump

Additional ISM resources for Gold Consortium members:
I&P Vol. 40 No. 14 The Advisor as Positive Coach
I&P Vol. 37 No. 7 The Faculty Culture Profile II

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