How to Handle Negative Thoughts and Emotions at Work

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negative thoughts and emotionsNo matter how much you love what you do, you’re bound to experience work-related negativity at some point in your career. Whether it’s a particularly difficult project or a coworker that knows just how to push your buttons, negative feelings can result in stress, which is detrimental to work productivity and personal well being.

Estimates suggest that 60-80% of workplace accidents can be attributed to stress, while the American Psychological Association pegs the overall cost of workplace stress to the U.S. economy at $500 billion annually.

While you might not be able to prevent those negative thoughts from creeping up, there are plenty of effective ways to deal with them. And it all starts with improving your emotional agility, the process that enables us to navigate life’s twists and turns with self-acceptance, clear-sightedness and an open mind.

So how can you respond to your emotional state in a measured fashion? Psychologists tend to agree that the first step is being able to recognize negative thoughts that don’t serve you. From there, try challenging them by asking yourself, “Is this thought true? It is helpful?” Deep breathing and visualization exercises can help calm you down, while writing about a recent positive experience has been shown to reduce the intensity of the negativity and help us process and regulate emotions.

Being able to handle negative emotions is essential to workplace well being. While it might be challenging, try using these eight effective techniques to ensure any destructive mindset that emerges can be managed effectively.

 

emotions at work

Sources

 

David, S. (2017) About Emotional Agility. susandavid.com

Positive Psychology Program. (2016). Emotional Agility: Susan David’s 4 Steps to Growing With Change. positivepsychologyprogram.com

Harteneck, P. (2015) 7 Ways to Deal With Negative Thoughts. psychologytoday.com

Beck, E. (2017) 4 Steps to Break the Habit of Negative Thinking. thoughtcatalog.com

Martin, B. (2016). Challenging Negative Self-Talk. psychcentral.com

Griffin, T. (2017) How to Control Your Emotions at Work. wikihow.com

Stabile, S. (2014). 5 Ways to Quiet Your Negative Thoughts. huffingtonpost.com

Wilner, J. (2011). How Positive Writing Can Increase Life Satisfaction. blog.psychcentral.com

Kozub, S. (2017) Take a deep breath — no really, it will calm your brain. theverge.com

O’Grady, P. (2013) Visualize the Good and the Bad. psychologytoday.com

About 

Babs is a content writer at Enova International, Inc. with a Bachelors in Cinema Studies and English from the University of Illinois (ILL-INI!). She loves binge watching musicals, reading in the (sporadic) Chicago sunshine and discovering great new places to eat. Accio, tacos! Find about more about her on Google+.

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