A toxic attitude can spread faster than distasteful gossip.
A bad mood is infectious and if you don't nip it in the bud it can be impossible to work. Before you know it, the rest of your colleagues will be feeling your negative energy. Even worse, you risk giving a bad impression to your superiors who will be less than impressed by your bad attitude. Something that, (especially if it happens more than once) can really tarnish your reputation.
So, you need to get your attitude in check—and fast.
1. Avoid Venting
It’s human nature—when you’re having a terrible day to want to vent to those around you. Unfortunately, this creates a domino effect in the workplace and only achieves to spread negativity. Even worse, imagine if it gets back to those in charge that you've been bad-mouthing their business? There are little benefits to venting at work, about work. The key to keeping your unpleasant mood in check during the workday is to say, as little as possible. By staying quiet, you avoid the risk of opening your mouth and saying the first snarky thing that comes to mind.
If you absolutely need to get something off your chest speak to someone that doesn't work with you.
2. Take a Break
The downward spiral of negativity moves quickly. A bad exchange with your co-worker turns into a bad morning, which turns into a bad day. Nip the bad experience in the bud and don't let it take over your day.
One of the best ways to do just that is to get up and take a break. Go outside and take a walk, run an errand, or head out for a quick cup of coffee. Do anything that will get you away from your workplace and change your environment.
Research shows that attempting to continue to stay focused on the task at hand will only lead to an even worse mood. So, the absolute best thing to do is to stand up and take a break. In the end, that’s much better than trying to power through.
3. Perform a Random Act of Kindness
One of the very best ways to get yourself out of your funk is to perform a random act of kindness. In fact, research shows that these small kind acts actually raise your dopamine levels—making you feel a lot happier.
Your random act of kindness can be to anyone - at work - on the streets - it's your choice.
Doing something nice and unexpected, can stop your bad mood, and help you to feel empathy, over anger, allowing you to cool down.
4. Fake it ’Til You Make it
Don’t let your bad mood rule your entire day. Instead, put on your most convincing happy face and push through.
This might not be easy but it's far better than potentially ruining your reputation with a sour attitude.
Even better? Science says that smiling (even when you don’t feel like it) can actually help to improve your mood. So, it might be just what you need to turn that awful day of yours around.
Bad days happen to everyone. For a long and successful career, you really have to manage your mood to make sure your reputation does not suffer.