Do you saunter into work each Monday with a spring in your step and joy in your heart? If so, you’re in the minority. More than 50% of Americans say they hate going into work Monday morning.
Career coach Jeff Garton believes that even if you’re not satisfied with some aspects of your job (i.e., salary), you can still be content by recognizing the fulfilling side of work. But you’ve got to take active steps.
Here are seven ways you can feel content on a Monday, according to Garton, author of Career Contentment: Don’t Settle for Anything Less.
1. Try on positive feelings. Researchers say your brain will believe the feelings are real. Example: If you’re feeling tired, imagine yourself surging with energy. If you’re feeling pessimistic, force your mind to create an optimistic thought. If something at work makes you feel beaten down or stressed, straighten your posture, raise your eyes and walk taller.
2. Distance yourself from the source. You can recharge your energy by moving away from people and situations that sap your strength.
3. Seek relationships that give back. “Surround yourself with people who support you, cheer you, mentor you, challenge you or give you straight answers,” says Garton. Schedule a phone call, lunch date or walk with at least one of these supporters every week.
4. Move faster than your boss. “Taking initiative and taking charge will help you develop more enthusiasm for your work,” he says. For example, don’t wait for direction, but organize a response and implement it.
5. Research your way out of a funk. Browse a bookstore to find a magazine that gives how-to advice on a subject you’re interested in but haven’t pursued before—for example, says Garton, an “edgy journal for creative techies.”
6. “Flip” negative thoughts into positive ones. First, pay attention to automatic thoughts. These are usually “can’t” or “shouldn’t” statements. Second, be aware of how these thoughts affect your mood. Third, zoom in on the thought that creates the feeling, such as, “This won’t work.” Fourth, flip that statement to a positive intention. Example: “I can make this work.” Finally, pay attention to the new emotion this flip-switching has created, and “hold” it for 17 seconds.
7. Ask yourself, “What can I learn from this?” You can often find a learning opportunity in even the lousiest situation.
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