A lot of people reading this probably work in or have worked in a negative environment. This article is about how to stay positive in those situations, for when you are too deep in the dumps or too stressed to do anything about it.

So functioning in these environments can be like drowning in quicksand, and really hard work. But there are ways to get out of this, to see it all in a completely different light.

They will show you how to turn your life around by thinking and acting differently. It’s about being able to get back up whenever you fall again so that the negative environment doesn’t take fewer from you anymore.

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Here are 13 ways to stay positive in a negative environment:

1. Stop waiting for the change to happen.

When you wait for something to change, you will never get it done. Change has a habit of not changing, and you become more and more negative about it every day you wait on it. Your negative thoughts build up speed with each passing moment, and the depression is fed by itself. You need to learn how to act the way you want things to be, instead of thinking about everything wrong about how things are right now. That’s the best way to change a direction you don’t want to go.

2. Take action.

Think about it. If you don’t do it, it isn’t going to change. Think of yourself as a boat in a sea at sea. Some people think the waves are coming and going because the wind is blowing, or because there’s a tide running. But in reality, water doesn’t move from here to there by itself, and neither do boats. Water moves by the work of currents and waves on its surface, which rise and fall on their own accord without the help of winds or tides. It takes effort to stop the sea and move the boat.

3. Recognize your good qualities.

Just as water rolls on its own, you roll with the tide too, and you’re not going to change it by thinking about it. You have to make a choice. You either want things to change in a certain direction, or you want them to continue in a certain direction because that’s what you’re going in anyway. So how you do it is your decision.

4. Learn to say no.

Sometimes, people don’t want to take on more work, because they are burnt out. If they recognize that this is the case and that their workload is too much for them, they need to learn how to say no. If you don’t help people in need, they will choose someone else who will.

5. Take time for yourself.

If you don’t take time for yourself, you won’t be able to give the other people and things in your life all the care they deserve. If you’ve got a bad feeling about something or someone, it’s likely that you haven’t been taking the time to do something to make it better, either through talking or meditating. Life has to be balanced for it to work properly.

6. Move into the next phase of your life.

Change is part of life, and if you don’t want to change, try to move into a new phase that you do want. You aren’t going to change your current situation by wishing for something else or thinking about it all the time—you’ll just end up frustrated and angry because there won’t be enough space in your heart for both the thing you wish was different and the thing that’s actually still happening. Trust that you’ll know when it’s time to move on.

7. Give your body some TLC.

You can’t feel good about yourself without a little care from time to time, and that means making sure that you are eating right, exercising, getting enough sleep, and taking time for yourself.

8. Surround yourself with people who you like and who gives you the life you want.

Your home and your relationships should make you feel good; if it doesn’t, change it. Sometimes this means leaving a situation completely.

9. Identify what’s making you unhappy, and then get rid of it.

If you can’t identify what’s really bothering you, start small by creating a gratitude list or writing down three things that happened that day that made you feel happy or grateful. Identify the thoughts that trigger negative feelings and get rid of them.

10. Learn to enjoy your life, one day at a time.

There will always be problems in your life, but if you can focus on the good things in each moment, it’ll make you happier. Embrace trying new things and learning new things. Don’t let fear or worry about the future keep you from fully living today.

11. Ask yourself “what am I grateful for” at each significant event in your life.

Gratitude is a great way of realising how good your life is and forgetting about the negativity you are surrounded by. Remember that anything can be improved. Every situation is unique in its own right, so if you have a problem right now, try to find the solution in your previous experiences.

12. Write down three things that you are grateful for, and do it every day without fail.

These lists will help you stay positive because they remind you of what an amazing person you are and what good things are happening in your life anyway. It will also help you keep on top of your positive thoughts, instead of letting them slip away.

13. Don’t let others take away your sense of hope, and don’t let them make you feel bad about yourself either.

There is no need to keep with a negative environment out of fear or loss. It’s completely up to you if you want to stay positive and see the best in everything or not.

If you’re in a negative environment, or if you’re feeling negative about yourself, try to make an effort to change the things that are irritating you. You may find that everything else falls into place afterwards.

Positive thinking and a positive mindset are so important to the person you want to become. Don’t waste your time waiting for something to happen, or feeling bad about yourself. Let things fall into place, and do what you can to make them better.

Check out our guide to developing a positive mindset.

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