Noticing Positive Things at Work Can Decrease Stress

Over the course of a typical workday, negative and positive things inevitably happen — and many people focus mainly, or exclusively, on the negative ones. But research has found that even small positive experiences are a valuable resource for reducing stress. When people spend time thinking about what went well that day, their mental and physical stress levels decrease by small but significant amounts, and they have an easier time detaching from work. Thinking positively doesn’t come naturally for most people: We’re attuned to paying attention to negative things, which makes it hard to notice positive ones. So instead of ruminating on negative events, make time to relive, enjoy, and share the positive events of your day. Doing so creates bonds with other people and reduces evening stress, improving your sleep — and the better alertness and mood that result can lead to more positive things happening tomorrow.

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