In the spirit of Positive Thinking Day – today – I have to ask, why just one day? Shouldn’t we strive to be positive every day? The PR profession nearly always ranks at the top of the list of the most stressful jobs (your move dentists!). Clients often come to us when they’re in crisis and, while we don’t want to put lipstick on a pig, it’s our job to put a positive spin on things. I charge into the office every day screaming “good morning!” at the top of my lungs. Positivity comes naturally to me. But I truly believe we have choices – to be or not to be positive. There will always be crises, last minute scrambles and reporters on deadline, but even on the crappiest days I have four tricks that keep me positive.
1. Smile. A DJ friend told me that if you smile on the radio you sound happy. That’s a great trick to use on conference calls but a smile also makes you feel better.
2. Breathe. Deep breathing has been proven to not only be relaxing, but it also affects the heart, the brain, digestion and the immune system. Plus, it gives you a moment to collect your thoughts, which is helpful when you’re fielding rapid-fire questions. If you don’t have an immediate answer - breathe. The answer will most likely come to you.
3. Ask, don’t tell. It’s easy to be defensive when being berated. Realize that whatever bad reaction you’re receiving most likely has nothing to do with you. Clear communication is always key – and asking lots of questions instead of defending yourself generally derails a combative situation.
4. Don’t live for your job. I love what I do. In fact, I’m in the office on a national holiday writing this (positive people never wait until the last minute). But I live for my passions and loves – my husband, family, dog, horse, travel, art. Yes – my work fills me up, but if you work in a high-stress job you have to have passions to keep you positive.