It’s tough looking for a job even in the best of economies and this current one is, well,we all know,…not the best. Job seekers listen up: It will pay to keep a strong positive attitude during your job search. It’s not easy, but it must be done. Turns out Louis Armstrong was right that when you smile, the world really does smile with you. Positive thinking is a very powerful and important tool in your job search. Who wants to work with Grumpy Gus or Crabby Abby?? According to Barbara Fredrickson, a professor of psychology at the University of North Caroline Chapel Hill, in an interview with US News, feeling positive emotions, expands our awareness and “we literally see more. Our peripheral vision is expanded.” Ms. Fredrickson finds that those who have positive emotions develop closer relations with others, increase their resilience and optimism and are less depressed, all important traits in a job search.
So how do you stay positive when you’re job searching?
Reading positive material is a good way to start. Although published nearly 50 years ago, The Power of Positive Thinking by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, is still a great upbeat read. It has sold millions of copies and has been translated into dozens of languages. The author said he wrote the book “with the sole objective of helping the reader achieve a happy, satisfying, and worthwhile life.”
Hanging around positive people is also a good way to stay upbeat, says Dr. Nicholas Christakis, professor at Harvard University. In his research, Dr. Christakis found that a person’s happiness depends on how happy their friends are. He saw that happy people are more often in the center of social networks and are usually part of larger happy networks. People who smile tend to have more friends. Dr. Christakis reports that “smiling gets you an average of one extra friend, which is pretty good considering that people only have about six close friends.” To quantify that, Dr. Christakis says that for every additional happy friend that a person has, their probability of being happy increases by about 9%. He compares this power of happy friends to that of having additional wealth. Having an extra $5,000 in income increased one’s probability of being happy by only about 2%. Just shows you, money doesn’t buy you happiness, or at least, not that much happiness. So, make sure you have some upbeat friends around you.
There are other ways to keep you smiling during your job search. LIfescript.com, an online healthy living publisher suggests these ways to help you stay positive:
1. Limit alcohol: Alcohol releases neurotransmitters that can give you a temporary lift in sprits, but it is a depressant on your central nervous system.
2. Regular exercise is shown to reduce stress and anxiety, help you sleep better, give you more energy and a better body image and help you feel more in control.
3. Have a heart -healthy diet and avoid refined carbohydrates, fatty meats and processed foods. Eat more fruits and veggies, whole grains, olive oil, legumes, fish and lean meats, nuts and low-fat dairy.
4. Get enough sleep- Get 8 hours/night and make sure its restful and refreshing sleep. Eliminating caffeine and sugar helps. Avoid stimulating activity before bed, turn down the lights and have a regular routine. See a doctor if you need more help.
5. Yoga is a great mood booster.
6. Meditation and other relaxation techniques can help you feel more in control.
7. Reduce your stress and balance your life based on what you personally can handle. If you feel overwhelmed, consciously dial it back.
8. Don’t smoke or engage in any other addictive behavior.
9. Form a posse of positive people who care about you and can advise you.
When disappointment happens in your job search, you have two choices: Dwell on it and let it paralyze you or put it somewhere in the back of your mind and move ahead positively. You decide. Stay in control and stay positive!