Negativity is like a cancer that eats away at you until all the good is gone. A negative attitude at work can bring success to a standstill. But there is a way to climb out from under a negative attitude. You can change your way of thinking.

If you’re working at a job that’s Gossip Central or under bad management, or if you’re under-employed or under-appreciated, you are still given a choice on how to think. You may not have any control over your work environment, but you do over your attitude. You can gripe about it, find fault in your co-workers, hate the organization and detest your superiors. Or you can decide to look for the silver lining.

The best choice is to look for the silver lining. It’s a known fact that positive people live longer than negative people. So why not cultivate a positive attitude and have the best chance of living a nice, long, happy life?

Your attitude is energy. If you are positive, your brain releases dopamine and endorphins, brain chemicals that make you feel happy, relaxed and contented. If you are consistently negative, your brain releases cortisol, adrenalin, and other damaging brain chemicals. Though these chemicals can help you in the short-run to think more quickly and have faster reactions, your body cannot sustain them for very long without sustaining damage. A negative attitude is bad for your health.

If you want people to treat you better in the workplace, buck the tide and start treating everyone with kindness and empathy. Be a team player and always go the extra mile. Though you may not feel that you are being noticed – trust me – they’re watching. In a negative work environment a positive person sticks out like a bright ray of sunshine on a cloudy day. Just put one foot ahead of the other, treat each person in the workplace as a valued co-worker, and you will begin to see a change in the way that your co-workers treat you.

Choose to overlook their affronts, their inefficiency, their lack of dedication, and their gossip – and do the opposite. Complement, be the hardest working and most efficient employee, and don’t participate in trashing your co-workers – even if you are the only one who abstains. Your supervisors and co-workers will begin to look upon you as a person they can trust. Soon many of them will become your allies. In office conflicts, be Switzerland and remain neutral. Taking sides will only polarize you from others. You don’t have to roll around in the dirt with your co-workers to get ahead.

Our thoughts determine our emotions. By choosing to think in a positive way, you will feel better about yourself and others. Stop your negative thoughts and replace them with more positive ones. Congratulate yourself for successfully turning a bad thought into a good one. With a little bit of practice, you will begin doing this naturally.

You don’t have to have a negative attitude at work. Remember that you are the only thinker in your mind, and you can choose how to think. Your thinking determines how you feel – and I don’t know about you – but I want to feel happy and satisfied with my life. Positive thinking attracts positive people and better situations. Learn to control your negative thoughts and you will gain better control of your job and every other aspect of your life.