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Be the Aspirin

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It’s not always easy to look for the silver lining when you’re faced with challenges at work, but I learned early in my career how placing an importance on positivity can not only affect you, but everyone around you.

I was 23 years old and six months into landing one of my first “big-girl-jobs.” One busy afternoon, I was typing away when a co-worker briskly ran by me, warmly patted me on the arm, and said, “Thank you for always being the aspirin.”

Did he say ASPIRIN? Did I misinterpret what he just said?

Quite baffled and confused, I responded with a smile and a quick, “You’re welcome.”

Later that day, he explained what his quirky analogy actually meant. He noted that during stressful moments at work, my attitude was uplifting, optimistic and “pain-relieving” for our team.

Below are three ways you can be the aspirin, by challenging negative thinkers with ways to prompt positivity in your workplace.

  1. Smile. Smiling can induce feelings of trust, lower stress and even boost your immune system.
  2. Express your appreciation (even in the smallest of ways). Did a coworker hold the elevator for you, so you could make it to a meeting on time? Be specific with your gratitude and point out details of what your coworker did to make your day just a little brighter.
  3. Be the energy you want to attract. Success is something that looks a little different to everybody, but it is something that is craved by all. Positivity produces productivity. “Happiness at work is closely correlated with greater performance and productivity as well as greater energy, better reviews, faster promotion, higher income, better health and increased happiness with life. So it’s good for organizations and individuals, too.” – Jessica Pryce-Jones, author of Happiness at Work.

How do you promote positivity at work? Share your story with us and you may be featured in one of our upcoming blogs. Email us at

Ashley Metivier,
Business Development Specialist, NASBA Center for the Public Trust