How to make the Grind Bearable

If you have a 9 – 5 job and you feel unhappy or even miserable at work, there are two things that you can do to either re-engage yourself or move yourself in the right direction.

I know a lot of us have this dread when we’re at work – before we get there, when we leave, during the after lunch drag and so on. We've gotten so good at seeing the negative that we don't even know we can choose to set our mind to another setting...this other optional mind-set that is hugely overlooked when it comes to work. I am sure you know that in every part of our life it’s mind over matter. Most of us chose the job that we’re in. We applied, we got excited and then we got a bit disillusioned, unhappy, burned out or even disappointed. If you commit to applying this other mind-set, you can shift how you think about where you are at in order to help you get to where you want to be. You can literally re-engage yourself back into a place of excitement. Here are two easy ways to help you get there:

1.       Re-frame what you’re struggling with

If you’re behind a computer and not feeling like working on another spreadsheet or sending another email, change your thoughts about what you’re doing. Why not allow yourself to be excited that you have this opportunity to streamline a process and realize that if you get it done, you won’t have to do this exact task again. If you work in sales for example and you’re serving the 100th customer or so, re-frame you’re thinking to acknowledge that this is the 100th person that you’ve connected with and helped. This connection could also be a networking opportunity, if you want to get out of there (the dang job that is), to see where that connection might lead you.

If your alarm goes off and you don’t want to get up because you had a late night watching Netflix or you were working on your own stuff, re-frame and gear yourself towards being enthusiastic about your work and your ability to have an impact in this position. So instead of always thinking about how stuck you are, even if you are, start to shift your thinking towards excitement and see how you can use where you’re at as a stepping stone to get to where you want to be.

I find using an anchor thought to be really helpful. If I am really anxious about a meeting or working with a specific person, I prepare an anchor thought ahead of time. An anchor thought is an unchanging thought that can root you and guide you in the direction to what you want. For example – if I have a meeting, I imagine that the meeting went really well and my anchor thought would be: “After the meeting we got up, shook hands and were glad that we connected and had this conversation”. Going into the meeting with that anchor thought shifts the energy that you bring to the meeting. If you are vibrating negative energy and consumed by negative thoughts, the next person will sense that. So re-framing how you approach a meeting or task will get you feeling more motivated but it’s also going to help you have much more meaningful connections with the people that you work with.

2.       Implement the 5 second rule

The 5 Second Rule is a book by Mel Robbins. If you are battling to re-frame your thoughts, try the 5 Second Rule. So you find yourself thinking negative thoughts while you’re at work on that spreadsheet and you start feeling like you hate your job but you have to do it to get that promotion or make money blah blah blah... try the 5 second rule. You count down 5 - 4 - 3 - 2 - 1 and SWITCH. If you’re scrolling on Facebook or entranced with gazing into your spreadsheet, you literally switch to something else by physically moving to another task. This gesture launches you into positive action, whether that is a physical task or a shift that can move you into the positive anchor thought you prepared earlier.


I wanted to share these tips as I know a lot of you out there are struggling with finding fulfillment in the day job. If you really apply the two principles above, you can shift your world and transform your situation into a stepping stone towards where you actually want to be.

Need some more guidance? Check out when the next Feeling Salty workshop is to discover how you can re-create your future and make adulting fun. The process includes stream of consciousness writing and a movement meditation (that hasn’t been taught by anyone else).