It's not impossible to be optimistic and upbeat in a down economy, or even a bad situation; you just may have to work a little harder for it. The first step to a positive frame of mind, regardless of whether you're currently employed or not, is realizing that you can do more.
If you're employed, that may mean just taking a few extra steps to make sure you stay that way. With layoffs abounding and an ever-growing number of people looking for work, you want to do all you can to ensure that you're not the one who gets the axe. You could come in a few minutes early, stay a few minutes late, take on an extra assignment -- anything to increase your value in the workplace [source: AZ Star]. It will be much easier to maintain a positive frame of mind if you feel confident about your job security.
If you're currently looking for work, make yourself stand out from the crowd. Instead of sitting on the couch while you wait for a callback, learn a new skill to add to your resume and make yourself more marketable. Even if you just sit in front of the computer taking free tests to increase your typing speed, it can help. By proactively increasing your skill set, you not only make yourself more attractive to potential employers, you give your mind a reprieve from focusing on the negative aspects of your situation, making it much easier to remain upbeat and positive.