What are you surrounded with? Are you aware that our environment can have a huge influence on the way we feel about ourselves and life in general? When we are surrounded by people and things that make us feel bad or remind us of some unhappy event, we are more likely to feel sadness or frustration. Think about a time when you were with someone who constantly complained about something. Did it have a positive or negative effect on you? Think about a time when you were forced into attending a family event where you knew there would be a lot of gossiping and arguing. Did it have a positive or negative effect on you?
Sometimes we are unable to do anything about the environment we live or work in. However, we can take steps to increase the positives and eliminate or decrease the negatives. Here are some ideas:
- Choose carefully who you spend time with. Do a checklist of your family and friends. Which ones encourage you and make you feel good? Which ones drag you down and make you feel bad? It isn’t always possible to detach yourself from negative family members but you can cut down on the time you spend with them. As for your friends, if they are causing pain or distress, it may be time to cut ties.
- Always try to be a positive influence on those around you. There may be negative people who attend school with you or work with you but you can try your best to provide a smile and a friendly attitude. Joining their negativity will just keep everyone around you in a bad mood.
- Is your living space comfortable, cheerful and bright or is it dark and cluttered? When you go into your home do you smile or feel stressed? Decorate with bright colours. Put up pictures that make you smile and plaques with positive statements.
- Does your workspace help you focus on being positive? Ask if you can put up some pictures, wall plaques or wall decals or add some colourful accessories to your office, a lunchroom, a hallway, a washroom. Get your co-workers involved and see how it affects the attitude of everyone where you work.
- What do you see when you first open your eyes in the morning? An inspirational wall decal at the bottom of your bed is a great way to uplift your spirits! There are thousands to choose from. Here are a few: ‘Be the reason someone smiles today. You are amazing and don’t forget it. Never give up on your dreams. You are stronger than you think.’
You can do a lot of things to make your environment more positive. All it takes is a little imagination and some effort. Do whatever you can to brighten up your life! You deserve it!