Good & Bad Company

“Associate yourself with people of good quality for it is better to be alone than in bad company.”
-Booker T. Washington

How important is it to be around positive people? Most people, be it writers, doctors, lawyers or in any other profession, think it’s perhaps the most crucial factor in succeeding in any endeavor.

Psychologists suggest that no matter how upbeat or optimistic we are, the energy around us influences our thoughts deeply.

But it’s not always easy. For example, if there are people who are upset at work, you can’t just take the day off. If family members you live with are in a bad mood, you can’t always leave your home.

There are a few general tips, however, that are relatively easy to follow. If nothing else, these tips can at least push you in the right direction.

  • Stay off social media for at least an hour from the time you wake up. I know this is not easy as it’s become a reflex to reach for our phones at all times. But if you wake up and give just an hour to yourself, even if it’s just to get ready, you’ll have a chance to refresh your mind without any distractions.
  • Don’t try to cheer up someone unless you know they want that. Let me clarify here and say that I don’t mean don’t console someone with a long-term grief (death of a loved one, depression, etc). I specifically mean someone who’s just having a bad day. More often than not, people who wake up on the wrong side of the bed just need to be allowed to vent a little. If you try to go against that, the situation will be worse for both of you.
  • Read some positive news first. The greatest thing about digital news (vs on TV or on the radio) is that you can control what you read. No matter what news platform you follow, there’s always a section for human-interest stories that touch the heart. Prioritize those on whichever news app you have.
  • Take deep breaths while getting ready. The best time to do this is in the shower because warm (but not necessarily hot) water relaxes your muscles. If you combine that with deep breathing, the effects can be twofold.

While you can’t always control the people around you, the tips above can definitely prepare you by refreshing you both physically as well as mentally. In doing so, you’ll be a lot more clear-headed should you chance upon a negative atmosphere.

Do you have tips for keeping good company or at least not letting a negative atmosphere bother you? Share your thoughts and experiences by commenting below.

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