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We all know what it’s like to be in a negative environment. Maybe it’s a toxic workplace, where we feel stressed out or on edge because the boss is a loose cannon. Or maybe it’s with a group of friends that criticize us to the point we feel self-conscious and insecure. Being constantly surrounded with negative energy can be extremely draining and can make it much harder for us to focus on our spiritual growth.
"You alone are responsible for your happiness."
Here are 5 tips to help surround yourself with positivity:
1. Take ownership of your happiness.
Very often we look at external factors as the reason for our unhappiness. And while our hostile boss or judgmental people may make us feel bad about ourselves, it’s important that we take responsibility for our own wellbeing. We might not be able to change other people or our environment, but we can choose to give our energy to positive thinking. It is important we remind ourselves: You alone are responsible for your happiness. When we reframe our thinking, we stop being victims and regain some control of our lives.
2. Join a spiritual community.
A lot of the spiritual work we do to transform ourselves comes from within, but we also can’t do it alone. One of the great kabbalists, Rav Ashlag, would often use the parable that you can put a seed on a table, but it will never grow into a strong and healthy tree. We are only as strong as the environment with which we choose to surround ourselves. Having an environment that encourages us and helps us grow is a vital part of our journey. Finding like-minded people who are on a similar spiritual path can help push us to be even better versions of ourselves. A healthy community provides us with opportunities to share, volunteer, and to exchange ideas. It gives us a place to find support and also to offer it to others.
3. Let go of toxic people.
As much as we try to love and share with everyone, there inevitably comes a time when we have to face the truth that certain people are a source of pain in our lives. Letting go of these people doesn’t mean that we hold resentment or anger towards them. It just means that we love ourselves enough to let go of the people and behaviors that bring us down. Each person comes into our lives for a reason, but that doesn’t mean they are meant to stay in our lives forever. It takes a lot of maturity and introspection to understand when someone is holding us back in our development.
4. Be a source of positivity for others.
The kabbalists teach the concept that “like attracts like.” The more of a positive influence we try to be in other people’s lives, the more positivity we will attract in our own. Think about how you can be a source of positivity for someone else. Go out of your way to help them, listen to their problems, or offer advice when asked. Even something as simple as a smile has the potential to turn someone’s day around for the better.
5. Understand that challenges are blessings.
While surrounding ourselves with positive people and influences is important, we also cannot see things as black and white. All of the people and obstacles in our lives that we deem “negative” are put in our path because we need them for some reason. We are meant to learn or grow from them in one way or another. We often learn our greatest lessons through our mistakes or our challenges. That is the blessing that they conceal.
When we start to see the world this way, we start to understand how we already are surrounded by positivity. We are surrounded by the Light of the Creator always! It just takes some spiritual work to start to see it.
Building a positive environment and learning to see the positive energy all around us lays a strong foundation for us to do our spiritual work. We have the power to draw positive energy into our lives and the lives of those around us. The next time you find yourself feeling overwhelmed by negative influences, refer back to these tips to help turn things around.