Your energy rubs off on everyone you come across.
It comes across when you go to the grocery store. It comes across when you’re walking around your neighborhood. It comes across at the dinner table.
Your energy levels affect not only every single person you see, but it also affects you. It affects how you approach the current day. It affects how you read this article. It affects whether you smile or frown.
If you’re high energy, everyone else experiences it too. If you’re low energy, it brings the mood of the room down.
The Tale of Two Hotels
I learned this lesson one summer when I worked at the front desk of a hotel.
Well, it was actually two hotels. The hotels were owned by the same company. They were separated by a parking lot.
The first hotel was for residents. The second hotel was for businesspeople.
In the resident hotel, people were typically upset. They always had a bunch of seemingly meaningless problems that needed solving. I vaguely remember one grown adult woman having a temper tantrum about her remote not working.
On the other hand, the people on business or vacation would come in smiling, bubbly, and in a great mood.
When I came home from the shift, my family would know which hotel I worked at.
The energy was transformed from the hotel to the house. Just like that.
What To Do When You Can’t Choose Your Surroundings
People say, “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
So my advice is: spend time with people who are high energy, who bring you up, who make you feel good about life.
But what if you can’t?
I didn’t choose what hotel I worked at on a given day. Many people don’t choose to live with low energy roommates. Maybe your boss or coworker constantly brings you down.
What do you do in these cases?
You might not be able to get away from them in the short term. But you need to be particularly careful in the meantime.
Because if you don’t protect your energy, it will be easier for you to take on this negative energy.
No news. The news is predicated on fear. The goal is to scare you. And many times, they do a great job. But if you’re already with people who are bringing you down, this source of information is going to hurt even more. It’s decisive, political, and meant to anger you – no matter what side of the aisle you’re on. Do your best to avoid this toxic source of information.
Exercise. Observe 100 people who just finished working out. My guess is 90% of them will be in a good mood. 10% of them will be exhausted. Here’s the fact: it’s hard to be negative or bring others down after you exercise. So, do what you have to do to get a sweat in. Also, you don’t need a gym membership. You can do pushups and sit-ups in your house. You can go for a run or do yoga. Even a simple walk will do wonders for your mental state (leave the phone at home!).
Read nonfiction. When you are stuck with people who bring you down in the physical world, attempt to surround yourself with others who are in a great mood either in a book or on the Internet (like this article ;). Thankfully, history is full of examples. Find someone who inspires you. Read their autobiography. Read a self-help book. Read about psychology. Spirituality. Anything that excites you, really.
Plot your future. While you’re in this state –with people who are bringing you down – plot your future. Think about where you’d like to be when you aren’t living with them. Who you’d like to live with. Go on Zillow or Airbnb and figure out where you’d like to live. This can bring you up.
Gratitude. Try to make it a habit to be grateful for three things every day. Even in a situation where you’re stuck with people who bring you down, there are still likely many things to be grateful for. By focusing on what you’re grateful for, you can transform a negative situation into a positive one. (You can even be grateful for these people’s presence because it’s showing you what type of people you don’t want to be with in the future.)
You might not be able to change your environment for the forseeable future. But that doesn’t mean you can’t take the steps to change yourself. That doesn’t mean you can’t do what you need to do to cultivate high energy.
You might be in a low energy situation now. But here’s one great thing about that: you’ve noticed it. You understand you can’t be in that place forever.
Once you’ve identified your situation, then it’s time to cultivate your own energy and plot your escape.
For the time being, get excited about your future. Do everything you can to bring yourself up today. Because even though you might be forced to be with a low energy person (or people), your future is bright as you want it to be.
Make the most of this moment by cutting off the news, exercising often, reading nonfiction, plotting your future, and by having gratitude.
If you can do this much, you might even find a way to enjoy the present moment.