How do the people in your life make you feel? Counsellor Sarah Barr explains why we should pay attention to the energy of those around us.

The people who you spend the most time with can influence or change your mood and how you view yourself and your abilities.

When you are surrounded by positive people who genuinely want the best for you, you’re more likely to adopt empowering beliefs and confidence.

Just as you benefit when you surround yourself with people who make you feel happy, you suffer when you are surrounded by people in your business or social circles who are negative, jealous or narrow-minded. You may internalise their negativity and believe that you are no good or incapable. This can increase negative thinking/self-talk and steal your joy, leading you to feel less confident.

If you can, it is beneficial to surround yourself with people who lift you up:

1. Positivity is contagious.

We absorb the energy from other people, for example when you walk into a room full of smiling and friendly people you will automatically feel happier as you are accepted and welcomed.

Similarly, if you are surrounded by a group of negative and unhappy people you may notice that their emotions will rub off on you and have an impact on how you feel.

If you can, choose the company of authentic, positive and motivated people and your confidence and happiness will grow.

2. They will inspire you

Having people in your life who inspire you, will motivate you to achieve your goals and your dreams. They will support you and truly want you to achieve. If you are surrounded by people who don’t notice or show any interest in who you are or what you have achieved, it may be because they are feeling insecure.

Try not to personalise any negativity you may receive as it may not be about you.

3. Positive people are grateful.

Be grateful. Take time every morning to practice gratitude. Stop and take stock of where you are in life and how much you have achieved. Chances are what you have in your life right now is something you wished for.

To help you build the habit of practising gratitude, you can try a 30-day challenge.

Every morning pick a different thing to be grateful for and give a reason why.

Give yourself time and permission to meet new like-minded people.

Be aware of how people in your life make you feel and if possible work towards surrounding yourself with positive people who lift you up and not leave you feeling drained.

If you are feeling anxious or low and feel you need support please reach out to your doctor or a local counsellor.

Take care, Sarah.