“If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.”
~ Nikola Tesla
Energy is the embodiment of life's magic, and also mystery. Usually invisible to the naked eye, its expansive effects hold infinite power. Every living cell needs energy to function; to overlook how it connects to mind, body and spirit, is to stop at the surface of things, and miss a galaxy of meaning. During the pandemic, the CDC advised us to socially distance by 6 feet, far enough not to catch the germs of others, they said. Although, when it comes to not catching the energy of others, the solution isn't nearly so simple.
What is toxic energy anyway? Let's get real, nobody is happy all the time. Being mindful about energy and self-protection isn’t about inauthentic smiles and a false “only positive vibes,” persona, which can be its own kind of toxic energy. It's natural to feel down sometimes, as well as upbeat. Positive and negative feelings, and emotions, exist simultaneously; they contrast and harmonize to create a realistic balance. Think of a toxic person (AKA a psychic vampire) who promotes and projects fear, and assumes a negative outcome, in turn sucking all the joy out of the room, or us.
According to licensed Psychotherapist and Certified Relationship Coach, Babita Spinelli, “Individuals who think and verbalize negatively may trigger those same patterns within our psyche. Research demonstrates that being around negative people requires your brain to become more anxious and depressed.”
How does it happen? Unknowingly, you may bond and identify with these feelings as “thoughts and sensations attach to the negative energy and the neurons in your brain absorb it.” Says Spinelli, adding that physical manifestations may include: insomnia, tension headaches/migraines, body/muscle and neck pains.
Friendships & Self-Care
Even if you're usually a glass half-full person, situations you may not beware of can zap your optimistic spirit. Spinelli cautions that excessive complainers project harmful energy and “deplete your energy levels,” adding that being around “a complainer can shift your own lens, or mindset that might normally be more positive.” Instead, keep self-care in mind, and “surround yourself with people who have a growth mindset and are open to making healthy changes.” Listening is crucial. At the same time, promote a natural ‘give and take’, by offering your own full attention.
How can you maintain your personal energetic space? Spinelli says the answer lies in “boundaries and emotional distance from negative individuals, with mindfulness. Notice your negative thoughts, and redirect them to more positive thinking in the moment.” One way to help achieve that, is through affirmations and intentions aimed at rewiring your brain. Spinelli suggests saying the following, “Other people do not control my emotions, I do.” Practice self-compassion by repeating, “I am compassionate with myself. I welcome healthy thinking.”
Remove Blocks, Change in Motion
In East Indian philosophy, Prana signifies life force energy linked to the breath. Reiki healing is a practice that involves moving energy within the body to different areas, to remove blocks and promote inner balance. Parita Shah, is a Reiki Master who works with clients to “shift the energy they have accumulated and project.” This includes thoughts, emotions, memories, and beliefs, as well as auras and chakras. Physical manifestations might be “sadness, fear, anger, disappointment, shame, and guilt,” says Shah, who explains it's not only about the energy of others, but also your own. Look within to notice the feelings and stories you create and project, because these charged emotional “responses and perspectives can affect mood and connection to Self.”
Self-Awareness & Energetic Sensitivity
Shah advises reading your own energy on a regular basis. How do you do it? Take a few deep breaths, go within, and ask yourself, "How do I feel today? What stories am I telling myself? Are the stories helping me, and are they true?” She says it's crucial to allow yourself the freedom to experience feelings and emotions, prior to attempting to shift any linked energy. Shah also suggests learning Reiki as a daily practice, to help “release heavy emotions, and find gratitude.”
The desire to help can draw you into overwhelming situations, if you haven't yet defined what's too much.“Pause, breathe, and acknowledge your feelings without needing to overextend yourself,” says Shah, who adds that you are welcome to help, but avoid sacrificing your health and peace of mind in the process. Along with negatively-charged people, other external influences may seep into your consciousness, and infiltrate your psyche. For instance, violent, fear-inducing entertainment - whether it's a scary film, TV show, or something that you read, comes with its own energies. Because the brain experiences these as real, watching/reading can trigger your fear response, and you may feel the effects linger long after; you might read a book, and conjure up potentially even more disturbing images with your imagination. That doesn't mean one must avoid any fear-inducing material if you enjoy it, but be cognizant of when you expose yourself to this kind of energy. Decide based on your own energy levels at the time and what is healthiest for your mind and body. If you want to detox from this sort of energy, or feel sensitive, it's a good idea to refrain for a while.
The great poet and philosopher, Aristotle once said, “The energy of the mind is the essence of life.” To help grow awareness, develop a daily meditation practice. Even as little as 5 minutes a day can help declutter your mind, slow your heart-rate and reduce stress. Meditation will also give you time to reset your internal batteries, and access your own energy levels. Ultimately, one of the most effective ways to shield yourself from harmful energy comes from within. Shah recommends listening to your intuitive sense for guidance, often it leads you in the most aligned direction. So make a point to tune into your own feelings and projections, to gain deeper clarity, and “you will naturally become adept at sensing the energy of others,” adds Shah. And always remember, your time and emotional wellbeing are priceless.