Emotions such as fear, anger , frustration and immobility are energies. You can potentially ‘catch’ these energies from people without realising it. If you tend to be an emotional sponge, it’s vital to know how to avoid taking on an individual’s negative emotions, or even how to deflect the free-floating megativities in crowds.
Another twist is that chronic anxiety, depression or stress can turn you into an emotional sponge by wearing down your defences. Suddenly, you become hyper-attuned to others, especially suffering with similar pain. That’s how empathy works, we zero in on hot-button issues that are unresolved in ourselves.
From an energetic standpoint, negative emotions can originate from several sources: what you’re feeling may be your own; it may be someone else’s; or it may be a combination.
Stop Absorbing Other People’s Emotions
- Identify whether you’re susceptible – the person most likely to be overwhelmed by negative energies surrounding you is an “empath”, someone who acts as an “emotional sponge”. Signs that you might be an empath include you are overly sensitive; you sense fear, anxiety and stress from other people and draw this into your body, resolving them as your own physical pain and symptoms. It can be from friends, colleagues, family as well as others you don’t Like or know. You feel quickly exhausted and drained. You’re naturally giving, generous, spiritually inclined and a good listener.
- Seek the source. Ask yourself if the feeling is your own or someone else’s. It could be both. If the emotion such as fear or anger is yours, gently confront what’s causing it on your own or with help. If not, try to pinpoint the generator. For example, if you’ve just watched a comedy, yet you come home from the theatre feeling blue, you may have incorporated the depression of the people sitting beside you, in close proximity, energy fields overlap.
- Distance yourself from the suspected source, where possible. Move at least 10 metres away, see if you feel relief. Don’t err on the side of not wanting to offend strangers. In a public place, don’t hesitate to change seats if you feel a sense of depression imposing on you.
- Centre yourself by concentrating on your breath. Doing this connects you to your essence. For a few minutes keep exhaling negativity, inhaling calm. This helps to ground yourself and purify fear or other difficult emotions. Visualise negativity as gray fog lifting from your body and hope as golden light enters.
- Flush out the harm. Negative emotions such as fear frequently lodge in your emotional centre at your solar plexus chakra. Place your palm on your solar plexus as you keep sending loving-kindness to that area to flush stress out.
- Shield yourself. Visualise a shield of white light around your entire body. Think of this shield blocking out negativity or physical discomfort but allows what’s positive to filter in.
- Manage the emotional overload. Learn to recognise people who bring you dow eg. People who criticise, the victim, the controller. When in a crowd find places of refuge such as sitting on the edges, or standing apart. Set time limits. Know how much you can stand and obeying that limit is vital to ensure your mental wellbeing. Set kind but meaningful boundaries with others who overwhelm you. Have your own private place in a shared home. Ask others to respect your downtime during which you can rejuvenate. Practice meditation & mindfulness.
- Look for positive people and situations. Call a friend who sees the good in others. Spend time with a colleague who affirms the bright side of things. Sing, laugh – raise the vibration. If you’re surrounded by peace & love you’ll flourish as strongly as negative emotions cause you to wilt. Respect your own needs through self love as this will increase your ability to respect others. Learn to live with compassion as this allows you to be empathetic to the plight of others but also requires that you are compassionate toward yourself. You don’t need to feel guilty about seeking respite from being overwhelmed, doing so ensures you can be more emgaged with others in the long run, rather than less so. It also means you keep yourself whole by not immersing yourself in the world of negative people.
- Create and maintain a haven for disengagement. Leave many paths open that lead to communing with the resonance of nature. Returning to your rightful home as a creature of nature switches off your victim mentality and recharges you energetically and spiritually. Keep a picture of a waterfall or a lush forest with you and look at it when overwhelmed. Practice yoga and breathing techniques. These draw upon emotional centring and provide safe harbor in times of storm.