If you are sensitive or empathic, it’s likely you’re very aware of other people’s energies, and may even take on their thoughts or feelings. Sometimes this can make the world feel like it’s too much – especially in crowded areas or when there is a lot of negativity around. Yet sensitivity to energy is a gift and there are some tools to make the journey easier!
No matter how much you care about people and want to help them, it’s not your job to take on their energies. Imagine hiking through the mountains with someone who has brought 6 pairs of shoes, 2 journals and 4 books in addition to their camping supplies. You carrying their overstuffed backpack doesn’t teach them to pack lighter next time. In the same way, taking on someone else’s heavy energy doesn’t teach them healthy ways of healing it or letting it go.
We can start to release other people’s energy by asking the following questions:
What percentage is mine? Go with your gut. 30%, 55%… sometimes you’ll realize none of it is!
Next, send that energy back to the Universe. This can have a significant effect. There’s no need to spend time figuring out whose stuff it is, or why you’ve taken it on. If trash blows into your yard, you don’t have to figure out: Why is this potato chip bag here? Who was eating chips today – or was it last night? How did it get here? Did I do something that drew this into my yard? I seem to attract bags. Is something wrong with me? – No perseverating on the chip bag (or energy). Just let it go.
Another simple question: Is this just awareness?
We can be aware that someone is sad, or that there’s fear in the world, without having to DO something about it. In fact, often the best thing you can do is to return to the spaciousness of the present moment.
A simple, effective practice to do that is to place a hand on your chest, inhaling slowly, reminding yourself, “Right now, I’m breathing in the support of the Universe.” Exhaling slowly, “Now I’m softening into that support.” Several breaths like this can help you recognize the support that’s always present.
When you’re fully present, it allows your inner wisdom to bring solutions that your agitated mind couldn’t have imagined. And just like negativity, peace is contagious; rippling out to those you interact with.
Here are some other questions to move sticky energies or emotions:
What can I do with this?
How can I change it with ease?
Is there something I love about taking this on?
You might be surprised about what you unearth! “I like her to be indebted to me.” “It’s my responsibility to help the planet and I do it by carrying this.” “That’s what a parent/friend/insert-role-is supposed to do.”
Am I willing to let it go?
Reflecting or journaling on these questions can help us identify, and change, our patterns.
How can I prevent this in the future?
Setting boundaries (e.g. this is mom’s quiet time – or wearing this hat means I can’t talk, you can talk to me when I take it off), turning off the news, getting enough self-care… there are many choices we can make that can create emotional and energetic immunity and help us stay centered regardless of what’s going on in the world around us.
Your sensitivities are a gift that enable you to be more aware of other people’s emotional cues and non-verbal communication. They often contribute to heightened intuition and help you come up with creative solutions. Asking questions and using energetic tools can help you use these qualities as a superpower, instead of a burden.
Image Credit: Ulleo