I’ve had my fair share of life changes in the last 3 years – including dealing with the ending of my marriage, a diagnosis of anxiety, moving to a new country in the middle of a pandemic, and added responsibilities at work. With all of these transitions, I have seen how my energy levels have yo-yoed from week to week and how that has impacted the quality of my life. There have been some weeks when I’ve only had just the bare amount of energy to get through the days.
Of course, it’s not unnatural to suffer from poor mental health and low energy levels when dealing with major life changes, but the lack of energy was making it harder for me to move forward with positivity. A visit to the doctor for an overall health checkup revealed low levels of both Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D. The supplements he prescribed were a good starting point but I had to do a lot of inner work and healing in parallel to dig deeper into the problem and figure out ways to better manage and protect my energy.
All of this was a lesson to me on how managing and protecting our energy is such an important part of maintaining a healthy and balanced life.
Energy is a powerful force that influences our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Whether we realize it or not, we are constantly exchanging energy with the people and environment around us. Understanding what energy is and how it works is the first step to protecting it.
What is Energy?
Energy is the force that flows through everything in the universe, including our bodies and minds. It is the ability to do work, and it exists in many different forms. Energy is constantly flowing and changing, and it can be transferred from one object or system to another. In human terms, energy is the force that enables us to move, think, and feel.
There are many different ways to describe energy, but one of the most common – especially in the context of human interactions, experiences, and activities – is to think of it in two forms: positive energy and negative energy.
Positive energy is associated with feelings of happiness, love, and contentment, while negative energy is associated with fear, anger, and sadness.
The energetic impact of your activities and experiences can also be very contextual and subjective. The first party of the holiday season might bring with it all kinds of excitement and a sense of joy, but by the twentieth such party, you might find yourself struggling to muster up the requisite seasonal cheer, you know!
Our energy is affected by the people, places, and things around us. When we are surrounded by negative energies, it can impact our physical and emotional well-being. Therefore, it’s essential to take steps to protect our energy and find ways to maintain a sense of balance and inner peace.
What Does “Protect Your Energy” Mean?
“Protecting your energy” means firstly being conscious of the exchange of energy taking place, and then taking steps to safeguard your mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being if you find your energy draining from any external (or even internal) influences. It involves being mindful of the energy you give and receive, setting boundaries, and engaging in self-care practices that support emotional balance and stress management.
Ask yourself – are you giving away too much of your personal power, your mental energy, to other people and situations which leave you feeling depleted? Or are you harnessing your emotional energy and mindset to live your best life?
Learning to manage your energy is a crucial aspect of self-care and personal growth. When you protect your energy, you are making space for your authentic self to grow, your emotional health to thrive, and your mental reserves to expand.
So, whether you’re an empath who gets deeply affected by others’ emotions and energy, or you’re simply looking to improve the quality of your life, managing and protecting your energy is an essential practice to prioritize in your daily life.
How to Protect Your Energy
Protecting your energy begins with your mindset. Your thoughts and beliefs have a significant impact on your energy levels, and consequently, your actions and ability to do things. Negative thoughts can drain your energy and leave you feeling depleted, while positive thoughts can uplift and refresh you and give you a sense of hope.
I’ve put together a few ideas on how to manage and protect your energy for your overall good health.
Setting Boundaries and Saying No
Setting boundaries is crucial for protecting your energy and maintaining your well-being. It means being clear about what is and isn’t acceptable in terms of how others treat you and taking steps to enforce those boundaries.
You can start by identifying the people, situations, and activities that drain your energy and take a toll on your mental health. This could include a toxic family member, a demanding boss, hyper-competitive team members, or a social media addiction.
Once you’ve identified these sources of negativity, it’s time to set some firm boundaries. This could involve saying no to requests that don’t align with your values or goals, or cutting ties with energy vampires who consistently drain your energy. You have to learn to prioritize your mental health and peace of mind and say no to anything that doesn’t serve you.
Setting boundaries isn’t always about dealing with negatively-minded people or people who give off bad vibes. It’s okay to say no to some social activities if it means you get some much-needed downtime. This is especially true if you’re an introvert. Introverts recharge their batteries or gain their inner strength by turning inwards and spending some private time.
So if you find yourself dealing with sensory overload (introvert or not), it’s really okay to pause and step back a little for the sake of better managing your personal mental energy meter.
Stress is a natural response to challenging situations, but it can have a negative impact on your energy levels. When you experience stress, your body releases hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. These hormones prepare your body for a “fight or flight” response, which can be helpful in short bursts. However, if stress becomes chronic, it can lead to fatigue, burnout, and disrupted sleep – all of which will compromise your mental and physical health eventually.
No wonder then that managing and reducing your stress levels can be a powerful tool to help protect your energy levels and keep you feeling energized. Spend time with loved ones, engage in your hobbies, incorporate daily movement in your life, delegate what you can from your never-ending to-do list, take breaks when needed, and ask for help – these are all ideas you can use to ensure that stress does not become a chronic issue for you.
Cultivating Healthy Relationships
Healthy relationships can be a powerful tool for protecting your energy. It should not come as a surprise that positive interactions with others can boost your mood and leave you feeling happy and energized. Surrounding yourself with supportive, positive people can provide a sense of safety and security. These relationships can help you feel understood, validated, and energized.
At the end of the day, humans are social creatures. We are not meant to go through life alone. Relationships add meaning to our lives and we should nurture them with love to create our personal communities and emotional support systems.
Focus on the good in your life by expressing gratitude for the blessings you have. Gratitude helps you shift your focus away from negative thoughts and feelings that drain your energy, and onto the positive aspects of your life. This can help you feel more centered and grounded, and promote emotional balance.
It also promotes positive energy by cultivating feelings of joy, appreciation, and contentment. When you radiate positive energy, you attract more positive energy into your life.
To practice gratitude, try keeping a gratitude journal, where you write down three things you’re grateful for each day. You can also express gratitude to others through words or actions, such as sending a thank-you note or giving a compliment.
As earthlings, we have an innate sense of connection with nature and the elements. Grounding techniques, such as walking barefoot on grass, hugging a tree, spending some time in the natural world, or sitting in the sun, can connect you to nature and promote a deep sense of inner peace and harmony.
Grounding techniques can also reduce feelings of anxiety and overwhelm by promoting relaxation and stress reduction. When you feel more calm and relaxed, you’re less likely to be affected by negative energies.
I’ll be the first to admit – maintaining a regular exercise routine does not come very naturally to me, but I can personally say that I have seen the impact that it can have on my physical and mental health. Exercise releases those nifty little things called endorphins, which are basically feel-good chemicals produced by our body. And we could also use more of that, right? Exercise also helps to boost oxygen circulation in the body, which again helps us to function more efficiently and with more energy.
You do not need to become a gym fanatic to be able to reap the benefits of regular exercise. Get your body moving regularly. Dabble in exercise forms that you enjoy – dance, pilates, kickboxing, running, weightlifting, CrossFit, etc. The options are really endless.
Decluttering Your Life
Another way to protect your energy is to declutter your life. This means getting rid of anything that no longer serves you, including toxic relationships, negative thoughts, and physical clutter. By creating a physical and mental space that promotes calmness, clarity, and focus, you can reduce stress and anxiety, increase productivity, promote relaxation and self-care, and encourage positive habits.
Getting Enough Sleep
Getting enough sleep is crucial for protecting your energy because it helps to restore your body and mind and is essential for a healthy life.
When you sleep, your body goes into a state of rest and repair. During this time, your body has the opportunity to recharge and replenish its energy stores. Lack of sleep can lead to fatigue, which can cause a decline in productivity and overall well-being.
Sleep is also important for regulating hormones that are responsible for maintaining energy levels. When you don’t get enough sleep, your body produces more cortisol, a stress hormone that can lead to feelings of tiredness and sluggishness.
Furthermore, getting enough sleep can improve mental clarity and focus. This means that you will be better able to manage your time and prioritize tasks, which can help you conserve your energy throughout the day.
Affirmations are positive statements that you repeat to yourself to reinforce positive beliefs and attitudes. They can help you shift your mindset and protect your energy.
A few examples of positive affirmations to protect your energy include:
- I am surrounded by positive energy and attract only good vibes.
- I am in control of my energy and choose to radiate positivity.
- I am worthy of protecting my energy and setting healthy boundaries.
- I am grounded, centered, and connected to the earth.
- I release all negative energy and embrace positivity and joy.
- The universe has my back and is protecting me from negative energies.
- I am empowered to say ‘no’ and prioritize my own needs.
- I am grateful for the positive energy that surrounds me.
- I attract only positive and uplifting people into my life.
- I release all fear and embrace positivity and abundance.
- I am strong, confident, and in control of my energy.
- I am at peace with myself and the world around me.
Repeat these affirmations to yourself daily, either out loud or in your head. You can also write them down and post them in places where you’ll see them frequently, like on your bathroom mirror or computer monitor.
Related read: 75 Powerful Protection Affirmations
Cleansing your energy through rituals is a powerful way to protect your energy and promote overall well-being. A few cleansing rituals that you can add to your daily or weekly routine include:
- Smudging: Burning sage, also known as smudging, is a popular cleansing ritual that has been used since ancient times. Sage is believed to have healing properties and can help remove negative energy and promote positive energy. To perform this ritual, simply light a sage bundle and let the smoke fill the room. Walk around the room and let the smoke cleanse the space and your energy. You can also use a feather or your hand to direct the smoke toward areas that need extra cleansing.
- Crystal healing: Crystals have been used for centuries for their healing properties and are believed to have the power to absorb and transmute negative energies. Some popular cleansing crystals include clear quartz, amethyst, and black tourmaline. Each crystal has its unique properties, but they all work to help clear and balance your energy. To use crystals for energy cleansing, place them around your space or carry them with you, and set your intention to absorb negative energies. You can also hold the crystals in your hand and visualize the negative energies being absorbed by the crystal.
- Salt bath: One of the most effective ways to cleanse your energy is by taking a salt bath. Salt has been used for centuries for its healing and cleansing properties. It is believed that the salt helps to draw out negative energies from the body while also replenishing it with positive ions. To prepare a salt bath, simply add two cups of Epsom salt or sea salt to a warm bath and soak for at least 20 minutes. While soaking, visualize negative energies leaving your body and positive energies entering it. You can also add essential oils like lavender or rosemary to enhance the relaxation and cleansing process.
Apart from these three practices, there are many other ways to cleanse your energy. Spending time in nature, meditating, and practicing yoga can all help to clear your energy field. It’s important to find what works best for you and to incorporate these practices into your daily routine.
Meditation and Mindfulness
Meditation and mindfulness are powerful mental tools for reducing stress. They help you stay focused on the present moment and let go of worries about the past or future.
Through meditation, you can create a space of stillness and calm that allows you to connect with your inner self and tap into your positive energy. Through regular meditation practice, you can train your mind to let go of negative thoughts and emotions that can drain your energy.
There are a wide variety of meditation practices that you can use including chanting meditations, transcendental meditation, guided meditation, and Ziva meditation. Sometimes your meditation practice can be as simple as taking a few deep breaths to center yourself.
Mindfulness is the practice of being present in the moment and fully engaged in our surroundings. It involves paying attention to your thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations without judgment. When you practice mindfulness, you become more aware of the negative energies around you and how they affect you. You will learn to recognize negative emotions and thought patterns and take steps to shift your focus to more positive experiences. Mindfulness helps us to stay grounded and centered, even in the midst of chaos and negativity.
Limit Your Social Media Usage
Have you ever stepped back to consider how much time you’re actually spending on social media every day?
I don’t believe that social media is all bad, but by promoting a sense of constant comparison and doubling down on the FOMO factor, social media can easily become a massive energy drain. It really comes down to being intentional about your social media usage and creating necessary boundaries. A few ideas to consider:
- Don’t jump into social media first thing in the morning
- Schedule regular social media breaks
- Set time limits to your social media use (apps like AppBlock and Forest can help with reinforcing this)
- Remove the apps from your phone and access them only from your laptop
Let’s be real – almost all of us indulge in some form of gossip in our day-to-day lives. Whether it’s discussing the latest happenings in the lives of your favorite celebrities or the latest happenings between office colleagues, we are all prone to using gossiping as a way of bonding and connecting with others.
And in itself, a little bit of idle gossiping is not necessarily a bad thing. But pay attention when you find yourself becoming too involved in the lives of others, discussing someone’s personal life without their permission, or using gossiping as a way to pass judgment on someone else. In these situations, you’re using your personal energy in a negative and unhealthy manner.
Protecting your energy is as much about shielding yourself from negative situations and people as it is about not becoming a channel for negative energy yourself.
How to Protect Your Energy as an Empath
As an empath, you have a natural ability to sense and absorb the emotions and energy of those around you – almost like an emotional sponge. This can be both a gift and a curse. While it allows you to connect deeply with others, it can also lead to emotional overwhelm and fatigue.
It’s essential to understand your own energy and how it interacts with the energies of others. This means taking time to reflect on your own emotions and setting boundaries to protect your energy. It’s also important to recognize when you are feeling overwhelmed and take steps to protect your energy.
If you identify as an empath, Dr. Judith Orloff’s landmark book “The Empath’s Survival Guide” would be an invaluable resource for you. The book provides practical strategies and tools for empaths to protect their energy, manage their emotions, and thrive in a world that can be overwhelming. Most of the strategies mentioned by Dr. Orloff have already been covered earlier (self-care, setting boundaries, grounding techniques, and mindfulness), but I did want to highlight one additional technique for energy protection and management that the book offers: shielding.
The shielding technique is a visualization technique that empaths (or frankly, anyone) can use to protect their energy from negative or draining energy. The technique involves visualizing a protective shield or barrier around oneself that blocks out unwanted energy. It’s a simple enough practice and as you get more comfortable with it, it will become an intuitive protection tool that you reach out for.
I like to think of it as a simple meditation technique in itself:
- Find a quiet, comfortable place to sit or lie down.
- Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths to relax.
- Visualize a bubble or shield of protective energy around yourself, blocking you from negative people and influences. You can imagine the shield as a color that resonates with you or as a transparent barrier.
- Envision the shield blocking out negative or draining energy while allowing positive energy to flow freely.
- Repeat positive affirmations, such as “I am protected from negative energy” or “I am surrounded by positive energy and love.”
- When you’re ready, slowly open your eyes and return to your day.
By practicing the shielding technique, you can create a sense of safety and protection around yourself, and prevent energy depletion or overwhelm. It is a simple yet powerful tool that can be used anytime and anywhere, as needed.
Wow! This turned out to be one massive outpouring of words!
In summary, learning to manage and protect your energy is one of those life skills that you should develop as you go about the world. It’s as much about protecting your mental health as taking care of your physical energy.
Here’s a quick recap of all of the ways to protect your energy:
- Setting boundaries and saying no
- Reducing stress
- Cultivating healthy relationships
- Expressing gratitude
- Grounding techniques
- Decluttering your life
- Getting enough sleep
- Cleansing rituals
- Meditation and mindfulness
- Limit your social media usage
- Avoid gossip
So, go ahead and prioritize your energy, set clear boundaries, create healthy relationships, and engage in self-care practices that support your well-being. You deserve to live a life filled with positive energy and joy. It’s also important to be aware of your thoughts and emotions and how they affect your energy. Practice positive self-talk and gratitude, and let go of negative thoughts and emotions that don’t serve you.
Finally, consider incorporating energy-boosting foods and supplements into your diet, such as leafy greens, nuts, and vitamin B12. Small changes can make a big difference in your overall energy levels and the quality of your life!
How is your energy these days? What other ideas would you add to the list?