I've always been a pretty sensitive person.
I'm one of those people where if someone I'm living with comes home upset or stressed I'll know it the second they walk in the door -- even if I never even saw them. If the people I'm coming to visit are upset or depressed, I will know the second I walk in the door. If someone around me expressing their stress verbally (even if it's not at all directed at me), my body feels all shaken and it's very challenging for me to focus on any task.
To top that off, with some people I can find myself so incredibly in-touch with their being, that I've found myself describing and explaining their emotions and experience as if it is my own. As a result, I've really puzzled some friends through the years doing this cause they just couldn't understand how on earth I could know so much about this other person's experience without the person even openly sharing it with me.
Needless to say, being so sensitive isn't a very easy thing to deal with. In order to cope, it's been a process of really learning how to set boundaries and put forth the effort to really focus on my own thoughts, feelings, and overall experience.
That was the ultimate problem after all -- I was so in touch with other people's stuff that I had absolutely no idea what my stuff was. I was constantly blending in and getting really in-tune with others in order to best accommodate and make things better for them.
In that regard, it really is both a blessing and a curse. It's a blessing to know what people need in order to help support them and grow. However, it's a curse in that, in doing so, it's a challenge to ever really know what one needs and truly take care of yourself.
And so, in the last few years my primary focus has been to focus on establishing boundaries in relationships and focusing primarily on my own experience.
This has worked fairly well, but the problem has been that I have still found myself overwhelmed and uber sensitive. In fact, in some ways, probably even more sensitive than before. It was then that I realized:
We can't find inner peace and be in-tune with ourselves when we are pushing ourselves to ignore everybody else's energies.
We have to remember to acknowledge and recognize what we have picked up, then take action to help ourselves.
Whether we realize it or not, we are always being affected by the energies of those around us. You know that cranky customer you dealt with at work the other day? His crankiness affected you. You know that lady who started arguing with you in the comments section on an article on the Huffington Post? She affected your energy. You know that family member that "dumped" all their problems on you the other day? They affected your energy.
All of these energies I mentioned above are lower-level energies. When we allow ourselves to really become attached to that lower-level energy, it can really drag us down. It can make us stressed, grumpy, cranky and a little less pleasant when you're standing in line at Starbucks.
On the flip side, there are higher-level energies as well. Like that customer who gave you an extra big tip or that person on the street who gave you a big smile and genuinely said "I have a great day." If we let these energies in, it can lift us up and really brighten our day. It can make us less stressed, irritated, and worried.
It's important to check in with yourself every day in every moment and interaction in order to notice if the energy is lifting you up or dragging you down. If it's lifting you up, then fan-freaking-tastic! However, if you notice that it's dragging you down then it's time to take some action to protect yourself.
The following are a few things that you can do to help protect yourself from other people's low-energies:
#1 -- Make the effort to be around more positive people.
Are you constantly around people that complain about life all the time? Are you constantly around people who are aggravated, worried, or stressed out about something? If so, then you may want to create a little bit of distance in order to take care of yourself and give yourself some time to replenish yourself with higher energy. You may also want to reach out to new people or groups that are generally more uplifting and inspirational. People that energize you and bring fun and joy into your life.
That being said, another thing to consider is the TV, movies, and music that you are watching. Does anything that you watch or listen to feel a bit harsh? Does it feel like it drains you rather than energizes you? If it does, then you may want to stop watching to these shows or listening to that music. I know for me, certain hip-hop and rap is definitely on my big "no-no" list, along with horror films (at this point) and even a number of action films.
Also ask yourself how online or smartphone games or activities affect you. Personally, I even find myself being drained when playing games on my phone at times. I definitely can't do any Candy Crush or Words with Friends for any long period of time without it draining me.
#2 -- Take time every day to connect to your inner power.
A wonderful meditation that you can do is to breath while visualizing white light coming down through the top of your head with each inhale and then exhaling out through your heart. As you breath, the white light begins to create a bubble of protection around you that expands more and more.
Doing a meditation like this can help us get re-centered and heighten our own energy. If you feel like you need to really protect yourself from other people's "stuff," then you may also want to visualize mirrors being added to the bubble around you. This way, anything that someone expresses to you get shined right back at them.
#3 -- Make the conscious effort to focus on the positive.
You can do this through positive affirmations (like saying statements like "I am powerful," "I have all that I need with me right now" or "I am love") or by simply just focusing on creating positive thoughts throughout our day. So whenever a thought of "I don't have enough money" comes up, exchange it with a thought of gratitude like "I have enough money to have a water supply, clothes and food." Looking for all the positive things and focusing on that can help raise our energy so then we are less affected by other people's lower-energy "stuff."
#4 -- Express positivity!
This may be a bit challenging to do at first if you're stressed out or down in the dumps, but simply just go about your day with the intention to make everyone's day a bit brighter. Compliment that lady with the neat necklace at the grocery store. Smile brightly at the store clerk, ask them how they are doing, and wish them a pleasant day. Be open to chatting with people in the elevator. Find and be open to ways to help make everyone else's day a bit brighter. It's really just the little things, but the more you do it, the more you raise your own energy as well as those you cross paths with.
These are just a few tips right now, but the list can just go on and on. Ultimately remember this: The power of your experience lies with you. The more you focus on raising your own energy, then the better it will be. The less you will be affected by other people's "not so great" stuff and the more you will create and attract more positive things into your life.
Take action to raise your energy right now!
List, at the very least, 10 things that you are grateful for in your life right now. Truthfully, we should all be able to list thousands but I'll make it a bit easy for you today.
Jennifer is a self and relationship coach, writer, and spiritual teacher. She is the founder of JenniferTwardowski.com and the creator of Ignite Love from Within: Meditations to Create Relationships and a Life Filled with Love, click here for a free meditation from the album. Her mission is to help women create loving relationships with both others and themselves. Click here for her Free Self and Relationship Healing Meditation and weekly blog updates. To learn about how you can work with her, click here.
HuffPost's GPS for the Soul app is based on two truths about human beings. First: We all have a centered place of wisdom, harmony and balance within us. Second: We're all going to veer away from that place, again and again and again. What we need is a great course-correcting mechanism -- a GPS for the Soul -- to help us find our way back to that centered place, from which everything is possible.
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