Negative energy abounds, and while it seems as if it’s gotten worse these last few years, I think that’s mostly because of bad social media etiquette. Regardless of the debate over the quality, we definitely spend a lot more time interacting with people than we ever have before in human history sooooo… odds are we’re going to encounter some low vibes.
But have you ever felt a little queasy after spending time in a crowd or after jumping on Facebook? Maybe irritated? A bit of a headache? A need to scream into the void? Those are the real effects of absorbing other people’s negative vibes. Now, I know this sounds all woo-woo voodoo, but I’m here to tell you it’s real stuff.
Part of how we human creatures interpret people and situations is by mirroring and we don’t even realize we’re doing it. Watch two people in conversation and see how they start to mirror expressions and gestures. That’s because we are wired to mimic what we see in order to assess the situation for danger or just to be empathetic and create a connection.
Next time you get the opportunity to hold a baby, watch them watching you. Whatever expression you make, they will usually attempt to mimic you. Most mothers play this game with their infants, not only with expressions but also with sounds and gestures. This is hardwired into us. It’s how we learn to talk, communicate, and bond, but it’s also how we learn to figure out what people really mean and whether or not we should be concerned. See, by imitating other’s gestures, body language, and expressions (and sometimes even their accent!) we unconsciously create their emotions in our body.
We even do it when we’re reading. We try to intuit from the words in context how the person who wrote it felt by creating tensions in the body, usually based on how we would be feeling if we wrote those words. Note: this is why texting is a poor way to communicate subtle emotions. We tend to interpret the text based on how WE would have to be feeling to chose those words in that context. See the problem?
Anyway, sometimes people do a really, really good job of emoting with words…they use ALL CAPS, emojis, colorful language, and our bodies take on those feelings through the process of mimicking. And sometimes, people do all that not because they actually feel that way but because they know the kind of reaction they will get (trolling, anyone?)
There’s also a body of thought regarding actual, physical energy. Since scientifically everything is an emitter, which simply means everything vibrates on an atomic level and that vibration is detectable, then it stands to reason we may pick up on those vibrations in subtle ways. But that would apply mostly when we are face to face, although who knows, right? Maybe we somehow infect the digital world with our energy, too.
So how do we prevent those negative vibes from harshing our chill? (too much?) By protecting our boundaries and clearing the air, both literally and figuratively.
Here are 5 practical and mystical ways to clear the air:
It can be as simple as having a saying (aka mantra) like “Not going to let them rent space in my head” or it can be as ancient and spiritual as “om mani padme om”. That last one is in Sanskrit and is believed that the actual vibrations of the sounds do the work. Maybe. It does sound cool when you chant it. Listen here. Whether you make up your own or choose a tried and true mantra, the idea is not only to dispel those low vibes but to replace them with higher ones, too.
2. Essential Oils
You could use some aromatherapy to clear that negative energy, too. Take a whiff of Peppermint essential oil to clear your head, or dab a little diluted Neroli behind the ears or on the back of the neck. Sandalwood, lemon, lemongrass, and rosemary are also high vibrational oils that will counteract that low vibration stuff. There is a school of thought that Rose essential has the highest vibrational frequency, but there are those who will say that’s a load of horse hockey. Like this post here.
Crystals? Really? Hey, don’t knock it til you try it, right? If you think about the modern applications of crystals in technology, is it really such a stretch to think they might have an effect on the energetic level? If you are the mystical type or just like pretty rocks, try some pyrite (that’s fool’s gold to the crystal non-initiates, clear quartz (with the right intention this rock is a powerhouse), black tourmaline, and amethyst. I have a chunk of amethyst that hangs out on my desk. At the very least, it can be a visual reminder to exhale the bad shit and inhale the good.
Burning incense is a favorite of mine, but I understand it’s not for everyone. Burning incense is a worldwide tradition for sanctifying and purifying that crosses cultures and belief systems. If you grew up Catholic, you’re familiar with the scent of burning Frankincense. If you hail from India, you are familiar with sandalwood. However, those with asthma or chronic bronchitis may want to opt for a less smokey solution. Some energy clearing incenses are Nag Champa, sandalwood, and neroli. You’ll find lots of crossovers between incense and essential oils, so if you’re not a fan of the smoke, try diffusing an essential oil in a water vapor mist. That’s much friendly to the upper respiratory system.
Then there’s smudging. Smudging is a North American Native tradition, usually involving burning a tightly wrapped and dried stick of sage or sweet grass. What’s the difference between smudging and burning incense? Um, honestly, not much. Same idea. BUT the main difference for you will be sticking the incense stick into a holder vs. holding the smudge stick while you fan the smoke around yourself or the room. (Sometimes I even smudge my phone and computer!) If you want to know more about smudging, check out this Chopra Center article.
So there you go!
Hey, you might not be a big believer in the mystical and magical, but there is something to be said for using trigger objects, sayings, or mini rituals to clear your head of negative thoughts and your body of negative feelings AND replace them with some good vibes. Use any one of these on a regular basis and you’ll start to see a shift. It will get easier and easier to shake off the bad and choose to feel positive.
Much love and light, my friends!