Reiki is one of the best ways to connect with your own energy and build-up self-awareness. As a Reiki Master, I share this gift with my students, loved ones, and others. If you feel like your energy has some “holes,” this blog post has tips and techniques to protect your energy.
Most students and clients who come to me are what we call Empaths. If you are an empath or a sensitive soul, then you tend to feel others’ thoughts, emotions and even physical pain. Empaths are beautifully perceptive people that can sense another person’s energy, emotions and intentions without relying on words and actions. Although it can often seem like a negative trait, being an empath can truly be your superpower. All you need is the right set of tools and guidance to help you master it.
In other words, they can feel what others feel. It’s a double-edged sword, both with advantages and disadvantages.
First Things First, Are You an Empath?
In recent years, “empath” is a word that has become more popular. But how do you know you are one? You are about to find out. Please answer the questions below with a “yes” or “no”:
- Are you sensitive – often to an extreme extent?
- Does your energy feel different when you talk to someone or go to a specific place?
- Do you sometimes feel tired and sluggish – and what you ate or drank has nothing to do with it?
- Are you a giver in the sense that loving and caring come naturally to you?
- Are you intuitive and creative?
- Do you often feel intense compassion towards other people, animals, places, and nature?
You may have also noticed the following:
- People are often drawn to you because you make them feel good.
- Your sensitivity allows you to understand people on a much deeper level, propelling you towards genuine relationships.
- You are highly giving, nurturing, a great listener, loyal, trustworthy, loving, reliable, protective of others, creative and a natural healer.
- Your attention to detail makes you great at seeing solutions that others miss.
- When you are surrounded by positive energy, love, joy and peace, you flourish wonderfully.
- You are drawn to people who offer intelligent conversation.
- You connect deeply with people, nature, animals and your own consciousness.
Do you agree with all (or almost all) of the above? If yes, you are likely an empath or a sensitive soul. Being sensitive is empowering. And being an empath has several benefits, including:
- You are naturally perceptive. You can read a room and sense everyone’s vibe almost immediately. It is helpful in circumstances, such as when you need to diffuse a situation or become the peacemaker.
- You have an intuitive or psychic facility that is beautiful for so many reasons. For instance, you can feel when someone is not on board with what is going on. You will know where to taper off.
- You have a special gift. A lot of people around you do not have your ability. They cannot read your emotions and reactions clearly. You can use this skill in various situations, such as making friends, going on a job interview, and even when you are out on a date.
- Because you can feel other people’s emotions, it can be hard for others to manipulate you, especially when you know how to protect your energy.
- You have become so in tune with how other people talk, move, and act. You also know how they feel within, which means that you can easily see red flags if their true intentions are different from what they show you.
- You are creative, thanks to your intuition. You can release it in a wide variety of avenues, such as music, writing, acting, or painting. You have that constant urge to create, build, and develop. It is also why empaths thrive as business owners or managers. This is actually another benefit all on its own.
- As an empath, you want the world to be a happier and better place. Because you sense when people are not satisfied, or they are struggling, you want to offer your time to comfort them.
At the same time, people are naturally drawn to you. For some, it is a blessing, especially when you are looking for friends. Introverts, however, may not see it as a benefit. Your heightened awareness of other people’s emotions can be both challenging and rewarding.
Because you attract other people, you tend to appear like a magnetic energy source to energy vampires. They are those that other individuals may call “narcissistic” or self-centred. They can grab hold of your energy and suck it right out of you – much like a vampire.
But being an empath is not something that you can change. The best thing that you can do is embrace and be grateful for this beautiful gift.
How Did You Become an Empath?
It’s always an interesting subject for empaths to learn why they are what they are. Why me, you may have asked yourself so many times now. You may have also wished to go back and un-know what you just learnt or close your eyes and not feel what you feel. But the truth is you can’t. Yes, it is your choice to try and be a little less sensitive, but it is not something you can escape. Instead of suppressing your ability, you can lovingly harness this power.
So, how did you become an empath? There are four ways:
1. Natural Temperament: As a baby, you enter the world with a natural heightened sensitivity. It is an inborn temperament, which allows you to be more responsive to light, touch, movement, sound, and everything else in your surroundings. If your mum or dad has told you how sensitive you were as an infant, you are likely an empath right from the start.
2. Genetics: Your sensitivity may not have come naturally to you without your parents. If you have been highly sensitive as a child, chances are your mum and dad are, too.
3. Trauma: Have you ever felt neglected as a child? Did you experience any form of abuse as an adult or at a young age? These experiences can affect how sensitive you are. Abuse can be physical or emotional. Many people whose parents or those around them are narcissistic, depressed, or have an addiction, could become empath. Trauma is an individual experience and can be perceived in different ways. You can have a different view of trauma from other people. Regardless, your upbringing may have resulted in you feeling unseen or invisible to your family. So you tend to focus on other people rather than yourself, to feel valued for your sensitivity.
4. Support: On the flip side of things, you can be an empath, too, when you have a supportive environment while growing up. Great parenting leads you to nurture your gift. As a child, you may have viewed your parents as your role models, allowing you to honour your blessings.
Empaths typically react to all sorts of things. For me, these have always been strong perfumes – even my husband’s cologne and scented candles – are off-putting. For others, it could be noise and large crowds. Therefore, it is not just energy that affects you, but any other things like the ones mentioned.
How to Protect Your Energy as an Empath
Empaths often feel different emotions depending on the things or people around them. These rapid changes in emotions tend to make them feel like they’re crazy. You have probably felt this way so many times. Your mood goes up and down, usually without any particular reason.
For instance, if you are specifically sensitive to crowds, you can just go to a busy store, and you suddenly feel stressed and anxious. That’s the power and challenge that goes with being an empath. You pick up other people’s energies even when you do not want to.
Mishandling your gift can be detrimental, whether you choose to ignore it or drown yourself in it. You could develop diseases, which doctors cannot fully explain. It’s one of those moments when you find yourself suddenly feeling well. It’s what happens when you talk to negative people, such as energy vampires, and you end up feeling depleted. Meanwhile, those other individuals feel the opposite: they are energised by you and your presence. How can this happen? It’s when you took their thought patterns and emotions, which all entered your mind and body. You have unknowingly allowed them to take your energy.
For some empaths, they believe the best, and perhaps the only solution is to be alone. You may have thought the same. It is because when you are alone, you feel a lot better. You are more balanced. When it is time to visit friends or family, you have that negative feeling again. You always want to leave as quickly as you can. But you cannot avoid everyone for the rest of your life.
It doesn’t mean empaths prefer to be alone. Sometimes, even while reading a book or listening to music, your mood can change rapidly. You go from happy to melancholic. You can be in a rollercoaster of emotions, and you do not know what to do about it.
That’s why you’re here. I’m going to help you find your balance. Below, you will find the steps to take to protect your energy effectively. Keep this list close at hand whenever you feel that the outer universe is closing in and ready to harm your inner universe.
1. Start With Self-awareness
There are a few symptoms of negative energy, including:
- A foggy mind
- Stomach pains
- Mood swings
If you have experienced trauma, you are particularly vulnerable to negative energy. Self-awareness is key. It is because one of the very first things that you need to know is the specific person, thing, event, place, or whatever it may be that is making you feel low.
And that is where Reiki comes in. The energy modality allowed me to understand my own energetic body. Reiki is about getting in touch with your energy. So, by learning things as simple as the Chakra system, you can understand what’s shifting your vibrations. Here’s a primer on Chakras: What You Need to Know About Chakras.
A really quick thing that you can do to increase your self-awareness is to place your hand on your chest directly on top of your heart. Ask yourself about how you’re feeling today. Focus on the energy you sense on a much deeper level – not on the physical. Do this first thing in the morning when you just woke up. Take a few minutes before getting up and feel your heart. It will help you compare how you are, mainly basing it on your optimal level.
Here are more ways to become more self-aware:
- Understanding and familiarity with your gifts will make you more comfortable in general and more in tune with yourself.
- Accept your gift and embrace it so that you can learn more about it and yourself. Ignoring it will not make it go away.
- Think about how you feel at your optimal state and why it makes you feel that way.
Think about what triggers your sensory overload. It could be sudden, intense feelings of sadness, anger, anxiety, fatigue, health issues or something else entirely.
2. Identify What Drains and Energises You
How do you feel right after you wake up? How does your energy feel when you go out and meet other people? Does it feel lower and weaker than what it was this morning when you were at home?
Being self-aware will let you decide and control your environment. You know your optimal state, which is unique for everyone. For some people, it is when they meditate, which enables them to feel loved, protected, and calm. The optimal state is your best state. It is when you are excited and ready for anything.
When you are self-aware, you will know what or who triggers you. It can often be sudden and perhaps even just one moment in a day. However, that fleeting moment gives you intense emotions, such as sadness, anger, fatigue, or even health issues.
You can keep a ‘trigger journal’ to keep track of how you feel. Have three columns in your journal:
- What has happened? Give context to the situation and try to keep it as factual as possible.
- Why did you feel triggered? This is where you can express it from your personal opinion and describe emotions that you’re feeling. Try to delve deep into the inquiry here. Is it related to your own limiting stories and beliefs or fears? Do your values misalign with theirs? What is it about them that has triggered you?
- What would you like to believe or feel instead? This is where you get to think about how you would have liked to handle the situation differently. If it has triggered a limiting belief in you, then what would you like to believe instead?
Now is also the best time to examine your relationships:
- Set healthy boundaries in your relationships. The drive to help others is fundamental in an Empath’s nature, but you must learn to say no and put your own self-care first. It is not your responsibility to take on others’ emotions or take their pain away.
- Assess the repercussions of helping someone before you agree to help. Don’t let people take advantage of you. All relationships should maintain a healthy balance. When you are feeling sorry for someone, remember that everyone has challenging times in their life and that overcoming it is what helps them grow. No earlier situation, event or childhood trauma is an excuse for someone’s toxic behaviour if it hurts you. Not everyone wants to reach their fullest potential and it isn’t a part of everyone’s journey.
- Unplug from energy drainers. Because you are so good at relationships and people love you, they also take your energy away from you. If you know or have known, someone who has this impact on you then you need to spiritually cut the emotional cord with them. It won’t affect your relationship negatively because the intention you’re sending out is not to hurt that person, but to stop that energy drain. If you have the intent and the willingness, all you need to do is visualise yourself cutting the cord that is binding you to them, then say a prayer to send them love, protection, wisdom and blessings.
- Surround yourself with positive and supportive people. These are the people that make you feel safe and help you flourish.
3. Protect Your Energy Boundaries
As energetic beings, our energy comes in contact with other forms of energy. It’s how energy healing works. When you have low energy vibrations, you go to a Reiki Master or healer to help raise your vibrations. Crystals, pets, and nature are also popular options. These shifts in energy are a scientific process known as entanglement or entrainment.
Entanglement is the tendency of oscillating bodies to interact with one another, which creates a harmonious vibration. This physics concept can be complicated to grasp. So, on a basic level, when there are two or more energies in the same field, they will pulse at almost the same rate. To be at the exact degree, they need to lock in together.
Low vibrations are naturally attracted to high vibrations. And because they are locked in together, the lower, less powerful vibrations will take on the vibrations from the more powerful source. In other words, it is easier for two systems (or more) systems to cooperate, rather than work in opposition. This entanglement process also takes less energy.
But there is a negative side to it. When you are enjoying higher vibrations, and there is an energy vampire around you, this person will suck your energy right out of you. The result is that they feel more energetic while you feel drained.
Don’t worry; there are a few ways to create boundaries. Knowing the Chakra system is essential here. You can locate where these boundaries are and determine which Chakra is affected.
We categorise them as the following:
Physical (Root Chakra)
Out of all the boundaries, the physical is the easiest to define. You can say that they are what you own, such as your car, office, or desk. It can be your computer or phone that has a password. Your money in your bank account and your body are both physical. You draw boundaries around these things as if you are putting a picket fence around your property. It’s where you draw the line between what’s yours and what’s not.
When you feel as if you and these physical things are not safe and protected, it only means your Root Chakra is most likely affected.
Emotional (Solar Plexus and Sacral Chakras)
When your self-confidence or sense of self-worth is low, it makes it easier for other people to capture our emotional boundary. It should be about respecting and honouring emotions or feelings. When you set emotional boundaries, you recognise the emotional energy levels that you can take in. This situation allows you to know how much of it you can share and what to leave for yourself.
Because empaths are naturally loving, it can be challenging to set this boundary. But being about to have such protection will allow others to respect how you feel. At the same time, you can validate those feelings, as well as other people’s emotions. It is much easier to accept emotional information from other people.
The Solar Plexus and Sacral Chakras are what govern our identity. They determine who we are and what our emotional centre is. Solar Plexus can help grow your vitality and confidence. This way, you can lead yourself down your true path and create the life that you want.
Meanwhile, when the Sacral Chakra is aligned, you can have the energy to be creative, move, and create. It’s why this Chakra, along with the Solar Plexus, is vital to empaths. When these two are blocked or affected, you lose control, giving you that feeling of uncertainty. It becomes incredibly difficult to cope with the changes around you.
Relationships (Heart and Throat Chakra)
The relationship boundary is not just for couples but also for friends and even family members. Have you found yourself staying with friends who cause low vibrations for you? Is saying no difficult for you? Do you tend to over-please?
Unless you create a relationship boundary, your Heart and Throat Chakra can get affected with what’s going on. The Heart, obviously, influences how you give and receive love, whether it is from yourself or others. The Throat is your Heart’s voice. It controls your ability to community your power. You need these two to function properly so you can express yourself correctly, honestly, and clearly.
Spiritual (Third Eye and Crown Chakras)
The top of the body is your nearest connection with the divine. The Third-Eye and Crown Chakras work together to protect your spiritual boundary. With your Third Eye, you can control your ability to see the bigger picture. Even more important is how you can use it to connect to your intuitive self. Meanwhile, your Crown Chakra is your highest Chakra, and it represents the capability to connect spiritually fully.
You need to have a spiritual boundary to protect the health of your relationship with God or any figure that you hold to the highest esteem. It can be nature, your religion, or a belief. Other people, events, and happenings can affect your spiritual stability.
4. Use Tools to Improve Your Energy Protection
Now that you have your self-awareness down pat, you know your triggers and the reasons why it’s time to deal with them. There are many ways to protect your energy, whether it is from energy vampires or even yourself:
- Reiki: This healing technique is full of gifts and tools for empaths. One way to protect your energy with Reiki is by balancing your Chakras. You can also give Reiki to yourself or receive it from someone else.
- A sacred space: This is a pleasant environment, inside or outside, where you feel safe and able to fully express and let go. If you can’t physically create a space then work on creating one in your mind.
- Visualisation: You can create a shield, envisioning it as a wall or by zipping up. The idea is to keep yourself separate from other people. Visualise the place you feel most comfortable. It could be by the sea, on another planet or in a healing temple, your options are endless because it is all up to you.
- Smudging: Burning Sage is a common practise for purifying, relieving symptoms, and boosting your mood. It’s one of the easiest ways to protect and cleanse your energy. You can also use Palo Santo, Sandalwood, or Frankincense.
- Connecting with Nature: Regularly getting away into Nature will help you rejuvenate and uplift your emotional state. Being among nature at least once a day will recharge and ground you, eliminating unwanted energies from your body. Get some fresh air, walk through the grass barefoot or touch some trees.
- Exercise: Physical activity grounds you in your body and the present moment.
- Essential oils: Eucalyptus, Rosemary, Peppermint and Lavender are great oils for creating a calm or relaxing environment.
- Reconciling with your emotions: Spend time allowing yourself to embrace and accept your emotions so that you can process and release them effectively. Don’t hold on to emotions, suppress them or build personal barriers to keep others from knowing what you’re feeling. You need to express yourself if you want to heal.
- Healthy eating: Nutritionally balanced and healthy choices will allow positive energy to flow throughout your being and keep you at your optimal level.
- Avoiding chemicals and toxicity: Unnatural substances are detrimental to your natural state.
- Honouring your needs: Balance time spent with friends and family with time spent alone to recharge. You don’t want to experience a sensory overload, but too much time by yourself can make you feel disconnected and alone.
- Shielding: Put up a white light to shield negative emotions coming through. Shielding helps you to become an observer and send negativity back. Shields come from love, they aren’t a barrier against others but a protective measure for your Self.
- Centring – Switch your awareness to the present environment. Use deep breathing to return to your centre and separate your emotions from other people’s.
- Meditation: Yoga, sound baths, mindfulness, journaling, and other forms of quiet contemplation will create a canvas for your mind to relax.
- Acknowledging your personal goals and dreams: Live in a way that is true to yourself, with your own pursuits to focus on. Be aware when someone or something is taking you away from your authentic path.
- Crystals: As an empath, you need to be constantly aware of your energy. Using protective crystals can help you stay focused and aware of what’s going on in your life. Black Obsidian, which helps you keep track of your energy and fend off ‘psychic attack’, is one of many crystals that offer great support to empaths. Some of my favourites are black tourmaline, smoky quartz, malachite, amethyst, pyrite, and black kyanite. You can wear these crystals all day or just sweep them around your auric field. You can choose your own crystals. You can have one or as many as you want. Find the crystal that best resonates with you. Consider reading this blog post if you like to learn more about crystals.
- Expressing yourself: Art, journaling, music or any kind of creative expression is a great form of release for empaths feeling stuck or out of balance.
- Water: Drinking water and showering are very simple yet powerful. When you had a rough day, hop into the shower before going to bed. Feel that negative energy and visualise it all running down the drain.
Unlocking Your Gift’s Potential
After exploring your gift and the way that it affects your Self, your interactions and your relationships, you will have a better idea of your capabilities as an empath. The next phase looks at how to maintain your Self and protect your energy and wellbeing as an empath.
Distinguish your emotions. The key to using your gift as an empath is to become aware and learn how to differentiate your emotions from those of others. If you are taking on other people’s emotions, then you need to work on clearing these and creating a boundary to protect yourself. Shielding is one technique, but you can also analyse your emotion by asking yourself:
- ‘Am I feeling this emotion because something has happened to me?’
- ‘Am I feeling what someone else is feeling because something has happened to them?’
Don’t Be Overwhelmed
If you feel particularly overwhelmed, take some time to go through your emotions one by one – yes all of them! Imagine the names of these emotions written on folded pieces of paper in front of you. As you pick up each one, ask yourself, is this mine or is this someone else’s? Don’t try to fix anything right now, just acknowledge them without judgement, then put the paper down and move on to the next one. Acknowledging your feelings can help you process what you’re feeling and strengthen your clarity.
As you can see, there are many ways to protect yourself from overwhelming negative energy. However, rather than overwhelming you with information by going through each approach in detail, here are three that you can practice on your own, without any props. Once you are used to these techniques, you will be able to cleanse and protect yourself at any time.
1. Cleansing Your Chakras
Making a consistent effort to regularly cleanse and re-energise your Chakras will bring you back into alignment.
- Visualise the 7 Chakras as spinning wheels, associating the Chakra’s colour to each one.
- Take in a deep breath as you go through each chakra, starting at the Root and working your way to the Crown.
- With each breath think about breathing in the colour of the Chakra, imagining it as positive energy entering your body.
- As you breathe out you are breathing out negativity.
By the end, you will feel energy centres flowing and circulating in perfect balance and harmony.
2. Clear Negative Thoughts
As an empath, you pick up on other people’s negative thoughts. These thoughts can manifest and remain in your energy field, attracting situations, people and experiences that align with this negativity without your conscious awareness. Frequent check-ins will allow you to identify any negativity and consciously let it go. The following visualisation is designed to help you do just that. Like anything, the more you practice this activity, the easier it will be to clear negative thoughts.
Visualise your aura being cleansed by a white waterfall and choose one or more of the affirmations below that resonate with you:
- “I am in control of my mind, my emotions and my body.”
- “I am willing to feel only the energy that is mine, and I let go of all that is not mine.”
- “I receive energy that is of the highest good for me, and I am protected from all other energy.”
- “My aura boundary is strong.”
- “I am always safe and divinely protected.”
- “I attract only kind and gentle life lessons and relationships in my life.”
- “I understand the divine plan for my life. I have the passion and energy to joyfully fulfil it.”
When you’re feeling overwhelmed and can’t distinguish your emotions, try imagining you are standing under a waterfall of white light. As this powerful waterfall of light pours down over your physical body, it penetrates your emotional and mental bodies, washing away anything that does not belong to you. See this unwanted energy falling away and absorbing into the Earth.
As you continue to breathe, imagine the white light absorbing into your skin as though you are a sponge. Feel it cleansing and refreshing your entire being. Now that your entire physical body is glowing white light from the inside out, bring your awareness to your Heart Chakra at the centre of your chest. Start to imagine a fountain of pink light emanating from your heart.
With continued deep breaths, allow this loving fountain of pink light to grow stronger and flow faster as it fills your entire body. Once your body has filled with this pink light, allow it to expand around 3 feet past your physical body. Visualise a barrier of golden light on the outer edge of your pink bubble.
Take time to deeply feel that this golden barrier is strong, without any openings or weak points. For a few breaths just imagine this pink bubble with a golden shell, and affirm to yourself that:
- This is your energy.
- No unwanted energy may enter your space without your permission.
- It is possible to send energy out of this bubble as you wish.
- It feels good in the safety of your loving, clean and protected energy.
Take a few moments to bask in the fresh, new, loving space that you have just created. Check-in with your emotional state by bringing your awareness to your emotions. Acknowledge whatever you might be feeling now that you have completed the activity and if an uncomfortable feeling is still hanging around, then it’s likely yours and you’ll need to investigate it further.
If you would like further help dealing with the overwhelming state of being an empath, I would love to work with you, to help you gain clarity and use your gift for your highest good.