The world can be an overwhelming place sometimes, with the constant activity, electronic stimulation, and never-ending busyness. We go from one place to the next, traveling, shopping, texting, and making phone calls. Human energy is a huge and complex web, and it’s not uncommon for our threads to feel tangled with everyone else’s sometimes. You may be picking up energetic “stuff” that isn’t even yours and not even knowing it, and all that gunk can sometimes cause unwanted effects. Our bodies and brains are being bombarded with energetic signals from all directions, and for some of us, that can take a toll on our health and well being. Even on a very deep and subtle level, being out in the world changes us. Because energy changes us, and people and places hold lots of energy. However, some people seem to be naturally immune to these kinds of situations, and may not be as affected. But for many people, being in contact with people or merely interacting with the digital world can leave them feeling “off”. These individuals have been getting more attention lately, and we generally label them as “empaths” or “highly sensitive people (HSPs)”.
How do we tell the extent to which we are being energetically altered by our day-to-day lives? Some of the time, we may not even notice anything different, or perhaps we later realize that we’ve gotten a mild headache or feel more tired than usual. And the truth is, our general culture is not structured to acknowledge or make space for the empaths among us, and many sensitives grow up with the message that there is something wrong with them. They feel everything deeply, form strong emotional connections easily, and are often overwhelmed in crowded or noisy environments. Does this sound like you? Keep reading!
Empaths and HSPs experience higher highs and lower lows, and seem to have a more open energetic matrix than others. This allows more outside energy to get into their field, sometimes leading to emotional upset or physical illness. Empaths tend to have higher rates of chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, depression, anxiety, and other hard-to-diagnose diseases. However, on the plus side, sensitives experience more profound love, connection, and healing. But the key to a balanced and healthy empathic life is learning how to protect and care for your sensitive self, which is where the concept of energy hygiene comes in.
Just like we need to wash and clean our physical bodies on a regular basis, we need to cleanse our energetic bodies as well. As you go through your day, going to work or school, taking a walk, running errands, working out, and watching TV, you are picking up subtle bits of energy. When you take off your clothes at the end of the day, you will probably notice that they smell like a mix of all the places you visited- your coworker’s perfume, a faint hint of smoke from the pub, disinfectant from your desk and office bathroom, or maybe a bit of doggie scent from snuggling your pup. When you start to think about your energetic body the same way, it all starts to make sense.
You’ve probably absorbed a little bit of your boss’s anger, your customer’s negativity, your children’s fear, your best friend’s excitement, and so on. And this doesn’t just stop at human face-to-face interactions. Especially for a true empath, everything from music to news broadcasts can leave energy fingerprints- even just walking through a grocery store can be overstimulating and emotionally draining. By now, you probably have an idea whether or not you are a highly sensitive person, but here are a few traits that are common among empaths:
- You are easily overwhelmed by sad or scary movies/TV
- You form opinions about people quickly, that are often spot on
- Seeing anything violent, even on the news, makes you feel physically ill
- You sense other people’s emotions and even feel them physically in your body
- You have a hard time saying “no” to people
- You are constantly and profoundly aware of the world’s suffering
- Crowded places make you uncomfortable, irritable, or panicked
If you want to go into more depth and really find out how sensitive you are, I recommend taking this easy assessment HERE.
Whether you identify as an empath or not, it’s a great idea to develop good energy hygiene practices. When you have the skills and know-how to “cleanse” yourself every day, you can reduce your stress levels, ward off illness, and let go of issues that belong to other people. Being able to wash yourself off can jump-start your healing, improve your relationships, and deepen your self-understanding. Humans are energetic beings, and we are all deeply connected, but it is really helpful to be able to release things that don’t serve our highest good, and cut cords that may be making us sick or upset.
So while energy hygiene is especially important for sensitives, it’s good to learn no matter what. Over the next few weeks, we will be exploring this idea, and the techniques that you can use to keep yourself clean and grounded from an energetic standpoint. So stay tuned!