Maybe This is Why You Are Feeling Low

Coworkers around computer

Sometimes our sense of empathy can be too strong.  Just being in the same room with a negative person can leave us feeling depressed, vulnerable, stressed or, at best, vaguely sad.  No matter how hard we try, we end up being deeply affected by the negative person’s emotions.

Dr. Judith Orloff, author of Emotional Freedom, calls this being an emotional sponge.  If you find that being with certain people, or in certain crowds, can leave you exhausted, emotionally shaken, and overwhelmed, then you may be a classic emotional sponge.  You are absorbing the emotions, both  negative and positive, of another person.

According to Dr. Orloff, there are several methods for staying centered and unaffected by the stressful emotions of others.

  • Move at least 20 feet away from the negative person.  Have enough distance that you feel relief.  Change seats if you need to.  Yes, Dr. Orloff is giving you permission to simply keep ample space between you and the negative person.
  • Visualize a white light around your entire body, like a shield that repels negativity.    Dr. Orloff’s suggestion is similar to one that a friend taught me:  visualize a pink fog energy or mirror between you when you are talking to a negative or rude person.  Allow love and concern to permeate the pink fog, but all negative words and actions will stay on the other side of the mirror.  The main idea with both methods is to have some sort of energetic barrier that does not allow the negative words or actions to come into your own space.
  • Place your palm on the area of your body, usually your solar plexus, where you feel the most tension or pain from dealing with the negative person.  Send love and soothing kindness to the area.  Continue until you feel a softening and a release in the area.

Dr. Orloff even theorizes that many people suffering from chronic fatigue may actually be suffering from being a chronic emotional sponge.

One other recommended technique is to use your tendency to absorb emotions to your advantage.  Seek out positive people and places.  Listen to upbeat songs, programs, and read happy-outcome news articles.  Imagine the negative emotions vaporizing from your body as the positive emotions fill you with light and h0pe.

There are many other practices from other teachers and healers to help you let go of negative emotions once you’ve absorbed them.  A simple one would be to take a moment to breathe in love – picture it as golden and almost magical – hold it in your heart space, and then breathe it out, letting it radiate all around you.  It’s hard to hold on to negative emotions when you are feeling love.

Next time you are in a situation where for no apparent reason you begin to feel nervous, tense, achey, dull, angry, or sad, then pay attention to the people around you.  Are you absorbing their negative energy?

Recognition is the first step to healing.  If you realize that you are too freely picking up another’s energy, then stay present, breathe, and see if using one of the above tools helps to protect you or to let the negative energy dissipate from you.

I think I like Dr. Orloff’s first option the best, though …. just keep distance between yourself and the negative person so that you don’t get near their energy in the first place.  You’ve been given permission to peacefully avoid that chronically unpleasant person.

We can’t and should not try to control anyone else’s emotions.  We should stay 100% responsible for our own feelings, though, and learn as best we can to not allow someone else’s sour outlook on life affect our own.

I know, I know.  Sometimes it’s easier said than done.  Keep trying.  You may be surprised at your own success.

In peace and with radiant love,








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