Have you ever noticed the energy in a room change when someone enters…, even if they don’t say anything?
Our energetic vibes are contagious and can affect those around us. Interacting with people can lift or drain our energy, which is why some leave us feeling invigorated while others leave us feeling down.
Other things, such as excessive news consumption and poor nutrition, can also impact our mental and physical energy. However, learning how to manage these energy drainers can help us maintain positive vibes.
In this article, we will explore common energy drainers and how to protect our energetic field from them.
Understanding Energy: What Do We Mean By ‘Energy’’
We have several energy resources: physical, mental, and spiritual (known as life force). All of these can be affected by positive or negative influences.
Our vibration (energetic frequency) increases around a positive influence, and as a result, we feel vitalized and in “good spirits.” But when we’re around too many negative influences, we can get fatigued, burned out, stressed, or depressed.
Protecting our energy means safeguarding our reserves by consciously choosing or controlling the external influences we are exposed to. This often involves removing “energy drainers” and distractions from our life, which we will cover in more detail in the section below.
Why Is It Important To Protect Your Energy?
Research suggests that our mental energy is finite. The more we work our brains, the more mental energy we use, which explains why our brains feel fried after spending many hours doing high-focus work.
There have been various studies and tests on mental limitation, including by the University of Minnesota, which studied the link between decision-making and energy depletion. They found that the more decisions we make and challenges we deal with daily, the more we deplete our mental resources. Knowing this, it’s no surprise we feel totally exhausted after a stressful day!
There is little scientific evidence to support spiritual energy exists, let alone what factors can affect it. However, we can understand more about our life force/chi through the yogic teachings of the chakras.
The chakras are an invisible energetic system in our subtle body. There are eight main chakras, each governing certain parts of our being. When we don’t protect this energy, various things can cause blockages in these vortexes, harming our physical, emotional, and mental health.
Identifying Factors That Drain Your Energy
Author, spiritual coach, and former monk Jay Shetty brilliantly explains the importance of energy protection.
Using the analogy of a water bottle, he demonstrates how we start the day with full energy. However, with each “energy drainer” we experience, such as a negative comment from someone or an encounter with an angry person, we gain a puncture to our bottle.
The more energy drainers we encounter, the more punctures we get; thus, the more our bottle leaks. Without protecting our energy, our bottle is empty by the end of the day, and our energy reserves are at an all-time low.
But how do we determine what is stealing our energy? It all starts with self-reflection and mindfulness. By becoming more conscious of our daily interactions and actions, we understand what increases and drains our energy.
Get into the habit of asking yourself, does this make me feel good or bad? Do I feel energized after spending time with this person or fatigued? Does this food make me feel nourished or bloated?
Psychological Energy Drainers
Here are some of the most common mental energy drainers you will likely encounter in daily life.
An energy vampire is a person who carries negative low-vibrational energy and spreads it to others. This includes people who constantly complain or only speak about themselves and their problems. Other traits of any energy vampire include always blaming others, lying, or gossiping.
The name energy vampire comes from how these people “feed on” anyone who listens to them. Their toxic and often narcissistic traits can instantly zap your energy.
Clutter & Disorderly Environments
Lack of organization is one of the biggest hidden energy drainers. Not only can it cause feelings of stress, irritation, and anxiety but mess breeds unproductivity and procrastination.
A study by UCLA examined the psychological effects of physical clutter by studying the home life of 32 American families. Researchers found that a messy environment can increase cortisol levels (the stress hormone). This initially causes a spike in energy through releasing adrenaline but then leads to a huge energy crash, which turns into chronic fatigue over time.
Worry & Anxiety
Emotional exhaustion comes from excess worry and high anxiety levels. Like stress, anxiety causes a rush of hormones that leave us feeling depleted and burnt out. Of course, worrying can also affect our sleep, draining our energy even more.
Physical Energy Drainers
If your problem is a low physical energy rather than mental vitality, you may be lacking in one of the following areas.
Lack of Sleep
If you’ve ever experienced sleep deprivation, you will know just how much it can mess with your physical and mental energy. Not only is it extremely hard to concentrate, but your body feels so weak and aches like you have the flu.
However, even if you are not sleep-deprived, not getting optimum sleep can impact your energy. Now this one is tricky as we all have different sleep requirements. Some people feel refreshed after 6 hours, whereas others need a solid 9 hours each night.
Your optimum amount of sleep depends on many things. One of the primary considerations is how active you are (physically or mentally). As we tend to live such fast-paced lifestyles nowadays, we usually require more sleep than we realize.
Unhealthy Diet or Poor Nutrition
This goes beyond eating lots of fast food or sugary snacks. If you do not get the proper nutrients for your unique needs, you will feel the effects via your energy. For example, if you are vegetarian and live an active lifestyle, you may consume insufficient protein, making you feel weak and fatigued. Or you could lack iron or B12 in your diet, two nutrients associated with energy levels.
Lack of Exercise
When we feel tired, the last thing we want to do is hit the gym. However, there is tons of scientific evidence to support the positive benefits of exercise on energy levels.
According to Toni Golen, an MD from Harvard Health Publishing, the increase in oxygen that exercising creates leads to enhanced mitochondria production. This allows our bodies to use their energy more efficiently and, thus, ensures our energy lasts longer.
Modern-Day Energy Drainers
Our modern-day lives also present an additional set of energy-draining habits that we should seek to avoid.
Social media is one of the biggest energy drainers of the 21st century. Scrolling through social media feeds fills our brains with clutter, reducing our creative energy, concentration, and mental clarity.
In addition, over-reliance on instant gratification from social media can severely affect our mental health and cause depression, bringing us into a low vibration.
It is not just social media draining our energy; consuming too much news can have the same effect. Along with information overload, seeing frequent negative news headlines lowers our motivation, willpower, and energy and can lead to mental health disorders.
Toxic Work Culture
In 2021, job site Indeed surveyed 1,500 US workers across different age groups and industries to see if burnout in the workplace is on the rise. The results were shocking, with over half (52%) of the participants reporting feeling exhausted to the point of burnout. 67% also felt that employee burnout had increased since pre-Covid times.
A toxic work culture can include excessive workloads, unpaid overtime, and dealing with energy-draining bosses and co-workers. In particular, there can be a lot of conflict between people in the workplace, with manipulative and bullying behaviors taking place.
Methods to Protect Your Energy
It is often impossible to completely avoid people that drain your energy or eliminate all sources of negativity. However, once you know what steals your vitality, you can take measures to protect your mind and aura from it and, thus, maintain a high vibration and healthy mental state.
Psychological Methods for Energy Protection
Here are some of the most effective ways to protect your mental and spiritual energy in our modern, fast-paced lifestyles.
Setting boundaries is the most important method to protect yourself from absorbing negative energy. This can be with people in your life (such as that co-worker who is always complaining) or with yourself (such as limiting your social media usage).
Setting boundaries involves honest and transparent communication, letting others know what you are and are not available for. Or it might mean saying no to things you previously always said yes to. Doing this can feel extremely uncomfortable, but it is an essential part of protecting your energy.
Give Yourself Downtime
Research has found that concentration drains our mental energy, especially if we focus for long periods without taking breaks. This is because excessive concentration exhausts your brain’s focus-related circuits, making you more impulsive and less helpful to others.
But this doesn’t mean we should give up all high-focus tasks. One 2016 study explored the effects of “toggling” between focus and unfocus and found that our brains function optimally when we do high-focus tasks for short periods, taking plenty of breaks in between.
Still, how you spend your downtime matters; If you mindlessly scroll through social media, your brain will not get the rest and reset it needs. Instead, get up and stretch, walk around the garden, or drink a glass of water as you mindfully observe the trees outside your mind.
Another reason you may need some downtime is if you are around energy vampires in your day-to-day life. Sometimes, despite the boundaries we set, we can still absorb some of the negativity. Therefore, taking regular breaks and retreats from these people is essential to recharging your life force.
Social Media Breaks
As social media is one of the biggest energy drainers in this day and age, one way to protect your energy is to limit your time spent on these apps. Your level of social media addiction will determine how easy this is, but I recommend starting by avoiding social media in the mornings.
Checking your phone first thing can cause your stress levels to rocket before the day even begins. It also clouds your mind making it harder to focus on your daily tasks, and thus, you feel exhausted by midday.
I also recommend taking social media detoxes where you eliminate social media for a longer period, such as one week. This will improve your productivity, presence, and connection to the real world, which works wonders for your mood and energy.
The practice of gratitude raises our consciousness and lifts our mood. This is because it increases the neurotransmitter dopamine, which boosts our energy, motivation, and happiness.
There have been some studies on the effects of gratitude, such as by Shawn Anchor and Training Magazine, who measured the positive impact of expressing three gratitudes a day on 400 working professionals. They found that after just two weeks of this practice, participants reported a 12% increase in energy and a 20% decrease in stress.
Expressing thanks for the blessings in your life also invites more positive energy. In short, the more grateful we are, the more we have to be thankful about.
Palo Santo or Sage
Many shamans and healers cleanse physical spaces by burning palo santo or sage – herbs known to remove negative energy. You can also use these herbs to purify your or someone else’s energy by waving the stick around your body. This can be a quick and handy method after spending time with an energy vampire.
Physical Methods for Energy Protection
You can also make lifestyle changes to increase your physical energy (which will have a knock-on effect on your mental and spiritual vitality too).
As previously mentioned, lack of sleep can drastically zap our energy. So by prioritizing sleep and improving sleep hygiene, we can significantly boost our mental and physical vitality. One of the best ways to do this is to wind down at night by limiting screen usage, avoiding stimulants, and choosing relaxing activities like reading or bathing.
You can protect your energy through your diet by ensuring you are getting all the nutrients you need. As we all require different levels of nutrition, it’s best to speak to a nutritionist who can develop a nutrition plan based on your lifestyle. You can also check if you have any vitamin or mineral deficiencies draining your energy, such as B12 or iron.
Daily exercise is one of the best habits for protecting your energy and boosting your mood. It doesn’t matter what activity you do, so choose something you enjoy. If you currently lead a sedentary lifestyle, start small with short at-home workouts before committing to regular gym sessions or cross fit classes.
Drink Water (Stay Hydrated)
Dehydration affects us in many ways, including loss of strength and stamina. In our fast-paced lives, it’s easy to forget to drink water, so I recommend getting a large water bottle with markers to help you track your daily intake. You can also get a head start by beginning your day with a glass of water, which many people find energizing.
Limit Your Exposure to Negativity
Nowadays, so many forms of media bombard us with negative news and fear-based advertising. So we are often exposed to negativity without realizing it.
There are several things you can do to limit this exposure. One of the most important is unfollowing and blocking news and political pages on social media and strong Twitter personalities who may trigger you. I also recommend doing a spring clean of your social media accounts by unfriending anyone who regularly posts toxic content.
Creating an Energy Protection Routine
As negative energy comes from multiple sources, it is best to integrate several of the above methods into your daily life rather than just one. However, to avoid overwhelm, start with the one you feel is most necessary for you. Once you have firmly established this method in your daily life, add another and then another.
Take some time to reflect on what triggers you and affects your energy. Can you identify the top energy drainers in your life? This will give you a good starting point.
If you are unsure how your energy is being affected, try journaling. Make notes on how all your daily activities, meals, and interactions make you feel. Then after a few weeks, review your notes, and you will likely see some patterns.
Finally, you might have to adapt your energy protection routine over time.
For example, you may get a new colleague who zaps your energy with their constant complaining, and you’ll need to set a firm boundary with them. Or you could get a physical injury that prevents you from working out, so you’ll need to replace that with another energy protection method.
To ensure your energy stays protected, I recommend doing monthly check-ins with yourself.
Final Thoughts: How To Protect Your Energy
Energy drainers are everywhere, and it is often not possible to avoid them completely. But knowing what depletes you allows you to make the necessary changes to protect your energetic field, physical vitality, and mindset. What energy protection method will you be introducing into YOUR life?
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