Our energy is perhaps our most valuable—and yet most finite—resource. On our best days, we wake up feeling a surge of positive energy that helps us feel ready to take on the day. 

On other days, if we’re struggling with negative energy, we might feel more like pulling the covers over our heads as we try to fight feelings of dread. 

The good news is that you can start to be more aware of the energy in your life and take simple steps to try to both increase your access to positive feelings and limit your exposure to negative vibes. While finding the balance necessary to fight off energy vampires and show up for the people and activities that energize us can be tricky, it can be done! 

What Are Energy Vampires and Energy Depletion?

Knowing what forces are detracting from your energy supply is a great place to start. An energy vampire is any person who, whether consciously or not, depletes your energy and leaves you feeling worse than you did before your encounter with them.

These people can be tricky to spot. Some of the most fun, persuasive people may actually be energy vampires. Or it may be easy to rattle off the ones in your life: The co-worker who's constantly one-upping you. The friend who is always dumping their drama on you and expecting you to clean up the mess. The partner who never takes accountability. 

No matter who the energy vampires in your circle are, you’re left feeling mentally and physically fatigued while they glide on to their next conquest, re-energized by the energy they zapped from you. This is why it’s crucial to build up your stores of positive energy, so that you’re more likely to be able to spot—and steer clear of—energy vampires coming your way.

The Power of Positive Energy

When we are generating positive energy, it can feel like we’re wearing rose-colored glasses as we go about our day. We believe that good things are happening now and will happen in the future. We feel good about ourselves and believe in our abilities. We’re productive, engaged, kind, and generous. We radiate kindness to ourselves and others.

Sounds amazing, right? So, where does this positive energy come from? 

Often it’s as simple (and as hard!) as striking the right balance between nourishing ourselves with things we enjoy, taking time for self care, and managing our daily stressors. 

How to Get and Protect Positive Energy

Here are some accessible ways you can tap into and protect positive energy in your life.

Spend Time in the Sun

Being outdoors is an amazing refresh. The sun literally recharges our batteries by helping our bodies produce Vitamin D, which reduces stress, fights depression, and strengthens our immune system. Bonus points for using this time to take a total screen break or catch up with someone you love. 

Eat Intuitively 

Building a strong nutritional foundation can help you feel your best. Try to tune in to what type of food makes you feel best. 

We aren’t suggesting you attach negative or positive emotions to the fuel you do choose, just that you try to drop in and see how different choices affect you. For example, if you’re feeling sluggish and down, could a high-protein snack give you a lift and support you having a better end to your day? 

Keep Things Moving

Physical activity is important because it can help you burn through stress in a healthy way—and it doesn’t have to be about hitting a number or doing the hardest workout, either. Even a walk can be helpful. 

Just moving your body around (think: impromptu, five-minute dance breaks during the workday!) can help you get into a good headspace. 

Foster Strong, Positive Connections

The people you’re around play an incredibly important role in your mental health. Make time for people that lift you up and make you feel good, whether that’s scheduling a date to catch up with an old friend, booking a trip to visit someone you haven’t seen in a while, or even just doing a FaceTime call to say hi to someone who doesn’t live near you.

Find the Balance

As we touched on above, check in with your self care practice. Are there any areas in your life you can slow down and invite in more pleasure, stillness, or play in order to raise your vibration? You might try different types of meditation to determine if that may help you find more alignment. 

Want to Learn How to Meditate?

Meditation 101: Spark, Joy, Peace, and Creativity in Your Daily Life

Negative Energy Breeds More of the Same

Positive energy is contagious—but, unfortunately, so is negative energy, which means we definitely want to limit how much we’re carrying around so we don’t pass it on to others. 

First, let’s clarify that toxic positivity is real. We don’t subscribe to spiritual bypassing; it’s okay to feel negative emotions or have less-than-ideal days where you can’t find the silver lining. That’s totally okay! However, if we’re feeling bad more often than not, we might want to address it and bring our lives back into balance. 

It’s a fact that negative inputs abound these days—just turn on the news for an example. Another common source of negativity? The way we treat ourselves. Many people struggle with negative self-talk. Feeling like imposters, comparing ourselves to others, struggling with the “Sunday scaries,” navigating mental health challenges—all of these are so, so common.  

Above all else, we want to be gentle with ourselves about what we can and can’t change, and move to action from that place. 

Ways to Avoid Negative Energy

It’s worth noting here that empaths can be particularly affected by other people’s energy and may have to take extra steps to protect themselves from negative energy and energy vampires. If this applies to you, don’t be discouraged. Your sensitivity is part of your strength and, as you experiment with different ways for how to protect your energy, you’ll see what works for you. 

Here are some tips to avoid and combat negative energy:

Find Safe Spaces to Vent

Having a trusted space to purge your feelings is critical. Therapy and journaling are great tools to use. You can also reach out to those in your inner circle, but be mindful that you’re asking folks about their bandwidth to be there emotionally for you. After all, we don’t want to become energy vampires ourselves! 

Set Boundaries

We’re back to talking about those pesky energy vampires! Boundaries are the best way to beat them at their own game.

Picture this: You’ve decided to take some time for yourself and go to dinner to catch up with a friend, but you end up digesting their complaints and bad news all night and end up with a heaping plate of energy depletion for dessert. 

That’s no fun, right? It might be time for some boundaries. While we know that taking time to assess who and what you give your energy to can feel difficult, it’s so necessary and you’ll feel better if you either limit your exposure to that person or find ways to shift your perception of them (for example, maybe you do a loving-kindness meditation before you hang out). 

Set a Baseline for Self Care

The concept of “self care” can seem overwhelming, but what’s the very minimum required to take good care of yourself? Can you find a way to ensure just those things are happening? For example: sleeping a certain amount of hours a night or engaging in physical activity a few times a week. 

Conversely, if you are doing all of the things and still feel bad, is it time to speak to a professional to see if anything else is going on? Sometimes vitamin deficiencies or other ailments can show up as anxiety, depression, and other negative feelings. There’s no shame in seeking help. 

Invest in Your Physical Space

Your environment has a huge impact on your mental and emotional health. Look around—do you love what you see? If not, take some time to evaluate what you can change. Do things need to be straightened up, moved around, or replaced? 

Subtle shifts can allow more positive energy to flow in and really shake things up. And try not to get overwhelmed if there’s a lot to do here—one step at a time is all it takes.

Try New Things

When you’re feeling low, distraction and novelty can be useful tools. Taking on a different hobby or learning a new skill can shift your mind to a more positive space and help you develop new connections or talents that bring you joy. 

Emotional and Mental Energy

Your emotional energy is simply the way you feel (pro tip: if you’re confused about how you feel, look up “feelings wheel” and start exploring). On the other hand, mental energy is the amount of energy you have to focus, be productive, and get things done. 

In many cases, these terms are used interchangeably when we speak about “energy” in general. 

For example, someone might be emotionally depleted by a negative friend—this would be an instance of that person’s emotional energy being affected, but many people don’t differentiate it that way. We usually just notice the feeling, and that we either want more or less of it.

It’s All About Balance

At the end of the day, life is a balancing act, and energy is another resource we have to manage—while still conceding we aren’t totally in control. We can try to track our positive inputs and limit our negative ones as much as possible and still have an off day. That’s natural; it’s part of life. 

Negative and positive energy coexist in the world around us, and we experience both of them all day, every day. A good goal here is simply to start noticing what’s feeding your positive energy and making more room for it, while also assessing what factors weigh on you and how you can mitigate them. 

Small shifts create big progress over time! Exploring these tips, tools, and resources can help you get started as you work to up your positive energy and banish the energy vampires from your inner circle.

Want to Start Your Day Off Right?

How to Wake Up in a Positive Mood and Have an Amazing Day

Written By

Nikki Carter

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