How To Detect, Deflect, And Protect Yourself From Negative Energy

Most people can tell when they’re being bombarded by negative energy from someone.

Whether it’s because the hairs on the back of their neck start to prickle, or they just get a feeling of uneasiness, there’s something tangible going on.

This might be a colleague, a fellow student, or even a family member that you have an ongoing conflict with… but whether you’re interacting with them directly or not, their presence makes you just feel “wrong.”

Even worse, their negativity can linger in a space long after they’ve gone, or just seem to be around you even if they’re nowhere nearby.

So what can you do to guard yourself from this? Or even be aware of this type of negativity when it hits you?

Unfortunately, unless you plan to move to a cabin in the middle of nowhere and refrain from associating with other people for the rest of your life, you’ll likely have to learn how to protect yourself from their negative energy so it doesn’t bother or damage you.

That being said, this first point is still an important one…

Walk Away And Throw Grenades Over Your Shoulder So They Can’t Follow

Okay, not actual grenades, but you get the idea.

The best way to protect yourself from negative energy is to remove as many sources from your life as possible.

For example, it’s okay to cut loose a “friend” who is a histrionic drama queen; someone who drains you by dumping all their emotional crap on you all the time.

People like that use others as emotional punching bags. They loose all their frustrations and negativity into others like a flight of arrows, leaving those other people to deal with them. Meanwhile, having all their worries and anger alleviated, they’re free to frolic about all lighthearted.

Think of it as a form of spiritual purging on their part. They’ve vomited forth all their negativity and ugliness and feel so much better now. Meanwhile, someone else has to deal with the mess they’ve left behind.

The thing is, there’s a choice to be made here. Re-read that last sentence, and note the part where it says “has to.” That isn’t true at all. It’s up to you whether you decide to continue allowing this person to spew their bile in your direction.

Ask yourself why you’re keeping this person in your life. Are you benefitting from their friendship? Is there an even exchange of energy?

Or do they only talk to you when they need counseling, only to stay in their unhappy position without doing anything to change their miserable circumstances?

If there’s a noted imbalance in this relationship, you need to decide whether you want to continue it.

This can be troublesome if it’s a toxic family member, as you may not be able to cut ties with them like you could with an acquaintance. You can, however, keep distance from them, and make it clear to them that you’re unwilling to continue being their personal therapist.

They might lash out at you and resent you for cutting them off, and may trash talk you to others in your social circle. Be prepared for some sort of backlash, especially if others decide to side with your accuser instead of asking for your side of the story.

Just keep in mind that some spiteful tongue-wagging is well worth the freedom you’ll experience away from their vile spewing.

Besides, if you discover that there are people in your life who would slander you without talking to you about all of this, then you have more negative entities to purge from your life.

It’s a win-win situation, really.

How To Detect Negative Energy

Chances are you’ve felt trepidation in certain circumstances or around certain people, and you weren’t sure why.

Like getting a bad “vibe” about a friend’s new boyfriend, or wincing when you see a text from someone who makes you uncomfortable or anxious.

Why do you think you react that way? Do you really think that these emotions are coming out of thin air? Why would you discount your instant reaction to people or places rather than trusting your own instincts?

Most people have been trained to ignore their intuition. They’re taught to think that their discomfort is paranoia, and that they should set aside such feelings.

Don’t ignore these emotions when they arise! “Gut instinct” exists for a reason because your gut comprises of 500 million neurons of its own and controls production of large amounts of neurotransmitters that affect how we feel.

It’s no wonder that scientists have dubbed your gut the “second brain.” If you’re sensing negativity or unease, it’s likely for a reason.

If you feel a wave of negativity hit you, whether it’s a feeling of unease or your hair standing on end, take a moment to look around. See if you can determine an immediate source that it might be coming from.

Is one of your colleagues giving you a dirty look from across the room? Or perhaps your parent, sibling, housemate, or even your partner is eyeing you sideways while texting someone else? Chances are there’s some negativity about you swirling around.

Similarly, if you walk into a room and it feels odd to you, it’s likely that someone has expelled a whole lot of negativity in there too. A person who has felt a great deal of anger or sorrow in a room will leave traces of their negative energy behind.

Chances are you’ve already experienced this before, like feeling uncomfortable in a place you visited, only to discover that something awful happened there. I can’t get within 100 yards of the Tower of London without starting to shake, like I’m wracked with panic that isn’t mine.

Places and objects can hold onto negative energy and echo with it long after it’s left the immediate vicinity.

How To Deflect Negative Energy

One of the best ways to deflect negative energy is to not give it any of your attention, nor any emotional response.

If people are demanding your energy, cut them off as mentioned. Similarly, if you’re sensing negativity being beamed in your direction, ignore it.

There are some meditations you can do to cultivate a barrier of protective energy around yourself to help shield you. Some people do an “Armor of Light” meditation first thing in the morning, before they head out to start their day. 

Basically, they envision that they’re putting on a suit of armor that’s made of bright white light. This creates a physical barrier between themselves and any negative energy that may be flung in their direction over the course of the day.

For others, a bubble works instead of a suit of armor. To do this, sit quietly or listen to some spiritually uplifting music that makes you feel safe, protected, and happy. Music on the solfeggio scale is said to help some people, while others might listen to spiritual music from their favorite culture or spiritual practice.

Envision an orb of white or pink light in your solar plexus, and pour love and strength into it, making it grow larger and larger until it’s big enough to fit around your entire body. Breathe in deeply, and exhale light to keep inflating that bubble. Make it whatever size makes you feel happiest and most secure.

Then, express your intention for that bubble to remain around you, protecting you from negativity, until you’re ready to deflate it. Keep it up while you’re out and about over the course of your day. Then reverse the process in the evening, drawing that light back into your body.

If you feel negativity or anxiety in the evenings, then repeat this process with a fresh, strong new bubble.

Though there is no scientific evidence to support it, some people find certain gemstones help them feel protected. Whether it’s a simple placebo effect or some as yet undiscovered property, you might consider carrying some with you in a little pouch to hold whenever you feel negative energy seeping over or toward you.

Alternatively, consider wearing them in the form of an amulet or mala bracelet.

Try holding several different types to see how they make you feel, and then determine which you’d like to carry or wear on a daily basis.

Some stones that people find protective in different ways include:

  • Amethyst
  • Obsidian
  • Black Tourmaline
  • Labradorite
  • Hematite
  • Tiger’s Eye
  • Bloodstone
  • Turquoise
  • Lapis Lazuli
  • Smoky Quartz

How To Protect Yourself From Negative Energy

Keep your house spiritually “clean,” the same way that you try to keep it tidy. In fact, make spiritual cleansing rituals a part of your regular cleaning schedule.

There are various ways to cleanse a space, and just about every culture and religion has some form of energy-cleansing practice.

For example, incense is burned ritualistically in many religious and spiritual practices. Some Indigenous Peoples in North America “smudge” areas with white sage, while “saining” with fire and water is common in some Scottish folk practices.

You can also diffuse essential oils or mist your space with scented oil mixtures that make you feel happy and safe. Try adding several drops of tangerine essential oil into a spray bottle full of water, along with a drop or two of vanilla or sandalwood.

Cleansing showers can help cleanse negativity from you at the end of a difficult day, while immersing yourself in a bath of charged water can assist with bracing yourself against more negative onslaught.

Add essential oils to your bathwater, along with herbs and crystals, if you like. Play music that makes you happy, and take the time to really soak in that water. Light salt candles, immerse yourself completely, and envision that water creating a barrier between you and any negative energy that may affect you.

Don’t forget to cultivate physical strength even as you fortify your mind and spirit. Those who are confident in their body’s strength and agility tend to project an air of protection all their own, which lessens other people’s desire (or ability) to be negative toward them. That goes for either physical or spiritual negative energy.

Yoga and martial arts are just a couple of ways that you can strengthen your body as well as your mind and spirit, creating a sacred triad of protective energy. Others can tell when you’re strong in all three of these aspects.

You know how you can just feel strength and confidence emanating from some people, whilst others project meekness or anxiety? Decide what kind of strength you want to project, then cultivate the aspects that will help you get to where you need/want to be.

Negative energy can be detrimental to us on many levels, from causing chronic low level anxiety to affecting our work and our relationships. You have far more power than you realize when it comes to cutting it off at its source.

Learn to deflect it when you detect it, and protect yourself from it by whatever means work for you.

You got this.

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About Author

Catherine Winter is a writer, art director, and herbalist-in-training based in Quebec's Outaouais region. She has been known to subsist on coffee and soup for days at a time, and when she isn't writing or tending her garden, she can be found wrestling with various knitting projects and befriending local wildlife.