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  • Fe Robinson

Clearing clogged energy for well-being

I've been writing recently about regulating your nervous system to be grounded and calm to give yourself the flexibility to feel and sense yourself safely. It is such an important dimension of managing mental and physical health, and essential to anyone who has experienced trauma.

Today I want to hone in on the idea that emotions are not entirely separate and individual, they are literally 'energy in motion' and are easily transmissible between people. I'm not sure we can really even say an emotion is our own. Think of sitting beside someone who is radiating happiness and joy and the way some of that moves with you when you get up. Or on a more physical note the way a yawn passes between people in rapport, sometimes even around a room. Have you ever felt the urge to turn around to then notice someone in the direction you turn looking right at you, as if you had sensed them?

We exist in relationship, connected and each affecting each other. Our social engagement system is wired to feel the feelings of others, to empathise. This results in pro-social behaviour, which as a species we have needed to survive. We feel the pain others feel, we act to soothe it and to help them, and we each feel nourished by the experience. Good relationships are reciprocal, with give and take as we each have needs.

What happens though when our experience of emotional contagion is not a positive one? Unfortunately we all probably have people in our lives who sometimes leave us feeling their uncomfortable feelings, perhaps they are depressed, or panicky, or angry and resentful. We take on some of their feelings when we are in contact with them. It’s not anyone’s fault, it’s certainly not deliberate in most cases, is just what happens naturally.

I use several practices to help myself clear energy that I naturally pick up as I go about my life and my work. One is to give myself a good all-over body shake. Think of a wild animal recovering from having been darted, the first thing they do is get up and shake head to foot. It’s an invigorating and energy clearing experience. Another approach I find works well is to brush myself down, literally. Head to foot, as if I were brushing off fluff from my clothes, a good brusque clear down of my energy. Combine a brush and a shake and you can really can change things up!

There are also many visualisations you can do to help yourself let go of energy that’s clogging you up. One of my favourites is to imagine a huge magnet (that attracts emotions rather than iron in front of me, above me, behind me and below me. Once each magnet in turn has d)one it’s job, imagine dropping it down into the earth taking the energy with it. Imagery is not for everyone, but if it’s your thing it can help you to let go of what you are holding on to.

I’m not sure of the science behind these approaches, I’m focused more today on what works in my own experience and for those I’ve known experiment with this. We are each different, and so perhaps the important thing is to have a sense of what you find cleansing and to make time to refresh your energy regularly, you may find it will leave you feeling more yourself and more vibrant.

If you find yourself habitually taking on the emotions of others and being unable to find your sense of yourself amidst it, psychotherapy may be helpful. The UKCP website has a directory of UK practitioners if you want to find someone who is a good fit for you.


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