How To Know When You Have Negative Energy

by Isadora Baum, CHC

Having negative energy can really suck. Negative energy can be seen as a low point in mood that can pervade throughout your whole body and to those around you. You likely notice negative energy anytime you're not evoking your usual happiness throughout the day, and chances are people around you notice too. Thus, recognizing when you have negative energy can be great, as you then have the power to turn the day around and start boosting your mood and energy levels to feel peppier overall.

As a certified health coach, I work with clients on getting rid of negative energy and focusing on positive elements that can bring joy and productivity to the day and make us, and those around us, feel happier. Our daily mood can exhibit a sort of contagion effect, where we can either make others feel great along with us or pull them down, resulting in poorer moods all around. Clearly, the former is probably your preferred option, since feeling energized and excited in the day can be wonderful for boosting health benefits and overall higher quality of life. Here are nine signs that can tell you that you have negative energy and that an instant reboot might be in order to create more positive energy and joy.

1. You See Bad Energy In Others

"We mirror the body language and energy of those around us," says running coach and personal trainer Susie Lemmer, over email with Bustle. "If you are sensing bad energy developing in others, it might be you," she says. Therefore, check in with yourself and see if you are the problem and need to change your attitude. Lemmer says that a way to know is to ask yourself if you would like to engage in a conversation with yourself if you were someone else. Be honest. If you realize the negative energy is coming at you from someone else, excuse yourself politely and say you need to go to the restroom or take a walk.

2. You're Working Late At Night

After a long day at work, you might feel more negative if you're stuck dealing with stress at home. "Both mental and physical energy usually deplete throughout the work day meaning that your tolerance for stress and motivation for complicated mental tasks is going to be very low after the work day," says Chicago-based therapist, Chelsea Hudson, LCPC, over email with Bustle. Be aware of the time of day and try not to carry work stress home with you, when you should be recharging instead. Hudson says that making a to-do list ahead of time for the following day is a great way to prepare and push it aside when coming home. If you work at home, you can create a separate desk or table area dedicated to your work and think of "off hours" where you're allowed to power down and call it a night.

3. Your Living Space Is Complicated

"When you live with someone, you are more likely to see them when they’re tired, sick, and irritable," says Hudson. Whether you're living with a roommate found on Craigslist, a BFF from college, or a significant other, negative energy can occur in the home when schedules differ. "Moving in together will give you more insight into how your partner handles stress and exhaustion. It’s very possible that your domestic habits might differ to that of your partner," says Hudson regarding couples. Hudson recommends sitting down with your partner to communicate and come to proper negotiations.

4. You Compare Yourself To Others

"We live in a state of constant comparison to what we don’t have or what we haven’t achieved," says Hudson. "Instead of trying to live up to the superficial highlight reel of others’ lives, recognize and appreciate yourself for the dignity with which you treat other people, the sacrifices you have made for your loved ones or to achieve a worthy goal, your commitment to persevering through a life that is often challenging and the small acts of kindness you do that go unnoticed by most," she advises.

5. Your Schedule Is Too Hectic

When your schedule is too hectic, and you're busy running around from place to place, it can be hard to not let negativity and anxiety get the best of you. "We have been socialized to thrive best in states of busyness and 'striving to get ahead,'" says Hudson. If you feel this pressure, it might be time to dial it back and do something fun, and for yourself, that can brighten your day. Treat yourself to something special each month or week. It can be anything from a massage to a favorite pancake dish at Sunday brunch to celebrate a long week.

6. You're Depressed

If you noticed depressive symptoms, it is a clear signal of negative energy and how its pervasiveness is affecting your life. "Depression is not a refusal to be positive or an unwillingness to engage in happy activities," says Hudson. "Rather the very nature of the illness makes it almost impossible to force one’s self to feel happy or motivated and this is usually due to a dysfunction in the serotonin regulation system," she says. Seek clinical help for relief.

7. You Are Highly Emotional

If you frequently find yourself feeling too overwhelmed by emotion to function as you normally would, you might spend too much time dealing with negative energy. Often we try to banish these emotions from our lives, but they can actually be a good warning sign that something in your life needs to change. "When you notice emotion related physical sensations like a racing heart or sweaty palms, instead of trying to push the sensations away, allow them to simply pass through your body like a wave. With emotions you can be assured of two things: emotional reactions all have a peak and they all eventually pass," says Hudson. "If you can non-judgmentally observe their presence, they will reach their peak more quickly and eventually dissipate without any effort on your behalf," she adds.

8. You Spend Too Much Time On Facebook

Spending too much time on social media can hurt our health and cause us to feel jealous or anxiety when looking at others' lives, advises Hudson. Such negativity can carry over into your day. "Over time, the physical effects from these emotions can lead to a weakened immune system due to chronic cortisol release," she says. Limit social media time to stay happier for most of the day. A general recommended limit is two hours a day, and no more, especially for people who have children, advises Dr. Douglas Gentile, Director of the Media Research Lab at Iowa State University. However, this varies from person to person, and if your job is based around social media, you obviously get a pass.

9. You Have Negative Self-Talk

Having negative self-talk, like saying "I can't do this," and "I look gross in these pants," can get in the way of feeling more optimistic on a regular basis, says David Wolfe, on his blog. Therefore, having positive, self-promoting mantras and setting intentions each day can help get rid of the negative, toxic energy in favor of more pep and enthusiasm. Tell yourself how awesome you are and face yourself in the mirror each day to reap the mood-boosting benefits!

When you are feeling low and it's interfering in other life areas, it's a good idea to try and shift perspectives and eliminate these toxic elements from the body in order to feel happier and more eager to go about the day. Enjoying life is so important for one's health, and there's no better way to do so than reducing negative energy.

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