Have you ever met people who can suck the life out of a room in a matter of seconds? And then there are people who bring joy and happiness wherever they go. Everything in our world is energy. We cannot always control the energy that comes into our world, but we can control what energy we put out. Let’s discuss how to handle negative energy.

Think about where and how you are spending your energy.

Things That Drain My Energy

  • Complaining. In the past I have enjoyed the camaraderie of complaining with others at work or school or with friends. It can bond people to a common cause. But I never come away from that experience feeling better. Complaining does not come up with solutions. It simply allows us to indulge our problems and our negative energy.
  • Gossip. I’ve never been much of a gossip. I don’t like people talking about me, and I extend the same courtesy to others. Of course, no one is perfect and there are times when I can get caught up in the moment or end up reading celebrity gossip. But again, it rarely makes be feel better. And frankly, it’s none of my business what other people are doing.
  • Not Eating Healthy Food. I couldn’t wait to get back to the east coast and all the Philly junk foods that I couldn’t get in California. For the first week or two after I arrived I ate up a storm: egg rolls (there’s a big difference between east coast and west cost Chinese food), cheesesteaks, soft pretzels, Italian hoagies. I quickly gained about 10 pounds and felt terrible. The other day I made the most delicious lunch of Red Swiss Chard and cannellini beans, and I felt so wonderful for the rest of the afternoon. Eating well is very important to our energy.
  • Not Moving My Body. I’m a naturally lazy person and I love lying around the house and reading a good book or sitting at my computer and writing for hours. When I lived in California I always used the excuse that I didn’t have air conditioning and it was too hot to exercise. But now that I’m in New Jersey I have a great air conditioner and no excuse not to get moving. When I move my body I feel so much better about myself. My mood brightens up. It’s impossible to be sad or negative when you are moving your body. I’ve never regretted any time that I’ve exercised. I always feel so good after.
  • Watching the News. It’s important to keep up with what is going on in the world and with events that may directly affect you. But most of what is on the daily news has absolutely nothing to do with me. I stopped watching it. If there is something really big going on that I need to know about, somehow the information will get to me. I know there is crime in the world, I know bad things happen to people. I don’t need to see it every day. Very rarely does our media choose to highlight good news in the world. So I stopped tuning in to the news.

Things That Boost My Energy

  • Being Creative. I love to write. I love to paint. I love to make things and come up with ideas. When I’m in the creation zone, I am fully focused on what I am doing. There is no space in my brain for negative thoughts. My brain waves are focused solely on creating. That feeling is pure joy.
  • Being Crafty. I love to make soap, to crochet, to make Christmas ornaments, to learn new things. Sometimes the simple act of having something to do with my hands helps me expel nervous or negative energy. I love to crochet while I am watching television. It keeps my hands busy, and when I’m done I usually have something new to wear like a scarf or hat.
  • Beautifying My Space. I love to arrange fresh flowers, to put pictures of people I love around the house, to arrange cabinets and create order. I love to keep little bits of ribbon and add them to small things around the house, like tie one around a vase, or drape one over a mirror. Pretty little personal touches make my rooms a more positive energy space.
  • Cooking. I love to put on music, pour myself a glass of wine, and get creative in the kitchen. Cooking nutritious meals helps me feel better and gives me another creative outlet. I love exploring the cuisines from countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. The Mediterranean diet helps me achieve my goal of living la dolce vita.
  • Meditating. When I have a lot on my mind, I turn to meditation to help cleanse my emotional state. Meditation brings me back to my center, it relaxes me, and frees me from negative thinking. It physically makes me feel more positive. It helps with my creative thinking, and it helps me get a good night’s sleep.

Be mindful of what gives you energy and what drains you. Consider these things without judgment. We’re human. We all slip into negative behavior at times. But we can choose not to dwell on these things. We can choose to make an adjustment, to focus on positives. Use some of the tools I mentioned above if you feel you are stuck in a negative pattern.

We won’t always be around uplifting people. When we come into contact with Negative Nellies we can choose to maintain our own positive energy. Oftentimes, it will reflect back on them and they will open up and lighten up. If our positive energy doesn’t rub off on them, we can choose to feel compassion for them and how much they must be hurting and how insecure they must feel. But we can remain positive in ourselves. If you find yourself in a situation where you can’t do that, you can always choose to walk away.

You have the power. We can’t control others. But we can choose to be positive in our own lives. You get to choose how you feel. Always.