We are living in an increasingly loud world. There are endless sources of distraction and the ubiquity of technology has sharply increased the demands on our attention. Regardless, figuring out how to remain focused has been a timeless obstacle.
Protecting our energy is about cultivating more quiet in our lives, so that we can tune into our own energy before absorbing everyone else’s.
In this article I want to explore the internal shifts we can make to protect our energy but also techniques we can use when the outside world has become chaotic or disorienting.
5 ways to protect your energy
1. Set clear boundaries
Knowing what are boundaries are being active in setting them is the most powerful way we can protect our energy. This is so that we aren’t simply being pulled around by external forces, ending up in situations that we already know aren’t healthy for us, and having to do damage control all the time.
I like to look at boundaries from the perspective of past, present and future. Reflecting on past situations where we would have liked to have set boundaries but didn’t, identifying what our boundaries are in the present, and keeping in mind boundaries we’d like to set in the future.
It might be difficult to pinpoint the last time you set a boundary, when I did this exercize I couldn’t remember the last time I did! This is pretty common in a society where boundaries are either ignored completely or viewed as selfish.
Think back to the last time you set a boundary half-heartedly. Where you said no but reverted to a yes to keep the peace, or where you said yes while your whole body was screaming against it. With these experiences in mind, write up a list of boundaries you’d like to set in future.
When considering boundaries it’s important to not only look at where you can set firmer boundaries with others, but also with yourself. This would look like logging out of social media past a certain time or refraining from looking at old photos/messages related to a past relationship – these involve our own unhealthy patterns.
2. Ground your energy
I used to see grounding and protecting your energy as two separate things, and the techniques we use to do both can look a little different. However grounding your energy is crucial in protecting your energy.
This is because grounding allows us to build a strong energetic foundation. Much like the roots of a tree, if our foundation is strong, the wind (external influences) will have a harder time pushing us around.
- Visualize roots extending from my root chakra.
- Take a deep breath in.
- Pull energy up from the Earth through the root chakra.
- Bring this energy up to my crown and hold it for a few second.
- Take a deep breath out.
- On the exhale push the energy down back into the Earth.
This works as as a grounding, clearing and protection exercize. Add any affirmations you like.
I do this for about as long as feels necessary, usually five minutes, ending on an exhale. I then visualize the edges of my aura sealing off as a way to signal that my energy is contained for the day.
In my experience it’s much better to ground your energy through the root chakra rather than through the feet. This provides a clearer focal point and much more stability.
Breathwork is a practical way to release heavy energy from your body. When you are in a tense situation or need to decompress after a long day of social interaction. Breathwork is simply conscious breathing. This is such an important practices because how we are interacting with our environment directly impacts our breathing.
If we have lived/worked in anxiety-inducing or tense environments long-term it is common for our predominant state of breathing to be shallow and from the chest. In this type of breathing we are in a state of fight or flight – the sympathetic nervous system. We are always on the watch for danger, even when we move into more relaxed environments/are around peaceful people.
Learning to breathe deeply from the stomach area allows us to tune into the parasympathetic nervous system.
- Find a quiet & comfortable spot
- Get into a seated position with your back straight and legs crossed
- Place one hand on the stomach area
- Take a deep breath in for 4 seconds
- Hold this breath for 7 seconds
- Exhale for 8 seconds
Although this might seem like a lot, having a longer exhale than inhale is what brings on that calmed relaxed state we are looking for.
The key with breathwork is to practice it even when we are feeling calm, rather than leave it for during or after tense situations. Our body becomes adjusted to this rhythm of breathing and we are tuned into the parasympathetic nervous system more consistently. When we do encounter a tense situation, our body is already primed.
4. Get in tune with your body
One of the main reasons we might feel exposed in day to day life is because of the disconnect between our physical bodies and spirit.
When you next find yourself in a situation where you feel it’s necassary to protect your energy, notice where in the body you feel most tense. Does your stomach clench? Does your throat clog up? Do you feel heaviness or tightness in certain areas?
When you come back to yourself at the end of the day, zone in on these specific body parts. With your awareness here, examine the tension further taking deep breaths from the stomach. It’s common to feel emotions or visceral sensations arising, just be with them.
Where you feel tightness visualize the area loosening up, where there is heaviness visualize the tension dissolving.
It’s in these areas of tension that we are taking on the most energy from others, and we might not want to be carrying around all of the time.
Note what function the area of tension has in day to day life. For example feeling your throat clog up, the throat is directly related to our sense of expression. We can identify areas of our life we need to express ourselves clearer in, along with the boundaries we need to set, so that these areas do not become sponges for other people’s stuff.
The final protective measure should be used sparingly (or when you are getting to grips with protecting your energy). This involves visualizing an energetic bubble or protective sheild around the body.
This protective sheild can be any color but white or violet works best. Visualize a sphere of white or violet light about a foot beyond your physical body, that seals off. This is great to employ when you are in a particularly tense situation.
However this type of protection can become a crutch, rather than understanding why we feel so exposed, potentially closing ourselves down further.
When you start with energy work this technique can be extremely helpful, but you want to gradually work on expanding this protective sheild and then shrinking it in size until it’s no longer necassary. Focus instead on creating a stronger aura through working with the body, breath and intuition over time.
The key to protecting our energy is through simplification; to not get too hyperfocused on containing our energy all of the time. Simplification in all areas of our life: in our relationships, work and daily rituals. The less excess stuff we have or focus on, the more suspectible we are to being ungrounded.
The importance of protecting your energy
Energetic protection is helpful in two ways. One is so that we can better contain our own energy, so that we can access our inner strengths and knowing more easily. When our energy is protected we are able to focus on the things that are aligned with and healthy for us.
The other way energetic protection is important, is for keeping out unwanted negative energy. Some people do not have our best intentions at mind, and generally speaking a lot of groups benefit from our distraction.
Although we shouldn’t always focus on what other people are doing or the negative impact they are having, it’s important to at least be conscious of it, so we know what we’re up against.
Protecting your energy: a mindset shift
When we talk about protecting our energy we are often referring to how to keep other people’s out. This is a necessary but often external focus. With this in mind, we often place heavy shields around our energy, and start closing other people off.
We might become hyper focused on what other people are doing and the best way to defend ourselves. The best way to protect your energy is to shift from a defensive position to one of alignment – how are you situating yourself?
Another way to protect our energy is to stop seeing taking on other people’s energy as our role. This is especially important for those who consider themselves highly sensitive or empaths, who are accustomed to being energetic sponges for other people.
Tools for protecting your energy
We can also use certain tools to protect our energy. These tools aren’t necassarily what protects us, but they can allow us to align our energy in a certain way; they work as an amplification.
If we rely on tools too much or place too much power on them, they can have the opposite effect. For example, if one of our tools goes missing, feeling nervous or vulnerable. We should continue to come back to our inner power, tools are helpful but not the end all.
Smudging has been used for centuries to clear but also ward off negative energy. This involves the burning of a particular herb (usually sage) in a space. This can be helpful to align a new home or room in a way that is uplifting for you. Although white sage is a popular choice for smudging, it’s also not the most sustainable.
Good alternatives include:
- Garden sage or green sage
- Holy basil
- Lemon balm
Crystals are a good protective tool and we don’t need dozens and dozens of them for it to be effective. Choose a few high quality crystals that we you resonate with and can rely on for different circumstances.
- Clear quartz for clarification
- Tourmaline for warding off and transmuting negative energy
- Amethyst for clearing the mind
Similiar to crystals we can utilize oils to align ourselves a certain way.
- Lavender oil (one of my favorites) is great for calming the mind and relieving anxiety.
- Peppermint oil is great for encouraging focus and clarity.
- Sage oil can be used as an alternative to burning sage.
Find a few good oil blends you can have in your toolkit, when you need to cleanse your space and direct your energy in a specific way.
Protective amulets have been used in numerous cultures throughout history to protect the wearer. One well-known example of a protective amulet is a Nazar, which is used to ward off the evil eye.
Anything can technically function as an amulet as long as we use it with the right intention: jewelry, coins, a piece of fabric, piece of artwork or written word. However amulets are traditionally made from durable materials like metal or stone.
Further reading: 12 ways to clear your energy
There are some differences between protecting, clearing and grounding your energy, although there are also a lot of overlap. It’s helpful to have tools to do all three in your toolbox.