Are you one of these people who can just feel everything? You notice when there is a mood shift in the room. You pick up other people’s energy and can’t tell if it’s yours or theirs? You get down when you’re in the presence of people who are also down or just oozing their energy all over the place? Hey! Guess what? You don’t have to get disturbed by that. There is another choice. You can take responsibility for your sensitivity. What does that mean?
Well, when things just happen to you and you go along for the ride, it can feel like you have no control. This can seem like nowhere is safe. If you go in public, heck, who knows what can happen because there is all kinds of energy out there. If you learn how to take responsibility for your sensitivity, it puts you back in the driver’s seat.
Before I talk about how to do this, let me explain a little bit. Let’s say that I am in a cafe and smell hot chocolate. Chocolate is an energy because everything is energy. I know that this is not my energy. I’m not chocolate. Since it’s not me, I don’t have to respond. I can just be in the room with chocolate without it being a thing. In this way, I am sensitive to chocolate, but not reactive. Get it?
If you want this to work, you have to be embodied and grounded. This feeling of “I don’t know if this is mine or not” probably happens because you’re not embodied. When you are embodied, it’s a whole lot easier to tell whether a feeling is yours or not because emotions are physical. They live in the body. Change your physiology and your emotions will change.
So put your feet on the floor and breathe deeply into your belly so that oxygen flows away from the chest and into the diaphragm. When your belly is opening and closing like a bellows, bring your awareness into your feet. Observe the sensation of your feet on the floor in your mind’s eye until they begin to feel heavy and rooted. Once you have that, bring your attention to body. You can probably tell what emotional state you’re in now.
Observe the Chaos Around You
Once you are grounded, this doesn’t remove any chaos around you, but you can observe it without it becoming a part of you because you now notice that you are separate from it. It’s a “not my circus, not my monkeys” kind of thing.
Another piece of this “observe” skill is to stay in a place of nonjudgment. Okay, so you smell chocolate. So what? It doesn’t have to mean anything. People emote. It doesn’t mean they are bad people. It doesn’t mean you have to rescue them. You don’t have to judge it, try to understand it, or defend against it. If it’s disturbing to you, you could leave. Otherwise, you can just stop “doing” anything. It’s chocolate, nothing more.
Another suggestion is not to label the energy. For one thing, you could be wrong about what someone else is feeling. Another thing is that once we label something as bad, it becomes something that we have to escape from. If you label it as anger or fear, that becomes set in stone. It’s harder to dislodge than just noticing that you’re feeling someone else’s energy.
When you learn how to witness something, it becomes a part of life. I know sometimes that’s scary, but the nature of emotions is that they fade. You can endure it because it won’t last forever. Witnessing also keeps the boundary between what is yours and someone else’s. I witnessed someone get some bad news and felt a rush of energy around that. I could have injected myself into that space and rushed in to soothe what felt painful to me. Instead I observed it. The person took care of himself and that was that. It wasn’t a “thing.” It really can be that easy every time.
Sensitivity is a gift. There is nothing wrong with it. If you want to harness it for the gift that it is, you have to learn how to use it. If you’re reacting to everything, avoiding things, or it’s making you exhausted, it’s a problem. When you take responsibility for it, it can become an asset.