Have you noticed the recent use of the word “energy” in marketing and the media? People are using the term energy everywhere, and they’re not just talking about physical energy to get stuff done. Even pop artists are using terms like “big energy.”
Why all the attention on this word? Well, many people are becoming aware of something that has always been there and has always had an effect on our lives. We learned about energy (most likely) in elementary school, as a force in science class. Mechanical, physical and kinetic energy were just a few of the terms we were taught. The idea of invisible energy affecting our lives was mentioned briefly, then we moved on to growing plants in zip-lock bags. Remember those?
So what’s all the fuss about? More and more people are realizing that there are factors outside of the tangible, able-to-touch-and-feel things that are affecting their lives.
You are probably aware of it yourself. Ever been in a room just after (or while) two people had an argument? Even though you weren’t in the argument, you may still feel the tension in the room. You may even feel like leaving and going to another area.
You are feeling the tense and anxious energy of the conversation, not just the people’s feelings (also energy). Even ideas have energy. Long after everyone has cooled down, the tension may still be in the room. Or, maybe you sense the tension within the person and want to stay away from them. All of that is energy.
Back to science class! Remember, “matter is never created or destroyed”? It’s true, however, when that argument is over, some of those hard feelings can get stuck in the body, like in the back of your throat or cause you a headache.
Those feelings, while created in the mind, can actually start to have energy of their own and cause physical discomfort. That energy can get trapped in your body can cause aches and pains that getting older and other theories can’t explain away.
Or, did you ever meet someone you just didn’t like? They’ve never said a word to you or interacted in any way, but you don’t like them just the same. It could be you judging them based on something physical, but if you’re honest, there are other people with similar physical characteristics that didn’t instantly turn you off like they did.
It’s about energy. As a possibly highly sensitive person, you may be even more sensitive to energy than others. Remember, heat, light and sound are all energy, too. If you feel uncomfortable with a certain type of lighting or get tired after a short trip to the grocery store, energy could be affecting you. Have fewer social interactions been a welcome change for you?
Okay, so you may be sensitive to energy. So what? Not a big deal really. The issue comes in when it is affecting your life negatively. If you’re sensitive like me, you may have kept your kid in daycare two hours (!) after you got off work just to wind down from the day. I had major mom guilt (heaped on by others, of course) for leaving her at the daycare longer than I was working but the results were worse when I didn’t honor my need for alone, quiet time. I didn’t know how to keep from dealing with others’ emotions and energy in the first place.
When I didn’t have that decompress time, I would be so short tempered and frustrated. The energy of my co-workers’ frustration and depression wore me out and I needed down time just to get back to a basic level of normalcy so I could make dinner and be pleasant until my daughter went to bed. After dinner, I was still overwhelmed, so I would hide out in my bedroom until it was time to go to sleep. That’s great for a marriage!
And heaven forbid, if friends would invite us over on the weekend, I thought I might lose it! I knew I would be so overwhelmed after seeing them. How would I make it through the coming week, when I didn’t get a chance to decompress from the previous week? It was a maddening cycle that kept me isolated from my family and friends, out of self-defense. Thankfully, I found techniques that would help me to enjoy being around others and honor my needs as well. One effective technique is grounding. I'll tell you more about that in my next post.
Can you relate to needing alone/quiet time? Hit reply and let me know if my story sounds familiar to you.