How to Avoid Negative Energy If You're an Empath in Recovery


Sober Recovery Expert Author

Entering into recovery means that you’re make a commitment to change. Typically, you start changing your lifestyle, friendship circles, dating habits and (most certainly) your coping skills. All of these changes are required to protect your sobriety and prevent relapse while assisting in laying the groundwork for a successful recovery.

However, very few consider the importance of protecting your energy.

An empath in a negative environment will absorb the energy around them and likely put their hard-earned sobriety on the line.

The truth is, many people in active addiction are exposed to all kinds of negative energy. Moreover, many are not only negatively affected by it but they also pick up on it in metaphysical ways and unwittingly carry it around with them. This is (on a subconscious level) possibly one reason a vast majority of these gifted individuals use substances in the first place; for the numbing and silencing effects which seem to block the information (energy or otherwise) received.

Understanding an Empath

One very prominent group of people who struggle in this way (due to a lack of understanding) and often look to substances for relief are empaths. Empaths pick up on the energy (emotions, thoughts, experiences and overall being) of others. This experience can not only be confusing for these individuals. It is also quite detrimental, especially if one is unaware of their ability and the need for spiritual or energetic protection or ways to protect themselves.

In fact, empaths who have no knowledge of this phenomena or the need for protection often suffer from anxiety, depression, physical ailments with unknown causes – like nausea, headaches, lightheadedness, etc. – and, of course, substance abuse and addiction. The latter occurs as a method to block or self-medicate the uncomfortable and confusing emotions, cognitions and experiences, as well as the resulting depression, anxiety and so on.

Empath individuals typically do not realize the emotion and energy is not actually their own but a combination of their energy (emotions, cognitions, experiences, etc.) and others’ as well—a reality which can be very overwhelming. Some even chalk themselves up as crazy and begin to self-medicate that which they think to be as fact. This easily then leads to addiction.

Unfortunately, when these empathic individuals seek recovery, they are typically still left in the dark about the empath factor and the need to clear or protect themselves, energetically. If they do not begin to understand this, they relapse.

Therefore, it is necessary for recovering individuals to decide if they are in fact an empath and to learn how to protect themselves (energetically speaking) moving forward.

Are You an Empath?

As stated above, empaths pick up on the energy of others. As such, they feel other people’s emotions. Sometimes, they even hear the thoughts of others. And, most often, they can sense the energy – positive, negative, light or dark – of other individuals.

Additionally, empaths can typically feel the weight of the world around them. They cry for no reason, seemingly honing in on the pain of the world and all its inhabitants, including animals and nature. As silly as it may seem to those who do not have these abilities, it is quite painful and potentially depressing for those who do. It not only feels real. It is real.

In fact, empaths tend to grieve for others too. They can feel the physical, emotional, spiritual and psychological pain of others. And, even worse, empaths also experience the anger, resentment, anxiety, depression and every other negative emotion or experience of others as well.

If you have those abilities or have ever experienced this, you are an empath.

How to Protect Yourself

Once you realize you are an empath, it’s important to learn all you can about being one. There are all sorts of great articles filled with information to further explain and help you understand the experience of being empathic. However, the most valuable knowledge to have are steps to take to clear and protect your energy field.

Of course, some of this will depend on your personal spiritual path. If you are religious, prayer can be employed. If you are simply a spiritual person but do not assign yourself to one religion, you can simply set your intentions – statements you make aloud or in your head – for clearing and protection. If you are an atheist, you will simply need to look to the laws of physics and research on the quantum hologram to employ methods of energetic clearing and protection that involve calling on your Higher Self.

Regardless of the path you choose here, the key is to clear your space – internal and external – of negative or stagnant energy and protect both.

Removing energetic blocks within can be done through counseling, life coaching, spiritual life coaching, crystal healing, Reiki and other non-spiritual and spiritual modalities. Ridding your home of negative and stagnant energy can be done in numerous ways; by simply stating your intentions and empowering yourself to claim your Sacred Space, gridding your home with crystals, smudging your space with sage or incense, lighting candles and saying prayers, placing prayer bundles around your home or simply powerfully stating you are reclaiming your life and home as free of negative energy and returning yourself and your space to a positive state.

When it comes to protecting your internal and external energetic field, it is necessary to either set your intentions – make statements – to confirm that you will no longer accept or allow negative energy into your body, mind, spirit or Sacred Space and/or employ the assistance of your Higher Self or Higher Power to surround and protect you and your space at all times.

Though it seems almost too simple, it all comes back to free will. We are never victims to the energy of others any more than we were victims to our active addiction. Though, like addiction, we don’t have a choice in whether negative energy exists, we do have a choice in whether or not we continue to engage, allow or enable it. And, more importantly, we do have the power to take our energy back, rid ourselves of that which is not ours and reclaim our energy, our Sacred Space and raise our vibrations on our newfound path of recovery.

If you or someone you know is seeking help from addiction, please visit our directory of treatment centers or call 800-772-8219 to speak to a treatment specialist.

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