An empath absorbs the emotions of other people into their bodies. As an empath and psychiatrist, I know that feeling well.
Even though empaths may set excellent limits with energy vampires, it’s common for us to experience “emotional hangovers,” an energetic residue left over from the interaction.
Toxic emotions can linger long afterward, making you feel exhausted and anxious, beset with brain fog, or ill. When dealing with drainers at work or home, empaths often need time to recuperate later. In addition, try the following suggestions from my book The Empath’s Survival Guide to learn how to cure an emotional hangover and remove any hangover symptoms from an energy vampire encounter.
Here are 9 tiny strategies to instantly cure an emotional hangover:
1. Enjoy the shower meditation
In a shower, stand under the stream of water and inwardly or aloud practice this affirmation: “Let this water wash all the negative energy from my mind, body, and spirit.” Feel the shower cleansing you, making you fresh, positive, and rejuvenated.
2. Use gemstones
Carry or wear a crystal — a black tourmaline, amethyst, or black obsidian can help ground you and remove emotional hangovers. Shamans feel that if you carry or wear black, which doesn’t absorb light, you will be more protected.
I wear a jade pendant of Quan Yin, the Goddess of Compassion. I love how jade changes according to your body chemistry over the years and protects you by responding to your emotional shifts.
3. Burn sweetgrass and other purifiers
This plant in Native American culture is used to purify a space. Its beautiful smell wafting through the air feels nurturing to my feminine energy. Sage is effective too. I also pick cypress sprigs, eucalyptus, and juniper to burn. Experiment with which plant aroma you respond to.
4. Use negative ion generators or salt lamps
These devices produce negative ions that clear the air of dust, mold spores, pollen, odors, cigarette smoke, bacteria, and viruses. They are also thought to remove leftover negativity in a home, office, or other locations. (Your shower, with its stream of moving water, also produces negative ions.)
5. Light a white candle
This sets a meditative mood and quickly removes unpleasant energy from any surroundings. White contains all colors of the spectrum and creates comfort and calm.
6. Spray rose water or utilize other types of aromatherapy
The delicate scent of rosewater is lovely. I find it effective in removing an emotional hangover and calming anxiety. Or, inhale lavender or peppermint oil. You can also put an essential oil in a diffuser, spreading the scent in the air. Stay away from synthetic oils with toxic ingredients and instead try lavender, peppermint, juniper, sage, or frankincense and myrrh. Experience the sublime scent purifying your energy and the room.
7. Get out in nature
Hug a tree. Do some Earthing to connect your bare feet with the ground. Rejoice in the flowers. Hold a rock in your hand. Breathe in fresh air to cure emotional hangovers. (Inhaling oxygen is a treatment for alcohol hangovers.) The purity of nature can restore your clarity and mood.
8. Create a sacred space for meditation
Place candles, incense, flowers, and a statue of Quan Yin, on a simple table in a quiet corner. Meditating in this sacred space protects you and builds positive energy, which is a balm for emotional hangovers.
9. Seek emotional support
If you feel negative energy lingering from a toxic interaction, say from a narcissistic boss or a critical spouse, you may need some extra help to remove it. Talking out the situation with a friend or therapist allows you to voice and dispel any remaining negativity and anxiety.
Whenever you suspect you’ve absorbed emotions from someone else and feel an emotional hangover coming on, practice these strategies. They are a way of clearing unwanted energy and emotions from your body.
Judith Orloff, MD is a psychiatrist and intuitive healer on the UCLA Psychiatric Clinical Faculty. She is also the NY Times bestselling author of The Empath’s Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People, Thriving as an Empath, and Emotional Freedom.
This article was originally published at Psychology Today. Reprinted with permission from the author.