There are many ways that different parts of your life can affect your physical health. From the toll that stress can take to lack of sleep, dehydration, not getting enough (or getting too much) exercise, and even the good, bad, and ugly of your relationships. You may have already come to the conclusion that your mind and body aren't as separate as some people think or that you, yourself may have previously thought. In fact, there are even some physical symptoms of negative energy in your body that essentially demonstrate how close the connection between mind, body, energy, and lived experiences can actually be.
"Negative energy (along with positive energy) is everywhere," Dr. Elizabeth Trattner, a doctor of integrative and Chinese medicine, tells Romper via email. "It is in people, buildings, cars, nursing homes, the airport and pretty much everywhere. If you are sensitive you will feel it. If for some reason you take an 'energetic hit,' it is important to remove it." There are a number of ways that you can work to remove this energy — whether it's within you or in your environment.
"The way to clear energy, ironically, is to stop running away from it," Dr. Claudia Luiz, Psya D, a psychoanalyst, tells Romper by email. "As a psychoanalyst, I have seen, time and time again, how emotional disturbances become magically and naturally cleared after a person is able to tolerate and hang steady in the light of disorganizing and unwanted feelings. This is known in the field as 'working through.'"
If removing negative energy — or doing your best to block it in the first place, which may not always be an option — isn't something you think you can do on your own, working with a qualified professional might be helpful.
"When I began practicing I would take 'hits' all the time from patients and usually get a bit of whatever they were feeling," Trattner adds. "Thankfully I learned how not to and protecting myself is second nature."
And if you're unsure what might indicate that you've taken a "hit," as Trattner calls it, or that you're dealing with negative energy from circumstances in your own life, you might want to look out for some of the common, yet perhaps surprising, physical symptoms.
1. You Have Headaches
Trattner says that she often gets a "dull headache" when she's confronted with negative energy. Headaches can be caused by a number of different things, but if you can't find an explanation and you're dealing with something that's weighing on you, it could potentially be the negative energy that's causing ache.
2. You're Dealing With Restlessness Or Tension
"Negative energy in your body manifests as tension," Milana Perepyolkina, a best-selling author, tells Romper via email. "Your mind gets flooded with negative thoughts and you feel sad or angry. You feel restless. To clear it, rub sea salt all over your body and rinse it in a warm shower. Say these words: Negative energy washes away, positive energy comes my way. End with 10 seconds of very cold shower." Taking care of yourself can help you get rid of the negative energy and move in a more positive direction.
3. You Have Stomach Pain
Stomach pain is another potential physical sign of the presence of negative energy in your body or in your environment. Caleb Backe, a health and wellness expert at Maple Holistics, tells Romper via email that stomachaches are a more "mild" sign that you might be dealing with negative energy. You might be stressed about something and holding tension in your belly, for instance. A stomachache can tell you more about what's going on with you than just whether or not you've eaten something bad or have caught a stomach virus.
4. You Physically Recoiled
Trattner says that she can sometimes "feel [herself] slightly recoil from negative energy." This is probably a symptom or experience that you'd notice when confronted with negative energy in another person, place, or thing, but if you're super keyed-in to your body and its responses, it might be something that you notice.
5. You're Dealing With Adrenal Fatigue
Your adrenal glands help you respond to stress, but if you're dealing with a lot of negative energy in your body and immediate environment, they can get overtaxed. In a piece that she posted on her website, Dr. Karyn Shanks, MD, a functional medicine practitioner, wrote that being tired, overwhelmed, unable to fall or stay asleep, frazzled, and achy can all be signs that you're dealing with adrenal fatigue. Confronting what's causing the negative energy and taking care of yourself in the meantime by eating well, sleep well, getting some movement in, and more, can help you move forward and feel better.
6. You Have Difficulty Breathing
Difficulty breathing could be another sign that all is not well in terms of energy in your body. "So, for instance, grief is held in the lungs and when we experience grief we hold that emotion in the lungs," Stacee Magee, a reiki master and energy expert, tells Romper by email. Magee says that the grief settling in your lungs can make it difficult for you to breathe because you're overwhelmed with the emotion. Working through your grief might help clear up the energy in your body, as well.
7. You Have Chronic Pain
Negative energy can also manifest as chronic pain. "[N]egative energy causes tension and constriction in the muscles," Backe says. "This constant stress takes its toll on the body and leads to fatigue and physical pain." In order to fix the physical symptoms, you'll likely need to address the underlying issues that are contributing to the negative energy in the first place.
8. You're Exhibiting Symptoms Of Depression
Negative energy in your body can also manifest as depression. In an interview with Bustle, Chelsea Hudson, LCPC, a therapist, said that depression makes it difficult for you to be more positive because of how the condition works. You can't just shake it off or think happier thoughts. So it makes sense that depression can mean that there's a lot of negative energy that's pretty deeply embedded in your daily experiences. Again, addressing the underlying condition and the things that might be making it worse will likely help more than just focusing on the individual symptoms.
9. You're Feeling A Bit "Off"
"For me it’s the feeling, and knowing that something is a bit off," Antonia Nelson, of Green Bay Myofascial Release Therapy, tells Romper in an email exchange. "Big key here is to have practices and tools to help you be present in your body. Home in your body. Most of us go in and out of that daily. We also look for the huge big problems to try to deal with and we miss all the small ones that build up over time, over days. If you have no way to know or feel you are off, then it runs. The more it runs, the more it affects us health-wise and bumps into all our relationships."
If you're feeling "off," you might need to do some critical thinking and self-reflection about what's going on in your life and what might be causing you to feel that way. And if you need outside help, seek it out.
10. You're Dealing With Confusion Or Exhaustion
In a piece that she wrote for Mind Body Green, designer and feng shui master Dana Claudat said that one of the signs that you're dealing with negative energy, or what she calls "vampire energy," is that conversations with others make you upset, confused, tired, nauseous, sick, or anything else that's negative. Claudat wrote that taking care of yourself, focusing on mindfulness, and getting rid of things and people that aren't serving you can all help you clear out that negative energy and move forward.
Check out Romper's new video series, Bearing The Motherload, where disagreeing parents from different sides of an issue sit down with a mediator and talk about how to support (and not judge) each other’s parenting perspectives. New episodes air Mondays on Facebook.