Mind 9 min read

Understanding Positive and Negative Energy in People

by Melani Kalev January 16, 2018

Do you remember a time when you met someone for the first time and you instantly had a good feeling about them?

You’ve probably experienced a completely reverse situation as well. You interact with someone and you don’t know how to rationally explain it, but something’s off.

You instinctively want to get away and feel that the person gives off “bad vibes” – meaning you’re feeling their negative energy. We register these vibes with our intuition.

Although energy isn’t something you can see, it’s not necessarily an otherworldly concept either. Your body is a living energy field. The “subtle energy” can be felt inches or feet from the body, though it’s invisible.

It has an enormous impact on how you can come across and who you are drawn to. It’s something you create in your day-to-day activities with everything that you do and even with the things that you don’t do. 

Good energy can boost our feelings of well-being, dissolve anxiety and improve communication. Bad energy creates conflict and resentment. Your goal should be to maximize the good and minimize the bad. 

While you may or may not be consciously aware of different energies, it doesn’t hurt to pay attention to how others respond to you, and if necessary, re-evaluate how you show up in your life. On another side, understanding how people affect you means that you can do a better job matching what you need to what your energy requires.

What Is Positive Energy?

understanding positive and negative energy

People with positive energy tend to be very present in their lives, radiating their beautiful energy in everything they do.

You intuitively feel safe, happy and relaxed around them. Their vibe is welcoming. You love being around them, because knowingly or not, you feed off those good vibes. 

Generosity, kindness, empathy, calm, optimism, enthusiasm are all aspects of positive energy. Some people seem to access it naturally, while others must work harder to cultivate a positive outlook on life. 

How to Increase the Amount of Positive Energy Flow in Your Life?

“So, what if, instead of thinking about solving your whole life, you just think about adding additional good things. One at a time. Just let your pile of good things grow.”

~ Rainbow Rowell

Whether our energy is positive or negative, we carry that energy with us, and it impacts not only us but all the people we come in contact with.

While your energy is a combination of your past, mindset, dominant thoughts, and perception of the world, at one point you need to take responsibility of the present moment and if needed, work on shifting your energy.  

You can increase the amount of positive energy flow in your life by: 

  • Surrounding yourself with uplifting people. While no one is happy 24/7, people with a positive outlook send out more positive energy and are easier to be with than “Debbie Downers” and “Negative Nancys.” Make sure you nurture relationships with positive influences in your life – people who have an approach similar to yours, or if you’re not there yet, an approach that you’d like to develop for yourself as well. 
  • Music is one of the easiest ways to shift your energy quickly. Create your personal Good Vibes playlist – the songs you know always lift your mood. 
  • Being here now. Becoming fully present in your life is the surest way to notice even the smallest of good things that you might otherwise have overlooked. Meditating, mindfulness techniques, yoga, being in nature, creative writing, keeping a dream journal, reading, gratitude – whatever works for you. 
  • Embracing compassion and kindness. Research shows that kind and compassionate people are more satisfied with their lives, enjoy better physical and mental health, and have stronger relationships. Giving creates a positive feedback loop – the more you give, the more good feelings you receive in return. Even more, people who benefit from someone’s kindness are more likely to display these traits themselves. “Making kindness the norm.” is very appropriately the slogan of Random Acts of Kindness
  • Aligning your current self with your future self. All of your choices shape your future self. If you want to have positive energy flowing through you, you need to start making decisions to steer yourself to that direction – to become the person you want to be, with the job and relationships you want to have. For this, you need to ask yourself the right questions.  

What Is Negative Energy?

Think of a time when you visited a friend who was having a hard time. Regardless of how you felt going into the encounter, you likely left it feeling pretty bummed out. Negative vibes are as contagious as positive vibes. 

Negative people are judgmental, insecure, dissatisfied complainers, likely putting others down and often all about doom and gloom. You intuitively feel insecure, unhappy and tense around them. Their vibe is off-putting. 

One of the forms that negative energy can take is “being realistic.” While being realistic isn’t automatically negative, if your version of “reality” is negative, focusing on all the possible worst-case scenarios, and you view the world from your “realistic” negative standpoint, you can’t help but radiate that same negative energy. 

Negative thinking can be hard to stop. It’s very easy to get lost in pessimism or to resort to indifference. But it can disrupt your sense of well-being and drain you of your joy and happiness, not to mention your overall energy. Eventually, it’s bound to impact your relationships. While it may be subtle, the attitude you approach others with will usually be reflected back at you. 

What Are the Symptoms of Negative Energy in a Body? 

While it’s completely normal to feel sad and angry from time to time – and you definitely shouldn’t avoid feeling the full spectrum of your feelings – when these feelings occur more often than their counterparts, you may be harboring negative energy in your body. 

Some of the symptoms of negative energy can include: 

  1. Restlessness
  2. Sleepiness
  3. Nervousness
  4. Headaches
  5. Stomach aches
  6. Fatigue and exhaustion
  7. Heavy breathing
  8. Confusion and tension
  9. Sudden mood swings
  10. Anxiety or depression

In the same way as you can increase positive energy, you can take mindful steps to get rid of negative energy.

Why Does It Matter? 

Emotional energy is contagious and can make a difference between a toxic and healthy relationship. Sometimes people’s energies can speak louder than words. Think of a person you just met who goes out of his or her way to charm you, but you feel that their intentions are not sincere. It’s important to keep in mind that what you see is not always what you get.

You can’t expect to attract good vibes if you’re giving off loads of bad vibes. The more at peace with yourself you are, the better your energy comes across. This means working on releasing negative energy you’re holding onto from the past, be it distant or recent, and letting yourself be guided by the positive. 

The better your connection with your own emotional self, the easier it is for you to read other people’s energy. All in all, the better energy manager you are, the better your relationships are and the happier your life is.

Are you able to identify positive and negative energy in yourself and others?


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