Adapted from Dr. Judith Orloff’s “The Empath’s Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People,” a guidebook for empaths and all caring people who want to keep their hearts open in an often-insensitive world.
You must be comfortable in your work environment to feel healthy and happy.
A workplace that suits your temperament and is energetically nourishing can inspire you. It also puts you in a creative zone and boosts your energy and passion. On the other hand, a negative work environment can suck the life out of you and trigger a cascade of emotional and physical symptoms in response to stress, lack of downtime, and emotional overload. This is especially true for empaths or sensitive people who thrive in the right type of work and environment
Since we’re typically at work for many hours, it’s crucial to feel at ease there most of the time. Three major factors play a role in your comfort level: the meaning you get from your job, the energy of the physical space, and the energy of the people around you. See where you currently stand with these factors and begin to envision how you might improve your situation.
Every building, every office, every stairwell has a subtle energy of its own. Some spaces feel uplifting; others don’t. I suggest that you tune into the energy of your workplace to make sure it feels right. Sometimes there is leftover energy from previous occupants which may be positive or negative. If the energy feels off here are 3 ways you can shift the negativity from my book, “The Empath’s Survival Guide“:
1. Purify the energy of your workplace
You can purify the air by spraying rose water in the room. (Burning sage, though a good idea, might set off smoke alarms and disturb coworkers who don’t know about energetic cleansing rituals and may be uncomfortable with them.) Also, you or a group can meditate in the location to infuse it with heart energy which removes any negativity or stagnant feeling. In addition, you can enlist the help of a Feng Shui expert, who specializes in creating a harmonious environment by optimizing the energy of a space through the placement of furniture, plants, mirrors, and objects.
2. Set healthy energetic boundaries.
If you are in an open space or chaotic office, surround the outer edge of your desk with plants or family and pet photos to create a small psychological barrier. Also sacred objects such as a Quan Yin statue (goddess of compassion), the Buddha, sacred beads, crystals, or protective stones can also set an energetic boundary. Also take bathroom breaks for relief, or walk outside in fresh air if possible. Noise cancelling ear buds or headphones are useful to muffle conversations and sound. In addition, visualize a luminous golden egg of light surrounding your entire work station that repels negativity and only lets in positive energy. You are safe and protected within the golden egg. There is nothing to worry about. Using all of these strategies creates a cocoon of protection to rely on.
3. Learn to cope with draining people
The energy of people in a workplace strongly affects how a setting feels. Negative people generate negative energy. Positive people generate positive energy. Your co-workers, bosses, and colleagues can make or break your comfort level in a job. Sensitive people in particular have a lower threshold for noise, conflict, office politics, feuds, and back-biting. The drama at work, which might simply disturb someone else, can drain empaths and make them anxious. In chapter 5 of “The Empath’s Survival Guide” I discuss various types of vampires include narcissists, rageaholics, victims, passive aggressive people, chronic talkers, and drama queens or kings. I have one patient who advises, “I survive by just doing my job and walking away from anyone who wants a pity party, drama, or is a backstabber or complainer.” Learn strategies to cope with these types of draining people and apply protection strategies such as setting boundaries, shielding, and meditation.
Though you can’t control everything about your job environment, you do have the power to shift the energy in your immediate vicinity. If you focus on the safe space you’ve created rather than on the surrounding noise and confusion, you can minimize emotional contagion. Then your work experience will feel more pleasant and protected.