Closed hearts, angry people create anxiety or tightness in me. They also make it difficult to teach and learn because they cut off the “flow” in the room. A lot of times, it’s not easy to walk away. Maybe you work next to them. Maybe they are in your classroom or your family.
Learn from Animals How to Let Go of Negative Energy
My beautiful dog lived with a depressed person for years. He learned many techniques to let go of negativity to stay healthy.
First, he loves to lie on his back on the grass or the carpet and twist back and forth releasing all his angst while grunting. He does this several times a day and more when he is stressed out.
The other thing he does is crawl under the table or under my feet and give himself a back massage. He pushes his hind quarters up against the table and wiggles while getting a back massage. He’s releasing stuck, negative energy.
Finally, he distracts himself with play. He will just start barking until I throw his toy and he gets so involved with his toy he forgets his tension.
I wish we could spontaneously get on the ground and release energy or throw a ball to let go of stress. But if you are a classroom teacher or in the middle of a presentation, you can’t–without getting some funny looks from students or staff. But you can release the negative energy using other techniques.
Dealing with Negative Energy in the Classroom
Here are some ways I’ve dealt with negative energy in my classes:
If someone has a bad attitude, meet it head on with truth. It’s hard to do this in a group, but sometimes you can. Otherwise, take them aside, talk to them honestly, and find out what’s going on. When you do this, don’t give them sympathy, because sympathy creates space for excuses. Sometimes the person needs discipline and other times compassion.
Example of stern: “You are not respectful of me, what we do in class, when you read your phone.”
Example of compassion but stern: “I notice you look out of sorts and aren’t able to concentrate. Do you need to talk about it?”
If the person is bored or preoccupied with outside stresses, get them up on their feet moving; get them involved in some new way, let them have a role in group work such as theater, teaching part of the class with a partner, doing something together with someone else in class.
Redirect the negative energy. This is a little bit “out there,” but it works. If you are standing up in front of class, and someone, maybe you’re not sure who, sends you negative energy, allow it to pass through you. Instead of reacting in fear or anger yourself, open to it, visualize yourself as a sieve and watch the energy convert and blow through you. Warning: you may not feel so good when it comes over you. That’s the nature of negative energy. Don’t identify with it or judge it. Watch it go. This is challenging.
Practice in small moments first. See if you can try this with the rude cashier at the supermarket or the driver who cuts you off, or the mean neighbor who doesn’t like your dog.
This is the more biblical adaptation of “turn the other cheek,” but you are aware of what is happening energetically. What sometimes happens is the person realizes what they are doing since you are not reacting to them. They see what they are doing. You are part of a peaceful revolution with this!
I used to think I could “detach” from others. I can stop paying attention a little bit, but if I am in a room teaching or speaking to others, it’s pretty impossible to ignore someone. We are all affecting others anyway. We know that now. We have evidence that within at least a six foot radius (probably more) our heart rhythms and negative or positive emotions are affecting others.
Redirecting Negative Energy and Complaints
I was talking to a person close to me on the phone. He always dumps on people. He believes his troubles are bigger than everyone else’s and after talking to him, I felt energetically covered in maple syrup. It’s as if he has pushed all his issues onto me.
I had to meet it head on: “That really doesn’t feel good when you dump on me. If you want to try to problem solve, I’m in, but otherwise, I feel pretty awful after talking to you.”
When someone begins to complain, redirect it. It can be challenging. People are SO USED TO COMPLAINING! Me too, sometimes. But you create the world you talk about. If they talk about the rain, tell them why we need rain, or isn’t it better than the drought in CA. I’m talking about energy and consciousness and creating a high state of consciousness, awareness and energy.
If you are aware of the negative energy, it’s time to step it up and raise the level of energy around you. I’d love to hear your experiences.