Are You Your Own Energy Vampire?

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Photo of Bari Mitzmann by Talya Ohayon

Are you your own energy vampire?

At times, I really am my own energy vampire.

What is an energy vampire, you ask?

An energy vampire is someone who drains your energy—whether it’s mental, emotional or even spiritual. After spending time with this person—and it doesn’t have to be a lot of time—you feel exhausted.

Maybe the person complains endlessly, and is always negative, making herself a victim of her circumstances. We all need to vent at times, but energy vampires do this all the time.

Or maybe the energy vampire tries to make you feel guilty, or uses emotional blackmail to get you to do what she wants.

Ahh, but I have discovered that I can be my own worst energy vampire. Sometimes, when I find myself drained and exhausted, I look around…but it is only me in the room.

When I disregard a negative feeling after an interaction with someone, and instead give myself a guilt trip for feeling what I feel—that is me emotionally blackmailing myself. Have you ever done that?

Remember, sensations hold information, and feelings contain valuable messages. If you ever judge yourself for what you are feeling, instead of accepting the emotion, allowing yourself to feel it and hearing what it is telling you, then you will become drained.

For example, if, at the last minute, a friend cancels a long-awaited lunch date, do you hang up the phone and berate yourself for feeling disappointed? Or do you recognize the “bubble-burst” sensation and emotional hurt, and then allow yourself the gift of compassion for having been let down?

Taking a deep breath in and sitting with these feelings, even for a moment, is an act of kindness toward yourself. You can take time to notice whether your disappointment needs to be shared with your friend or just acknowledged within yourself as a rare occurrence in a trusted relationship.

There are other times that feeling exhausted results from spending too much time imagining the most dreadful outcome of an event which hasn’t even happened yet. This will suck the energy right out of you. All that negative thinking is so draining.

Yes, a circumstance may look bleak, but G-d is amazingly creative, and the Master of possibilities.

There are many ways to process emotions and thoughts so that you feel energized afterward, instead of exhausted. I use somatic healing, but there are other therapeutic modalities out there, as well.

As psychiatrist Dr. Judith Orloff says, “Take control. Get in the driver’s seat. Create a circle of positive people around you.” She is referring to external energy vampires, but this advice can also apply to one’s own internal one.

  • Take control by choosing to create a circle of positivity for yourself. Surround yourself with kind people, kind messages and beautiful affirmations. Have fresh flowers in your room, sparkling stones on your desk or shells and pictures which uplift your spirit.
  • Allow yourself the time to feel all your emotions, not to necessarily act on them, but to feel them honestly, without censor.
  • Process your fears, and limit the time spent “prophesying” the worst-case scenarios.
  • Be compassionate to yourself for being on this funky journey called life. Give yourself a hug and whisper, “I know it’s difficult right now.” And then breathe.
  • Grab some gratitude, and notice the blessings in your life. Never take anything for granted. I have a dry erase board, and when I need some positivity, I jot down a quick list of things I don’t take for granted, like my eyesight, my hearing, a garden, food, a home, etc.—these can be complex or simple.

Be your own best friend, and kiss that internal energy vampire goodbye!

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