Being a yogi, I look at it in terms of energy. I am sensitive to other people’s energies; if I am around an angry person, it makes me anxious, even if they are not angry with me. If someone is sad, my heart breaks for them. When someone driving lays on the horn, it makes my heart race. Some people are impervious to these types of encounters, but I am not.
The older I get the more capable of maintaining some separation between other people’s emotions and mine. It is a practice to detach from emotionality so that you can see things clearly, and offer assistance.
It is kinda like if a doctor saw you wounded and got so upset about it she couldn’t do what needed to be done to help you. Even if it is not a crisis situation, day-in-day-out interactions with difficult people sucks your personal prana (energy, chi, whatever you like to call it) supply dry.
One of your first go-to solutions should be water; water is magical, there is nothing else like it on the planet. Drinking water helps to remove impurities, whether they are physical or energetic; add a squeeze of fresh lemon to really move things out.
Frequent showers help; visualize negativity flowing off of you like dirt. Use the power of intention. When I shower I always say “I release back to the Universe the pain, the suffering and the fear that I’ve absorbed from my fellow beings and I neutralize that pain, that suffering and that fear.” Not everyone needs to go to that level, but because of the work I do, extra care is required.
Baths are great as well, but since you are soaking, it’s a good idea to add Epsom salts to the bath; they really draw out impurities and neutralize negative thought forms that may have become stuck in your energy field. Add a couple drops of essential oil, and you’ve got yourself a relaxing spa moment; just remember to use your intention again, don’t just sit there inspecting the grout.
Cover your chakras; I always think it is a little unfair that businessmen normally wear a silk tie that covers their throat chakra on down; they are energetically protected because silk insulates. For women, get on the Winter Silks website and get yourself a silk camisole or two. They are inexpensive (though they have to be hand washed, ugh), good to wear if you are going to be somewhere where there is a lot of stressed out people. They even sell silk sweaters and other garments. A silk scarf around the throat and chest area would work well.
Covering your heart or throat chakra with a stone or medallion is also a great idea and very protective. Some stones are more protective than others (ex: amethyst), so take a few minutes to ponder your choices (if you live near downtown Roanoke, Seeds of Light on the Market has some beautiful reasonably priced ones in the cases on the wall behind the cash register). Try it, you will be surprised how much it helps.
Wearing something around your wrist covers the small chakras there; it is one of the reasons we Kriya yogis wear malas on our wrists. Look back at drawings from ancient times; people often wore some type of bracelet or cuff on their wrists.
If you have an argument in your home or office, light a stick of sandalwood incense, or spray some rosewater around to dissipate the negative energy. Ever noticed there are certain stores or houses that are always for sale or for rent? No business can ever make a go there? It’s all about the negative energy. And intention! When I purify a space I usually say in my mind “I release from this space any and all negative energies and entities, and I bring in love and light.”
Finally, cultivate your self-awareness. Work on your ability to be self-contained, and how to breathe through difficult situations and personalities. Own your ability to protect yourself; to even just visualize yourself being wrapped in golden-white light, or whatever color you perceive as protective. Thoughts are things; use them wisely.