beautiful cloudsI began having panic attacks when I was 12 years old. They continued throughout my 20s, and I always assumed that the anxiety I was feeling belonged to me. Who else would it belong to? And how could I possibly feel emotions that weren’t mine? During my training to become a professional psychic, I discovered that my panic attacks were actually the result of absorbing other people’s fear, confusion, and stress.

Of course, I had my own fear and my own stress to work out. But on top of that, I was taking on the fear and stress of people around me without knowing it.

You don’t need to be psychic, or even empathic, to read people’s emotions or absorb energy that doesn’t belong to you. You may have noticed that even when you’re driving on the highway you can pick up on the collective anger and frustration of the other drivers.

I believe that every one of us is born with intuition. We’re way more perceptive than we realize, but as children we’re taught to bypass our intuition with the logic of the mind, which often second-guesses what our intuition (or “gut”) is telling us.

A simple way to tell whether you’ve taken on someone else’s energy is if you feel drained after a conversation or interaction. Here’s a simple exercise you can use to block negative energy from getting into your space. This is a protection tool that I teach my clients, and is taught in many psychic training programs. It’s called “Protection Rose.” You can do this with your eyes open or closed.

Imagine a huge, 6 ft.-tall rose in front of you. Make it your favorite color, and let the stem stretch all the way down to the center of the earth. Tell the rose that you want it to stay at the edge of your energy field (and you don’t have to know where that is). In the petals of the rose, put a mental photograph of yourself inside, smiling and waving at the outside world.

This is also called a “Decoy Rose” because it has your picture in it and looks just like you. Whenever energy gets directed at you, either because someone yells at you or because someone in your immediate vicinity is in a bad mood, the energy will go to the rose and get channeled down the stem, deep into the earth. Once there, the energy is neutralized and sent back to its source.

You may think that a “silly, imaginary” rose isn’t powerful, but you are overlooking just how powerful you are as a creator. If you use your ability to visualize with intent, the Protection Rose will be a real, energetic object that stands between you and energy that’s not yours. When I began using the Protection Rose, I stopped having panic attacks.

Try it, and see whether it has an impact in your day-to-day life. You may feel less drained and anxious in negative situations. The more you can maintain your energetic boundaries, the better you’ll feel in the face of negative situations. It doesn’t mean you won’t still grapple with your own anxieties, but you won’t unknowingly be adding to it by picking up the negativity in your environment.