Clearing Yourself and Your Space of Negative or Toxic Energy – Tips and Techniques

by Anne Reith, Ph.D.
Sage and crystals that can clear negative energy
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Sage and crystals that can be used to cleanse yourself or your space
Sage & Crystals

Why do we need to engage in clearing and cleansing techniques?

Living on the Earth plane means that our homes and offices get dirty. Occasionally, we need to get out the feather duster, mop, sponges, etc., and clean our space. We also need to clean our physical bodies by taking regular showers or baths in order to maintain our physical health.

What many people don’t understand is that our physical spaces and bodies can also become “energetically dirty” due to negative or toxic energy. There are many reasons why this can happen:

  • In a Physical Location:
    • We may have experienced a difficult emotional event that left an emotional imprint of that experience.
    • A toxic person was present and left behind some negative energy.
    • Souls that haven’t gone to the Light may be hanging around (whether you personally knew them or not).
  • In Our Bodies:
    • Many of us have the ability to consciously or unconsciously absorb the physical pain or emotional state of others.
    • An emotional state that we experienced may have become trapped in our body.
    • Physical or mental health challenges, especially when it involves negative thinking.

This is why we need to learn how to clear energy from our spaces and cleanse our bodies.

NOTE: If you think you might be a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP), clairsentient, or empath, be sure to read the last 3 sections of this Blog post for important information and techniques.

Psychic protection techniques versus clearing techniques

Because negative energy exists here on the Earth plane, it’s important that we learn about and then engage in BOTH of the following actions:

  • Psychic Protection Techniques: These actions are often taken before or during events. The following Blog post provides many different suggestions regarding how to do this:
  • Clearing Techniques: These are usually used after an event in order to clear yourself and your space of negative or toxic energy. This is the topic of the present Blog post.

Why are both of these important? Even if we engage in regular psychic protection techniques, there will still be times when we absorb negative or toxic energy. For example:

  • Sometimes this happens because we aren’t feeling very well and our “guard is down.”
  • Other times, we are in a situation where we cannot control the type of energy that we will encounter (e.g., working with a client you’ve never met before, shopping at a mall or large store, shared work space, hotel rooms, large events).

Consequently, clearing our energy is important for everyone. We all need to learn how to:

  • Clear the space around us (e.g., home, office)
  • Clear our energy system (e.g., aura, chakras, meridians)

By engaging in regular clearing techniques, we are able to maintain a clean and clear energy system and environment. This supports our mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual well being. And for those working in the field of metaphysics, it allows us to be a clear channel for Divine information and healing energy.

Suggested techniques for clearing yourself and your environment of negative energy

Just as with psychic protection techniques, the following is true with clearing techniques:

  • The good news is that there are many options for how to clear yourself or your space of negative or toxic energy. The bad news is that there are so many options that it would be impossible to cover all of them in a single Blog post.
  • I wish I could tell you that there is ONE RIGHT WAY to clear negative or toxic energy from yourself or a space. That would be so easy! Unfortunately, I have seen over and over again that what works for one person may not work for someone else.

In this article, I provide some of the clearing techniques that many of my students have found effective. Your job is to experiment until you find the approaches that work for YOU!

However, please keep in mind that these are just possible options. If something works, great! If not, keep doing your research and find a technique that works for you.

NOTE: Almost all of the following techniques can be used to either (a) cleanse your personal energy system and (b) the energy in the space around you.

Crystals and stones

Crystals and stones are commonly used to clear negative or toxic energy. You can (a) wear the crystal or stone (e.g., pendants, bracelets, rings), (b) position them so they are touching an object (e.g., on top of a deck of tarot cards), or (c) place them in a room.

Although there are many options, I have found the following 2 stones to be very effective. I have recommended them to many people for over 20 years:

  • Kyanite – This stone will absorb negative energy and automatically transmute it into positive energy. Kyanite never needs to be cleared or cleansed, which is very convenient. However, it is very fragile, especially in its rough (unpolished) form. It comes in various colors, although blue is the most common and often the least expensive.
  • Selenite – Like kyanite, selenite will absorb negative energy and automatically transmute it into positive energy. However, selenite does need to be cleansed periodically in order to continue working effectively. Just be careful not to put it into water for any length of time because it will eventually dissolve. Placing it in the sunshine is often an easy way to both cleanse and empower it. Also, as is true with kyanite, selenite is fragile, especially in its rough (unpolished) form.


Water is known to absorb negative energy. Especially when water is moving, it also increases the amount of negative ions (the good kind) in a location. This is why we often feel better when it rains or after we spend time at the beach or near a fountain, river, or waterfall.

If you would like to use water to clear energy within a space, then it is often helpful to purchase a small fountain.

When using water to cleanse our bodies of negative energy, it is ideal to have the water touching our skin. For example:

  • Taking a shower – Some options:
    • You can stand under the water and ask your guides to remove any negative energy. 
    • You can imagine the water that is running over your body is changing colors.  The colors can be those associated with the primary chakras (i.e., red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet).  As the colored water flows over you, set the intention that the color will cleanse the associated chakra.  (NOTE: I love this technique. I usually end with the color white or sometimes gold.)
    • Some people report that it is very cleansing to wash their hair. Unlike the surface of the body that is flat, it is believed that negative energy can more easily get trapped in hair because there are so many “sides” and “layers” to it. (NOTE: When I have been exposed to particularly toxic energy, I will shampoo my hair twice, just to be sure.)
  • Taking a bath – The 2 advantages of a bath over a shower are that (a) you can totally immerse yourself in the water and (b) you can add salt to the water. As will be discussed later in this post, salt extracts negative energy, holds onto it, and then can be sent down the drain once you are done with your bath. 
    • NOTE: If you aren’t a bath person but you like the idea of using salt, then you can take a shower and use a salt scrub or soap that has salt in it.


Smudging is a technique that is commonly used for cleansing a space, object, or person. Dried plants or herbs are bound together in what is referred to as a smudging stick or wand. The most commonly used substances include white sage, black sage, sweetgrass, palo santo, or cedar.

The end of the smudging stick or wand is ignited, but the flame is then blown out. It is believed that the sacred smoke that is emitted from the stick or wand will (a) purify the space/person and (b) invite in positive energy.

You can use the following smudging technique to cleanse yourself, an area, and/or any tools used during metaphysical work (e.g., crystals/stone, oracle/tarot cards, runes).

DIRECTIONS: There are MANY ways to smudge, but here is one method.

  • CAREFULLY ignite the smudging stick or wand.
  • Blow out the flame.  The smudging stick or wand should ONLY be emitting smoke. There should be no flame. The smoke is the cleansing agent. 
  • Different techniques are used depending on your goal:
    • To Cleanse Yourself: CAREFULLY circle your body 3 times around your head, 3 times around your torso, and 3 times around your legs with the smudging stick or wand. 
    • To Cleanse an Object: CAREFULLY circle the object 3 times with the smudging stick or wand.
    • To Cleanse a Space: CAREFULLY walk around the room while creating a circular motion with the hand that is holding the smudging stick or wand.
  • When making circles with the smudging stick or wand:
    • Feng Shui believes you should always work in a clockwise direction when removing negative or toxic energy. For example, you would make circles around your body in a clockwise direction or start at the door of the room/home and then move around the space in a clockwise direction.
    • With each circle, you can repeat the phrase, “I cleanse (insert myself/this space/this object) of any negative energy.” 
  • Once you are done, CAREFULLY extinguish the smudging stick or wand. You can do this by placing the end of the stick or wand into a bowl of sand, pressing the end of the stick or wand into a shell, or placing the end of the stick or wand under running water. Even after you have done this, be sure to place the smudging stick or wand on a surface or in a container that is fireproof and that will not be harmed by possible falling ash.

VERY IMPORTANT NOTE:  Be very careful when using smudging.  Although the flame may be out, the smudging stick or wand is smoldering. It is still very hot and can ignite loose clothes or burn surfaces/skin. 

Other techniques to clear negative energy

As previously mentioned, there are many clearing and cleansing techniques that can be highly effective. Here are just a few additional suggestions:

  • Salt: In addition to being used for psychic protection, salt is also believed to be very cleansing because it will absorb and hold onto negative energy. It does need to be replaced periodically. You can put salt (a) anywhere in your home/office, (b) at the 4 corners of your home/office, and/or (c) on both sides of your doors. It does not need to be visible. Most people believe that any type of salt works equally as well, but you might have a preferences (e.g., sea salt, Himalayan pink salt). Although a bowl of table salt is fine, water softener tablets work well for this purpose. (NOTE: I have salt tablets scattered throughout my home. I swap them out with new tablets about once a month. I even take them when I travel.)
  • Sound: You can use sound to clear a space (e.g., toning, chanting, crystal bowls, tuning forks, drumming).
  • Sunshine or Moonlight: You can place an object in the sunshine or moonlight, or you can sit outside in the sunshine or moonlight.
    • NOTE: Some people find sunshine more cleansing and moonlight more soothing.
  • Mother Nature: Mother Nature will absorb negative energy, which is why we often feel better after being out in nature. There are many options:
    • Take a walk or hike
    • Sit on the ground
    • Put your bare feet on grass or in the dirt
    • “Hug a tree”
    • Gardening
  • Reiki: If you are trained in the healing modality of Reiki, it can be used to remove negative energy from a space or to clear yourself. You can also use Reiki to energetically balance your chakras, which can be very cleansing. The following link will provide you with more information about Reiki.
  • Ho’oponopono: This is an ancient Hawaiian spiritual practice that is incredibly simple. It can be used by anyone to clear a space or yourself of energetic blocks. Like Reiki, Ho’oponopono is also used for healing purposes. The following link provides directions:

What is a highly sensitive person (HSP), clairsentient, or empath?

If you are reading this article, it is very likely that you fall into one or more of the following categories. If so, please understand that you are SUPER SENSITIVE TO ENERGY! For this reason, it’s especially important that you learn how to (a) regularly engage in psychic protection techniques and (b) regularly clear energy within and around you!

Let’s begin by defining what HSPs, clairsentients, and empaths are:

  • Highly Sensitive Person (or HSP): HSPs constitute about 30% of the population, and we have a nervous system that is more sensitive when compared to the majority of the population. In recent years, much has been written about HSPs. A full discussion of HSPs is beyond the scope of this article. However, it’s helpful to understand that being an HSP can be beneficial and challenging:
    • Benefits of Being an HSP: Among many other advantages, we usually are compassionate, caring individuals who want to help others. We often are relationship focused and are good communicators. We tend to be very good at processing “deep,” emotional information. Additionally, HSPs are very intuitive and can make excellent psychics, mediums, and healers.
    • Challenges of Being an HSP: Unfortunately, Western society is not designed for HSPs. When it comes to processing sensory information, we easily become overstimulated by bright lights, loud noises, strong smells, etc. We also are more sensitive to emotions. Because of our very sensitive nervous systems, we tend to be told that we are “too sensitive” or “need to get a thicker skin.”
  • Clairsentients & Empaths: Clairsentients and empaths are almost always HSPs. However, not all HSPs are clairsentients and empaths. These individuals who have a special spiritual gift that allows them to feel and even absorb what another person is experiencing. Here are brief descriptions:
    • Clairsentients: Their gift is being able to feel within their body what another person is experiencing in theirs. For example, if you are a clairsentient and you are near someone who has a headache, then you may start to get a headache.
    • Empaths: Their gift is being able to take on the emotional state of another person. For example, if you are an empath and you are near someone who is angry, then you may begin to feel irritable or angry.

IMPORTANT NOTE: For those who identify as clairsenstients or empaths, be sure to read the next 2 sections of this Blog post for special information and guidance.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Special guidance for clairsentients and emphaths

If you are a clairsentient and/or empath, then you have the ability to absorb the energy, emotions, and/or physical pain of others. This is a special gift. And yes, it is a gift, although it often doesn’t feel like it.

Why, you might ask, would you choose to cause yourself pain? Because of your huge heart. You consciously or unconsciously want to help, and you have the ability to siphon off someone’s pain.

Because being a clairsentient or empath is a natural gift, it’s very likely you unconsciously used these skills when you were a child and then received reinforcement for doing so. For example, people may have “felt better” when they were around you.

As children, we didn’t know what we were doing. As adults, we may be aware that this happens, but we feel it isn’t something we can control.

What I want you to know is that YOU DO HAVE CONTROL OVER THIS GIFT! Accepting that this is true may be the hardest and most important lesson you need to learn.

If the energy/emotions/pain that you have “taken on” is NOT yours, then you need to come to understand that you are consciously or unconsciously choosing to take it on. Although it may feel like it’s beyond your control, the Law of Free Will says that it’s your choice.

As someone who is an extreme clairsentient and empath, I can assure you that you don’t need to take on someone’s pain. You need to learn that it is not your responsibility. And believe me, if I can learn how to control this gift, then you can, too. I’ve helped many people do it!

But before you will be able to control this ability, it takes accepting that you aren’t responsible for taking away the pain of others. It’s a learning process, but you can do it!


  • If you read that section and are arguing with me in your head about being able to control this ability or you are breaking out in a cold sweat, then you might benefit from working with a spiritual coach or counselor. It’s likely that you are co-dependent and have been trained through childhood experiences to be responsible for taking care of others. It’s OK to ask for help!
  • Be sure to see the special technique described in the next section that is for clairsentients and empaths.

SPECIAL TECHNIQUE: An incredibly effective technique for clairsentients and empaths

I have been teaching the following technique for years, and I cannot tell you have many times I’ve been told that it has changed someone’s life. I know it changed mine!

As mentioned above, clairsentients and empaths possess the ability to consciously or unconsciously absorb or “take on” the physical condition and/or emotions of others.  If you have a tendency to do this, then it can sometimes be difficult to tell the difference between (a) what might be your body sensation or your emotion and (b) what you might have absorbed from those around you. 

Here’s a simple and often highly effective technique that (a) can help you determine if what you are experiencing is yours or someone else’s and (b) cleanse you of energy that is not yours. 

Try it! It often works!

DIRECTIONS: As soon as you begin to feel or experience something that you aren’t sure is yours (or especially if you already know that it isn’t yours), then repeat the following phrase firmly (several times if it makes you feel better):

“If this is not mine, please take it away!”

Due to the Law of Free Will, if the energy is not yours and you tell your guides/spiritual helpers that you do not want to experience this body sensation or emotion any longer, then they will take it away. 

NOTE: I usually repeat this phrase 3 times because I want to be sure my guides/spiritual helpers know that I’m very serious!

If the body sensation or emotion doesn’t go away after a period of time, then either:

  • It is your body sensation or emotion.
  • You may consciously or subconsciously believe that it is your duty or responsibility to take on the pain of others. This is how I define co-dependency. I know this disorder well because I am a recovering co-dependent, and I specialized in treating co-dependency when I was working as a Psychologist. If you believe you might be (or know you are) co-dependent, then be aware that true healing from co-dependency often requires working with a coach or counselor. It’s a very difficult issue to self-treat because everyone around you will want you to continue being co-dependent. Co-dependents are wonderful people. We are dedicated (often to our detriment) to take care of others. Who wouldn’t want to be around a co-dependent?! Consequently, those around you may not want you to heal. This makes healing very challenging without outside, professional support. You deserve to heal! Your life will get so much better if you do, and you’ll actually be better able to effectively help others if you heal yourself first!
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By Anne Reith, Ph.D.

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