Sometimes holding onto negative energy of any kind is like drinking small dosages of poison. Over a long period of time it can kill you. It eats at the physical, emotional and spiritual bodies. Negative energy is toxic. It shows up disguised in many ways.

Here are 5 signs you might just be holding onto negative energy and don’t even know it:

Related article: 6 Signs You Need To Clear Negative Energy

1. You are overcome by guilt and anxiety.

Are you experiencing erratic chest palpitations at night? Do you partake in homemade-mind movies full of guilt and shame from the past? Are you having a difficult time sleeping? These can be signs of negative energy holding you back. As you move throughout the day you are too busy to capture these signs. Unfortunately at night when there is nothing else to be done, the mind starts recreating scenarios and causing panic.

You can’t get past the fear during the night. You are stricken by fear of the unknown. Your body starts discomfort. A research by scientists from the National Institutes Health found that cells respond to stress in many levels. “Your heart rate speeds up. Your muscles tense. Your face may even blush. Stressors threaten how cells function.”

Do not fight against this because it just makes it worse. Instead, start mindfully breathing. Hold down one nostril and breathe in through the other. Inhale profoundly and exhale deeply. Continue doing this while alternating nostrils. Become mindfully aware of the release. Allow your brain to get enough oxygen. Let your body relax enough to return to its normal state. You cannot control anything. Fear is an illusion. Anxiety is a way to get your attention.

2. You stop doing things you enjoy.

Negative energy sucks the life out of you. You go about the day full of responsibilities. When you are depressed there is only so much you can accomplish. If you feel overwhelmed by life you will have little energy to do the things that make you happy. It’s important to carve out some time to eliminate the negativity. Sit outside and drink a cup of coffee before heading to work. Walk on the grass barefooted. Allow nature to ground you and release the negativity.

When we are under negative energy it’s hard to find joy. It’s important that you try to bring back those things that you find enjoyable. Even something as simple as taking a bubble bath can shift your mood. It’s in the small things that we are brought to positive light. Start small by creating a sense of worth and happiness. You will eventually dispel the energy blockage that’s holding you back.

3. Your weight has fluctuated.

Overeating or not eating are signs of energy shifts. If your weight has changed drastically it is important to address it. The body has warning flags and fluctuation in weight is one of them. Listen to the cravings or the lack of them. Pay attention to signs of an unhealthy body or one that is just suffering from negativity through emotional obstruction. Make time for hiking, walking, swimming or yoga. Activities such as these require peace of mind that helps re-establish balance in the body.

4. You are cranky and irritable.

When we are under stress our emotions react differently. If you are normally a happy well-balanced person but, as of late, you are short-tempered, that’s a sign you are holding on to negative energy. We enter into a “fight or flight” mentality. If things are imbalanced we cannot see them in a healthy manner. Therefore, we snap at everything. We have a short fuse. We become irritated by every rub through words or touch. It’s that time that you must step back and ask for help. Journal, speak with a professional, exercise, use your creativity, or volunteer at a shelter. Sometimes seeing past our own demons allow us to find perspective. By placing a focus outside of your issues you start to create a sense of worth again.

5. You are being overly judgmental.

If you find yourself comparing and judging like never before, you are holding on to some major negative energy. When you are unhappy you find things wrong in everyone else. Judgment is a way to deflect on your own issues. By placing blame, scrutinizing and comparing others, you stop dealing with your own life. Judging is also a way to avoid confronting your emotions and the things that you fear most. You cannot change your beliefs until you change the expectations and assumptions they are built upon. It’s time to ask yourself: What is causing the criticism and judgment? What are you afraid of? What can you learn from this experience? Stepping back and taking responsibility for your thoughts and actions is a way to recharge the energy and make it positive.

We are made from negative and positive energies. It’s the duality of life. When you hold onto negativity it clouds everything around you. You know what’s best for you. Find balance, find joy, and find what works for you in order to return to the light.