If you are an empath or a sensitive soul, then you tend to feel others’ thoughts, emotions and even physical pain. Empaths are beautifully perceptive people that can sense another person’s energy, emotions and intentions without relying on words and actions. Although it can often seem like a negative trait, being an empath can truly be your super power. All you need is the right set of tools and guidance to help you master it.
Are you an empath?
• You might notice that people are often drawn to you because you make them feel good.
• Your sensitivity allows you to understand people on a much deeper level, propelling you towards genuine relationships.
• You are highly giving, nurturing, a great listener, loyal, trustworthy, loving, reliable, protective of others, creative and a natural healer.
• Your attention to detail makes you great at seeing solutions that others miss.
• You are extremely intuitive.
• When you are surrounded by positive energy, love, joy and peace, you flourish wonderfully.
• You are drawn to people who offer intelligent conversation.
• You connect deeply with people, nature, animals and your own consciousness.
How does someone become an empath?
Empaths are wonderfully gifted, and the origins of these blessings are different for every person. You may find that you relate strongly to one of these points, or that a combination resonates with you.
1. Natural temperament – Some people are lucky enough to be born with an empath’s temperament. Babies that are more responsive to light, smells, touch, movement, temperature, and sound are showing the first signs of their Empathic sensitivity.
2. Genetics – Genetic empaths share their traits with one or both of their parents.
3. Trauma – Experiencing neglect, abuse, depressed parents, or other traumatic events during childhood can heighten your sensitivity. A distressing upbringing can make a child who doesn’t feel “seen” by their family or the world focus on others rather than themselves.
4. Supportive parenting – Sensitive parents who have nurtured their children’s sensitivity can help develop and honour these gifts.
Challenges for empaths
Unfortunately, the downside of being hypersensitive is a low threshold for sensory overload. Negative energy from unhappy people, crowds, noise, bright light and low frequency vibrations are extremely toxic to an empath.
It is incredibly difficult to decipher your own emotions when other signals are overwhelming you. Being aware of your own feelings is crucial because your emotions are the indicators that help you navigate life’s decisions. If you are overlooking these indicators, it is difficult to know which path is right for you.
Directing your sensitivity inwards
Being overwhelmed as an empath is highly draining and can be detrimental to the health of your mind, body and soul. It can affect every aspect of your life, so it is vital that you learn how to feel safe enough to embrace and explore your sensitivities because they should be gifts, not burdens.
Begin with self-awareness:
• Understanding and familiarity with your gifts will make you more comfortable in general and more in tune with yourself.
• Accept your gift and embrace it so that you can learn more about it and yourself. Ignoring it will not make it go away.
• Think about how you feel at your optimal state and why it makes you feel that way.
• Think about what triggers your sensory overload. It could be sudden, intense feelings of sadness, anger, anxiety, fatigue, health issues or something else entirely.
Examine your relationships:
• Set healthy boundaries in your relationships. The drive to help others is fundamental in an Empath’s nature, but you must learn to say no and put your own self-care first. It is not your responsibility to take on others’ emotions or take their pain away.
• Assess the repercussions of helping someone before you agree to help. Don’t let people take advantage of you. All relationships should maintain a healthy balance. When you are feeling sorry for someone, remember that everyone has challenging times in their life and that overcoming it is what helps them grow. No earlier situation, event or childhood trauma is an excuse for someone’s toxic behaviour if it hurts you. Not everyone wants to reach their fullest potential and it isn’t a part of everyone’s journey.
• Unplug from energy drainers. Because you are so good at relationships and people love you, they also take your energy away from you. If you know, or have known, someone who has this impact on you then you need to spiritually cut the emotional cord with them. It won’t affect your relationship negatively because the intention you’re sending out is not to hurt that person, but to stop that energy drain. If you have the intent and the willingness, all you need to do is visualise yourself cutting the cord that is binding you to them, then say a prayer to send them love, protection, wisdom and blessings.
• Surround yourself with positive and supportive people. These are the people that make you feel safe and help you flourish.
Unlocking your gift’s potential
After exploring your gift and the way that it affects your Self, your interactions and your relationships, you will have a better idea of your capabilities as an empath. The next phase looks at how to maintain your Self and protecting your energy and wellbeing as an empath. Here are some tools to help you unlock the full potential of your empathy, in a safe way:
Distinguish your emotions. The key to using your gift as an empath is to become aware and learn how to differentiate your emotions from those of others. If you are taking on other people’s emotions, then you need to work on clearing these and creating a boundary to protect yourself. Shielding is one technique, but you can also analyse your emotion by asking yourself:
• ‘Am I feeling this emotion because something has happened to me?’
• ‘Am I feeling what someone else is feeling because something has happened to them?’
If you feel particularly overwhelmed, take some time to go through your emotions one by one – yes all of them! Imagine the names of these emotions written on folded pieces of paper in front of you. As you pick up each one, ask yourself, is this mine or is this someone else’s? Don’t try to fix anything right now, just acknowledge them without judgement, then put the paper down and move on to the next one. Acknowledging your feelings can help you process what you’re feeling and strengthen your clarity.
Know the tools you can use to protect and centre yourself. These will support your energy levels and help you stay true to yourself:
• A sacred space. This is a pleasant environment, inside or outside, where you feel safe and able to fully express and let go. If you can’t physically create a space then work on creating one in your mind. Visualise the place you feel most comfortable. It could be by the sea, on another planet or in a healing temple, your options are endless because it is all up to you.
• Smudging – Use Palo Santo, Sage, Sandalwood or Frankincense to regularly remove negative energy from yourself and your surroundings.
• Sea Salt Baths – Cleanse your body and remove negativity from your aura with a relaxing bath.
• Mantra – Find a positive, uplifting mantra that will ask current negativity to leave, deter new negativity and ask for the highest good for all.
• Connecting with Nature –Regularly getting away into Nature will help you rejuvenate and uplift your emotional state. Being among nature at least once a day will recharge and ground you, eliminating unwanted energies from your body. Get some fresh air, walk through the grass in bare feet or touch some trees.
• Exercise – Physical activity grounds you in your body and the present moment.
• Essential oils – Eucalyptus, Rosemary, Peppermint and Lavender are great oils for creating a calm or relaxing environment.
• Reconciling with your emotions – Spend time allowing yourself to embrace and accept your emotions so that you can process and release them effectively. Don’t hold on to emotions, suppress them or build personal barriers to keep others from knowing what you’re feeling. You need to express yourself if you want to heal.
• Healthy eating – Nutritionally balanced and healthy choices will allow positive energy to flow throughout your being and keep you at your optimal level.
• Avoiding chemicals and toxicity – Unnatural substances are detrimental to your natural state.
• Honouring your needs – Balance time spent with friends and family with time spent alone to recharge. You don’t want to experience a sensory overload, but too much time by yourself can make you feel disconnected and alone.
• Shielding – Put up a white light to shield negative emotions coming through. Shielding helps you to become an observer and send negativity back. Shields come from love, they aren’t a barrier against others but a protective measure for your Self.
• Centring – Switch your awareness to the present environment. Use deep breathing to return to your centre and separate your emotions from other people’s.
• Meditation – Yoga, sound baths, mindfulness, journaling, and other forms of quiet contemplation will create a canvas for your mind to relax.
• Acknowledging your personal goals and dreams – Live in a way that is true to yourself, with your own pursuits to focus on. Be aware when someone or something is taking you away from your authentic path.
• Crystals – As an empath you need to be constantly aware of your energy. Using protective crystals can help you stay focused and aware of what’s going on in your life. Black Obsidian, which helps you keep track of your energy and fend off ‘psychic attack’, is one of many crystals that offer great support to empaths.
• Expressing yourself – Art, journaling, music or any kind of creative expression is a great form of release for empaths feeling stuck or out of balance.
Don’t be overwhelmed
As you can see, there are many ways to protect yourself from overwhelming negative energy. However, rather than overwhelming you with information by going through each approach in detail, here are three that you can practice on your own, without any props. Once you are used to these techniques, you will be able to cleanse and protect yourself at any time.
1. Cleansing your Chakras: Making a consistent effort to regularly cleanse and re-energise your Chakras will bring you back into alignment.
• Visualise the 7 Chakras as spinning wheels, associating the Chakra’s colour to each one.
• Take in a deep breath as you go through each chakra, starting at the Root and working your way to the Crown.
• With each breath think about breathing in the colour of the Chakra, imagining it as positive energy entering your body.
• As you breathe out you are breathing out negativity.
By the end, you will feel energy centres flowing and circulating in perfect balance and harmony.
2. Clear negative thoughts: As an empath you pick up on other people’s negative thoughts. These thoughts can manifest and remain in your energy field, attracting situations, people and experiences that align to this negativity without your conscious awareness. Frequent check-ins will allow you to identify any negativity and consciously let it go. The following visualisation is designed to help you do just that. Like anything, the more you practice this activity, the easier it will be to clear negative thoughts.
• Visualise your aura being cleansed by a white waterfall and choose one or more of the affirmations below that resonate with you:
– “I am in control of my mind, my emotions and my body.”
– “I am willing to feel only the energy that is mine, and I let go of all that is not mine.”
– “I receive energy that is of the highest good for me, and I am protected from all other energy.”
– “My aura boundary is strong.”
– “I am always safe and divinely protected.”
– “I attract only kind and gentle life lessons and relationships into my life.”
– “I understand the divine plan for my life. I have the passion and energy to joyfully fulfil it.”
3. Meditation: When you’re feeling overwhelmed and can’t distinguish your emotions, try imagining you are standing under a waterfall of white light. As this powerful waterfall of light pours down over your physical body, it penetrates your emotional and mental bodies, washing away anything that does not belong to you. See this unwanted energy falling away and absorbing into the Earth. As you continue to breathe, imagine the white light absorbing into your skin as though you are a sponge. Feel it cleansing and refreshing your entire being. Now that your entire physical body is glowing white light from the inside out, bring your awareness to your Heart Chakra at the centre of your chest. Start to imagine a fountain of pink light emanating from your heart. With continued deep breaths, allow this loving fountain of pink light to grow stronger and flow faster as it fills your entire body. Once your body has filled with this pink light, allow it to expand around 3 feet past your physical body. Visualise a barrier of golden light on the outer edge of your pink bubble.
Take time to deeply feel that this golden barrier is strong, without any openings or weak points. For a few breaths just imagine this pink bubble with a golden shell, and affirm to yourself that:
• This is your energy.
• No unwanted energy may enter your space without your permission.
• It is possible to send energy out of this bubble as you wish.
• It feels good in the safety of your loving, clean and protected energy.
Take a few moments to bask in the fresh, new, loving space that you have just created. Check in with your emotional state by bringing your awareness to your emotions. Acknowledge whatever you might be feeling now that you have completed the activity and if an uncomfortable feeling is still hanging around, then it’s likely yours and you’ll need to investigate it further.
If you would like further help dealing with the overwhelming state of being an empath, I would love to work with you, to help you gain clarity and use your gift for your highest good.
In love and light,