What is an Empath?
Are you deeply affected by the emotions of others? Are you sensitive to your surroundings? Do others describe you as an "empathetic" person?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be an empath!
From the time I was little, I always knew I was more sensitive than most people. I have always had the ability to feel the emotions and physical symptoms of other people as if they were my own. For example, when I went to visit a friend in the hospital who had back surgery, I could actually feel that pain in my back, almost as if I had undergone that surgery.
I can also feel people's energy. If someone around me is upset, I feel upset. If someone is happy, I feel happy. It's as if their energy is being absorbed by my body.
While this can be a blessing, it can also be extremely taxing. When I become overwhelmed with other people's emotions or physical pain, I can get quite anxious and even feel my heart rate climbing.
HOW TO DETERMINE IF YOU'RE AN EMPATH:
1. You don't like loud or busy public places.
If you go out to a loud and busy restaurant or walk around a busy mall and come home exhausted, then it's likely because you end up absorbing other's emotions. You will likely need some downtime to help your mind and body decompress after spending time in crowded places.
2. You find certain images or TV extremely disturbing.
If shows with a lot of death, despair, or violence are too upsetting, you may be an empath. I know for myself, I can't watch doctor shows without having an extremely high heart rate, and I'm usually physically drained after watching a movie with a lot of violence.
3. You have a strong intuition.
Do you lead with your gut when you make decisions? Is your gut usually right? If you tend to lead with your gut when making decisions rather than your brain, you are probably an empath. And I bet that those decisions made with your gut are usually right!
4. You are known as the "peacemaker."
Do you find you are often the one trying to diffuse tense situations, or you avoid conflict? If you find that you try to make peace between everyone, then you are likely an empath. Empaths prefer less conflict and will try to do anything to avoid it.
5. Alone time is a must!
If you're an empath, you'll likely find that you need a lot of alone time to recharge and relax. For me personally, after 3 hours of being out of the house or with a lot of people, I definitely need my alone time just to decompress and relax my body and brain.
6. You love being in nature.
As an empath, you likely feel very connected to nature. Being in a natural environment is not only soothing, but also grounding, allowing you to relax and feel at peace.
7. People don't mind telling you their problems.
Empaths are excellent listeners, which is why your friends or family may naturally gravitate towards you when they need to speak to someone about their problems.
8. You feel like you don't belong or fit in.
Often as empaths, we feel like we don't belong to a certain group or we find it hard to relate to others. You may become more private because you can't handle being around people for long periods of time, and many people don't understand this behaviour.
9. You feel people's physical ailments, not just their emotions.
When someone becomes sick or injured, you may feel their ailment in your own body. This could mean having actual physical sensations of pain or soreness.
10. You have a calming effect on others.
Do people sometimes comment on how calm you are? If so, you may be an empath. Empaths usually have a very calming effect on others and they feel more at peace in your presence.
HOW TO COPE WITH BEING AN EMPATH:
While being an empath can be a positive thing, it can also be very exhausting. Taking on other people's emotions or physical ailments is a lot, and we need ways to help cope with those overwhelming feelings.
1. Nurture your emotional health
As an empath, self-care is a MUST! In order to recharge our battery, we need to recharge ourselves. Exercise, meditation, a massage, or even just a quick nap are a few ideas. For myself, I love to get out into nature. I go for a daily walk (usually just me and the dog), I set aside an hour for myself in the evening and watch a favourite tv show, and I've recently discovered a passion for hiking in the mountains.
2. Set boundaries.
As an empath, it's very difficult to say no to people. When someone asks us for help, we tend to want to please everyone, so we say YES to everything. If you find something you are doing is draining your energy, it's important to either cut back or cut it out altogether.
The same goes for social media. As an empath, it's important not to fill your social media feed with any negativity. It's also a good idea to turn off the news as bad news can be very draining on an empath. It's important to allow good energy to enter your life rather than bad energy.
3. Practice Mindfulness
As an empath, it's often hard to decipher between someone else's feelings and our own, which is why meditation can be very helpful for an empath.
4. Use Empath Crystals
For myself, I love to wear my Empath Protection Bracelet or hold my Empath Protection Crystals while doing a quick 10 minute meditation. The stones in the bracelet and the crystal set are known to help clear away any negative energy.
5. Enjoy some alone time
Whenever you feel overwhelmed, make sure to carve out some alone time so you can recharge your own energy. It's so important as empaths that we prioritize that time for ourselves to heal and recharge.
I feel very blessed to be an empath, to be able to feel other people's energy. While I do consider that a gift, I also know it's important that I remember how worthy I am of protecting my own energy. I hope these tips have given you some calm and clarity as you go about your journey as an empath.