Are You An Empath?
By Janet Early
Are you or is someone you know an empath?
Empaths are people who are extremely perceptive to the emotions of others. They are born with a sensitivity that causes them to absorb the energy of others (even animals) and harbor it internally as their own.
Well, this is great, right?! What a wonderful trait to be so in tune with people’s energies and what a compassionate and understanding world this would be if everyone in it was an empath!
Well… not exactly.
While an empath is blessed with higher skills in understanding, compassion and intuition, they must also cope with overwhelming amounts of negative energies. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of suffering and cruelty in this world and empaths are susceptible to it all.
Signs You’re An Empath:
- Films, television shows or news featuring suffering or tragedy are difficult for you to watch. They trigger painful emotions and so you usually avoid them.
- You interpret other people’s feelings as your own. For example, if you hear that someone (ranging in closeness from a best friend to a stranger) is facing a bitter divorce, you emotionally, mentally and physically embody the pain you believe that person is going through.
- Crowded places like malls or restaurants make you tired or overwhelmed, because there are so many competing energies radiating within the same vicinity.
- You have been involved in co-dependent or destructive relationships.
- You’ve developed physical maladies, such as headaches or digestive troubles, after ruminating over other people’s problems.
- You spend a great deal of time fixated on other people’s concerns and concentrate very little on your own.
- You are or have experienced depression or anxiety.
- You are seen as the “caretaker” among your friends. As such, you drift towards help-oriented, nurturing careers like social work, therapies or philanthropy.
- You think a lot. Maybe too much for your own good sometimes.
- You are a voracious problem-solver and will not rest until a solution is reached.
- You have an interest in metaphysics or spirituality.
- It’s hard for people to lie to you. You have an immediate, keen intuition about people’s true intentions and characters and can easily see through facades. Furthermore, you are a master of reading body language and you pick up on clues that most people miss.
- If listening were a sport, you’d be MVP every time.
- You are driven towards obtaining a meaningful career – anything less will cause emotional, spiritual and physical distress.
- You are nonviolent and thrive in peaceful, Zen like environments.
- You sharply identify with dilemmas of fictional characters onscreen or in books.
- You frequently take on the role of “peacemaker,” usually sacrificing your own needs in order to end confrontations.
- You are drawn to creative modes such as writing, art or music.
- You are straightforward and don’t tolerate dishonesty, especially from yourself.
- Animals love you.
- You daydream a lot.
How To Protect Yourself As An Empath
Being born an empath is a gift, but it comes with some tricky baggage. Here are some tips to avoid falling prey to pervasive negative energies and worldly suffering.
1. Take Care Of Yourself
Empaths are so tuned in to the needs and feelings of other people, that they often forget to check into their own needs. Take time out to evaluate your personal concerns. Enjoy regular alone time by going out for a solo hike or meditating in a pleasant outdoor environment.
2. Surround Yourself With Positivity
Since empaths absorb the energy of those around them, surround yourself with positive people! Prioritize good vibes by hanging with like-minded, upbeat individuals.
3. Ask For Help
Taking the weight of the world on your shoulders is a big job. It will be overwhelming at times. When it is, make sure you reach out for help. Talk to a close friend who gets it or seek counseling when the burden feels like too much to bear.
4. Realize That You Can’t Save Everyone
If you’re an empath, you have an innate drive to fix everyone’s problems. If you base your happiness on other people’s happiness, you will be let down. Offer understanding and compassion, but maintain room for “compassionate detachment.” This is an ability to acknowledge others without judgment and without assuming responsibility for all of their problems.
5. Identify Your Optimal Mode Of Catharsis
Whether it’s smacking a boxing bag, taking it to the yoga mat, or splattering paint all over a canvas, let it out. Holding in negative emotions gives them more power and they grow more dense and solid within you. Keep your emotions fluid by finding your preferred method of releasing the tension.
6. Practice Mindfulness
Meditation and other mindfulness exercises can skill the empath in identifying the presence of thoughts and feelings and letting them pass. Being cognizant of emotions and then detaching from them will become a powerful protective measure against feeling overwhelmed.
7. Get Moving!
Build regular exercise into your everyday life. Empaths internalize a lot of energy – regular activity moves that energy from your mind (excessive thinking) to the pavement. Use that fuel for a daily walk, hike, run or swim. Movement is a fantastically effective method of reducing anxiety and resetting your emotions.
The Beauty Of Being An Empath
Although there are challenges, being an empath is a powerful, unique gift! You possess a sixth sense, harboring both a connectivity to a higher, spiritual world and an acute intuition into earthly motives and feelings. Plus, you’re the bee’s’ knees at compassion – there’s a reason people look to you for understanding. Just remember that you can listen and empathize without having to fix everything.
Just For Your Information
The term “empathy” stems from the latin root, Pathos, which represents suffering, disease, passion and feeling. It is closely related to empathy, the state of understanding and sharing the feelings or concerns of another person.
So, are you an empath? Or do you know someone who is? Comment below!
Janet Early is a health enthusiast living in Los Angeles and working as a researcher for a major television company. An aspiring writer, Janet discovered her passion for wholesome nutrition and natural healing while navigating the struggles of balancing food sensitivities in a modern world. In addition to nutrition, she enjoys traveling, storytelling and embarking on daily adventures.
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