As a kid, I was constantly told I was sensitive…like it was a bad thing.
Funny how sometimes the things that make you “different” as a child turn out to be blessings in disguise?
It was only fairly recently that I realized being “sensitive” is a gift.
Because being an unaware empath is a bumpy ride. Letting your external world control your emotions is tough! It can make you feel confused, out-of-control or even physically dizzy or ill. That’s why it’s so important to become aware of this characteristic if you have it.
It’s also important to note that this is not a special condition. There’s a decent chance that even you (yes you!) are an empath. It’s estimated that 1/5th of the population shares these characteristics.
It’s also not to be confused with being a full-on psychic BTW. There might be similarities but they are totally different things.
Learning that you’re an empath changes your game. You suddenly realize why you react to things in certain ways or why you seem to feel things. Understanding why you feel the way you do makes a huge difference in your ability to deal. (Trust me on that one!)
So if you’re wondering if you might be an empath here are ten signs:
10 Signs That You’re An Empath
- You know when people are lying.
- Negativity overwhelms you.
- You know what people are feeling before they tell you.
- You need alone time to recharge.
- You’re a great listener.
- Beautiful things can move you to tears.
- You get worn out in chaotic situations or crowded places.
- You avoid negative images on the news.
- You often feel fatigued.
- You’ve often been told you’re too sensitive or emotional.
So now that you know you’re an empath, what next? There are lots of ways to cope but mixing and matching is usually the best approach. What works one day might not be enough the next! So with that in mind, here are five solid strategies:
Coping Strategies For Empaths
1. Establish Boundaries
The most important lesson I’ve learned about being an empath is learning to establish healthy boundaries. I get very involved in other people’s stuff with lightning speed. So if you tell me you want to do something I’ll be like ok cool! Let me help! Of course, wanting to help people isn’t a bad thing per se. But it becomes a bad thing for me if I start prioritizing other people’s stuff ahead of my own. I have to constantly ask myself if I’m doing things for me or for someone else, because sometimes it’s difficult for me to tell the difference.
2. Release Emotions
Pushing away negative emotions only intensifies them in the end! It’s okay to feel what you feel. Don’t try to run from “negative” feelings. Let them pass through you and don’t feel guilt for them. If you need to cry, cry. If you need to yell, yell into a pillow! It’s absolutely fine to let yourself do what you need to do in order to process what you’re feeling. Just develop a safe way to do it so that you don’t end up accidentally releasing your stuff onto someone else.
We all know that physically moving your body helps to release stress. But did you know it also helps you to integrate your feelings and disperse negative energy? And don’t worry — moving your body doesn’t mean you need to join a gym or run marathons. Developing a yoga practice, taking walks or hula-hooping (my new favorite!) are all great ways to release tension from your body.
4. Ground Your Root Chakra
Part of the problem with being an empath is that we get outside of our own body. Developing a grounding practice for your root chakra helps you to stay in your body: meaning you’re less likely to get thrown off-balance by the energies of those around you.
There are a few ways to help restore your root chakra.
- Try walking around outdoors barefoot or laying in the grass to help build your connection to the earth.
- Root grounding crystals like black tourmaline, obsidian or smoky quartz are also helpful.
- Eat lots of root vegetables like carrots, potatoes and beets or protein-rich foods like beans, tofu or peanut butter.
5. Shield Yourself
For extra protection, empaths often need to build a barrier between yourself and the outside world. There are several ways to do this.
Simply envisioning a protective bubble of white light around yourself is the easiest method! Just visualize an opaque sphere of white light that repels negative energy surrounding you perfectly, extending out by at least a foot.
But the method that I prefer is simply to “zip” your energy up — a lesson I learned from Donna Eden’s book Energy Medicine. Just imagine that there’s a zipper leading from your pubic bone straight up to your lips and zip it up before you leave your house in the morning. You might need to re-zip yourself a few times throughout the day just to ensure your energy stays in!
Learning how to cope with being an empath is something I wish I’d learned how to do when I was much younger! So I hope this guide helps some of you out there who haven’t yet learned how to cope with this characteristic.
Let me know how it works out for you!