It can be a difficult thing to deal with your own emotions, but can you imagine what it would be like if you also picked up everyone else’s emotions and mental states? That is what it is like for people who are considered Empaths. This is a gift that is a bit of a double-edged sword. Being able to truly feel what people are going through can come in handy for many different careers and situations but if you don’t know how to buffer yourself you can quickly become overwhelmed, and the blessing can quickly become a curse.
What is an Empath?
An empath is a person who is highly attuned to the emotions of those around them. It goes beyond empathy (which is defined as having the ability to understand other peoples’ feelings). Empaths are able to take another person’s feelings on themselves as if they were their own, both at the surface and at a deeper level. It is this taking on of emotions and mental states that sets Empaths apart from the general populace and why it can be difficult to live with at times.
A Multitude of Empathic Abilities
Some believe that there are different types of Empaths.
- Emotional Empath: Emotional Empaths can easily pick up on—and even take on — the emotions of others.
- Physical Empath: According to psychiatrist and author, Judith Orloff, Physical Empaths, “pick up physical symptoms from other people and absorb them in their own bodies.”
- Intuitive Empath: Intuitive Empaths have very strong intuition and may pick up what other people are feeling and thinking or take on the negative energy in a room, Orloff explains.
- Plant Empath: Plant Empaths are attuned to the needs of plants. They make amazing gardeners or landscapers because they intuitively know exactly what a plant needs to thrive.
- Animal Empath: Animal Empaths can pick up on the needs and feelings of animals.
- Earth Empath: Earth Empaths feel a very deep connection to the Earth. Think of this as a more intense form of being a Plant Empath.
And yes, you can be more than one type. I have a dear friend who is both an Emotional and Physical Empath and it has taken her years to learn how to separate her own emotional and physical states from those around her. This is where meditation, grounding exercises, and the use of stones and crystals can truly be a lifesaver!
How to Cope with being an Empath
If your results from the, Are You an Empath? quiz are positive, you are probably wondering what you can do so that you can utilize this gift without it draining or overwhelming you. If you haven’t received your results yet, go find out your Empath score, then come back to find out how to deal with it all.
Starting a daily practice of meditation is a great way to start your journey on being a healthy empath. Remember, the point of meditation is not to clear your mind of everything as much as it is about allowing any thoughts to drift off without them causing a reaction in you. I enjoy doing my meditation with music. A particular favorite of mine is “The Cinematic Orchestra Arrival of the Birds & Transformation” which can be found on YouTube, but you might find that other music puts you into a reflective mood, and that is okay. I recommend that if you do listen to music, choose something without lyrics so you can focus on what thoughts come into your head rather than the words of the song.
Set a timer to bring yourself out of the meditative state. Having to open your eyes continuously will be counterproductive, forcing you to leave the peaceful state behind and basically start over each time you close your eyes.
I have recommended the next item in past articles, but I am going to do so again. The Elemental Balancing Ritual is beyond helpful for empaths as it allows you to reset your energy to a healthy baseline. You can also use it before going into situations where you know that you will most likely get bombarded with emotions ahead of time as a proactive way of dealing with the situation. Do the ritual and instead of envisioning yourself adding equal amounts of the four elements, add extra Earth to help keep you grounded and to mitigate any stray or toxic emotions or energies.
Lastly, you can use certain stones to help buffer you from picking up on people’s energy. Here are my recommendations:
- Black Tourmaline- Grounds and protects against negative energy. Particularly good for empaths.
- Rose Quartz- Promotes peace, inner harmony, and positive energy.
- Lapis Lazuli- Gives you the unflinching ability to look deep within and stay tuned to your own sense of wisdom.
- Agate- Stabilizes even when emotions around you are sky-high. Brown agate is especially helpful in these situations.
- Malachite- Shifts stagnant energies away from you.
- Nuummite- Buffers you from energy overload and toxicity without hindering your own abilities. It’s almost like wrapping yourself in psychic bubble wrap.
A Protective Gift
Being an Empath brings about some amazing rewards, like knowing when and how to help those around you that you care for. As long as you learn how to protect yourself from negative emotions, it can truly be a boon in both your career and in your day-to-day life interacting with the people you love.
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