Have you ever been called too sensitive? Do you feel the emotions of those around you easily? Do you tend to avoid crowds and violent movies or the news? More and more of my clients are coming to me and describing symptoms of being sensitive, introverted, and empathic. It can be overwhelming and confusing to live in the world feeling everything but not understanding it.
Much of the time people come to see me that are struggling with anxiety, depression, feeling frustrated and overburdened by the world. They are “too nice”, taking care of everyone else while often not recognizing or taking care of their own needs. They can tune into other people’s feelings and usually want to do everything they can to help to maintain the harmony in their environments and the people around them.
I have had several clients agree with the fact that they are sensitive, and need a lot of time to recharge but also have no idea what the word empath means. I am able to explain to them that their sensitivity is actually a gift, that many people are starting to awaken to the fact that they are empathic, and that there are many techniques to honor this gift and be able to live more joyfully in the world with it.
Just being able to know that they are not crazy, and there is nothing wrong with them can help so much already in accepting themselves and feeling happier and more at peace. I am finding more empathic people are coming to my practice and it is my pleasure to be able to help them see themselves as the beautifully gifted souls they truly are.
Identifying if you are an empath can be the first step in turning this perceived challenge into a wonderful secret superpower.
Some ways to identify if you are an empath are:
Are you easily able to identify with how others are feeling?
Empaths are so able to feel how those around them are feeling that they can often even mistake the feelings of others for their own. This can lead to anxiety, depression and feeling overwhelmed which most empaths blame themselves for.
Do you feel overwhelmed if you don’t have enough quiet time?
Usually empaths become overwhelmed, cranky and tired if they aren’t able to have some quiet time in solitude in order to gather themselves and rinse of the feelings of others and the world in general.
Are you concerned with the state of the world?
Empaths tend to be very concerned with the people in their lives as well as the world’s problems in general.
Is it difficult for you to be around conflict or even watch violence or cruelty on television or the movies?
Harshness in the world is very difficult for a sensitive empath’s nervous system to be able to handle very easily. They can become sad and overwhelmed again and so most of the time they tend to avoid these situations altogether.
Have you ever been called too sensitive or that you need to have thicker skin?
A common theme of empaths is feeling out of place and not belonging. They are often told they are too sensitive when expressing their valid needs as a sensitive being.
Do you feel that you don’t fit in?
Empaths commonly feel that they don’t fit in, they are different, or they don’t understand the world in the way the people around them seem to. If you feel that you don’t fit into this world it’s because you are here to create a new one.
Is it challenging for you to be in large crowds or at events where there are many people that you don’t know?
It is very difficult for empaths to be in crowds because they pick up on the energy and feelings of the group and easily feel overwhelmed.
Are you very intuitive, and sensitive to any negativity around you?
Empaths tend to be very intuitive and be able to know things they have not directly been told. They also avoid negativity because of the strong impact it has on them.
This is just a small sample of the characteristics of an empathic person. I have encountered these and many more when working with clients. Everyone is unique and there is no one size fits all description.
Having these traits validated helps so much. Other steps that can help empaths feel more at peace in their lives in my experience so far are things like:
Getting plenty of quiet downtime by themselves to just be.
Meditation can be very helpful in quieting the mind of an empathic person.
Taking care to not be too busy, empaths need more space and time during and between activities to calibrate and adjust in order to be at their best.
Taking as much time as possible in nature. Nature can help remind the empathic person of the beauty and perfection of the natural world, and in turn all of us as well.
Finding like-minded souls to connect with. Being able to discuss the challenges and gifts of being an empath living in a sometimes non empathic world can be very helpful!
Resting enough and eating clean and natural foods. Empaths tend to be sensitive in all areas, including physical health, so it is even more important for them to take very good care of their physical bodies and what they put into them.
Finding meaningful work. Often, it can be difficult for empaths to work in large corporations that aren’t able to meet their needs for positive environments and work life balance. It is best for empaths to be able to live and work in peaceful and comfortable environments.
Empaths can be incredibly gifted in their chosen careers, and often, but not always, are drawn to creative or helping fields where they can use their natural gifts and talents to help others and express beauty into the world. They can be the best friends, partners and parents, as well, as long as they take care of themselves too!
If everyone were able to feel the compassion and sensitivity of the empath, there would no longer be things like war or competition. People would be so kind and giving to one another and honor each other’s choices and lifestyles.
Being empathic is a beautiful gift. I personally am very empathic, and had a challenging time in life until I understood what an amazing and powerful superpower this can be in my own life. I now love it so much, and really love being able to share, teach and validate this in others!
It is my hope that more and more of us continue to awaken to our own unique qualities. It is our responsibility to honor ourselves in order to bring more joy, beauty and consciousness into the world around us. This helps to elevate the consciousness of our families, communities and the world.