10 questions to determine if you're an Empath and 6 tips for how to have a happier, healthier life as an energetically sensitive person.
If you were drawn to read this, there's a good chance that you're an Empath. If you answer YES to more than half of these questions, you're almost definitely an Empath. If you already know that you're an Empath, skip the questions and head straight to the tips below!
10 Questions for Possible Empaths:
1. Can you sense other people's emotions?
2. Do you get overwhelmed or anxious in crowded or public places?
3. Do you sometimes know things without being told?
4. Do you find it difficult to watch violent TV shows/movies or listen to dark music?
5. When you read about terrible situations in the world, does it feel like it's happening directly to you?
6. Can you tell when people are lying to you?
7. Do people tend to come to you when they have a problem?
8. Do you feel exhausted after spending time in groups or with difficult individuals?
9. Do you start to mirror behavior of the people you spend the most time around?
10. Are you drawn to healing modalities and/or holistic practices?
If this sounds like you, here are some suggestions for how to be a
happier, healthier, more balanced Empath:
1. Accept and honor your ability. Trying to smother your authentic self will only lead to emotional and physical issues (which could include anxiety, depression, addiction, gastrointestinal problems, and chronic fatigue). Being an Empath is a skill and you should feel great about your special ability. The more you recognize it, learn from it, and hone it, the easier life will be.
2. Spend time in nature. Nature has a life-force, just like we do, but nature generally doesn't have emotions that we can take on. It can be rejuvenating to spend time in the mountains, by the ocean, or in a forest. If you can't find time to be in nature, it can be beneficial to spend time alone doing activities that make you feel recharged: taking a bath, tending to a garden, doing a creative project. These things are little bits of nature, too.
3. Deal with your own emotions. Most of us aren't taught as children that it's okay to be sad or angry and yet we're human beings who feel these things. If you allow yourself to feel what you're feeling and express your emotions in appropriate settings you won't keep them bottled up and trapped inside of you. Journaling or working with a therapist/spiritual counselor are great ways to let out your feelings. That way, when emotions pop up you'll know if they're yours-- or if they belong to someone else.
4. Don't do things that make you feel bad! It's okay to be the kind of person who can't watch scary movies or violent television shows, listen to depressing songs, or get daily news updates. Maybe you don't want to be completely disconnected from what's going on in the world, but at least allow yourself to take time away to reset. This is also true for social media! If scrolling through Facebook or Instagram leaves you feeling awful, maybe don't spend so much time doing that! Be nice to yourself, okay?
5. Surround yourself with people who make you feel energized. We all have people in our life who seem to thrive on drama, don't say what they really mean, or are negative and judgmental. You can't avoid every negative person in the world, but you can certainly cut down on the time you spend with them. Try to spend more time with the people in your life that are positive, direct, and care as much about you as you do about them.
6. Find healing modalities and techniques that teach you more about your gift and help you choose when to use it. Many of my private clients are naturally empathic and I've taught them ways to protect themselves from unconsciously taking on emotions. One of the techniques I use whenever I'm about to leave the house and enter a crowded area is to close my eyes, take some deep breaths, and imagine that I'm surrounded in an orb of colorful light (you can pick a color that feels good to you) and I create a clearly delineated barrier. I state the intention that no one else's energy or emotions can get through that barrier without my permission and no one can take my energy away from me. When I'm out in the world, if I feel myself losing energy or absorbing stray emotions, I envision this orb and boundary again. You can use this technique in any situation and see if it works for you!