Being an empath means that you were born with the ability to enter someone else’s energy field (or aura) and detect their thoughts and feelings on both an emotional and physical level. You may know what they know and feel what they feel. You are like a psychic sponge.
Empath vs. Highly Sensitive Person
You may be wondering what is the difference between being empathic and being a highly sensitive person (HSP)? You are either an empath or you are not. There really is no in-between status. The term empath and highly sensitive person often get clumped together but they are not synonymous.
All empaths are highly sensitive but not all highly sensitive people are empaths.
Sensitive people are aware of their surroundings and may become overwhelmed when in a charged and stimulating environment. Consequently, an empath will actually feel and experience what it is like to be in the emotional, mental or physical state of another.
Empaths Are Impacted By the Energies of Others
An empath has the ability to intuitively perceive others’ thoughts, moods, attitudes and intentions, as well as feel physical sensitivities. Empaths live with an extremely vigilant awareness of their surroundings. Empaths sense the knowing. Knowing is the field of vibrational frequency where doubt does not exist. An empath’s knowing goes far beyond intuition and gut feelings.
The more attuned and experienced the empath is with their abilities, the stronger the gift becomes. With a lot of practice, an empath learns how to minimize their personal reaction to information being received. Eventually with patience they are able to distinguish which emotions are their own and which emotions belong to someone else.
This is an empath’s largest hurdle—taking on the constant influx of negative and positive energy, determining its origin and processing that information as reality. Mastering this technique is key to avoid falling victim to mood swings, anxiety, depression and isolation as a result of taking on others’ emotions and physical ailments.
Are You an Empath?
As an empath, your energy field will reach out instinctively to others as a way of communicating with them. It is extremely easy for your energy to become entangled with others. When and if this happens, it may be difficult for you to distinguish between your emotions and sensations and those of other people. Not fully understanding your gift can make you wonder if it is a curse instead of an attribute.
Recognizing the Signs of Being Empathic
How do you know if you are truly an empath? Quiz yourself below to see if you relate to the most common traits of empathic people.
1) You take on others’ emotions as your own.
You consciously and/or unconsciously absorb others’ feelings.
2) You feel responsible for the people around you.
If you sense suffering, you wholeheartedly extend compassion. You do what you can to care for others, even sometimes at a great cost to yourself.
3) You avoid getting caught up in large crowds
When you are in a crowd your emotions and/or bodily sensations change from one minute to the next. You tend to avoid areas where there will be many people such as shopping malls.
4) You feel drained
When you are surrounded by many people you feel drained and have trouble concentrating.
5) Some people may avoid you
You may have people who are extremely uncomfortable being around you because they feel that you see right through them. These people may stay away from you intentionally, avoid making eye contact or inform you that you are intimidating.
6) Other people open up to you
Individuals will tell you they feel better after talking to you about their issue but you usually feel worse after the conversation. This is similar to sympathy pains. Others may feel comfortable to unload their problems onto you—even strangers. You feel like a toxic waste dumping ground.
7) You feel others’ pain
You experience aches and pains out of nowhere only to learn that someone you know was having the exact same physical symptoms at that same time.
8) You have stomach problems
You carry and hold others’ issues in your solar plexus region. This chakra, located in the center of your abdomen, is known as the seat of emotions. This is where an empath receives and feels incoming emotions. If they are not released, it can lead to physical disorders.
9) You recognize and seek the truth
You find yourself with a constant need to search for the truth. You are always looking for answers and knowledge. You may know when someone is not being honest. You can recognize the difference between what one is saying and what they are actually thinking and feeling.
10) You avoid negativity
You steer clear of all forms of negativity, which may include media (newspapers, television, movies, etc.), tragedy, cruelty, violence and gossip. You find it an unbearable overload.
11) You are drawn to alternative healing and holistic remedies
Many empaths have interests, training and natural abilities with these modalities, yet they may find that they struggle to do this work due to its draining effects. They tend to absorb an abundance of negative energy from their clients.
12) You thrive in creativity
Empaths love to be creative and have a vivid imagination. They also have a tendency to become bored easily.
13) You are a free spirit
Empaths are usually free spirits who require the freedom to be themselves. They enjoy new places and things but there comes a time that solitude is necessary.
14) You have a deep appreciation for tranquility
Empaths must have a safe, quiet place to disconnect and hide away. Many empaths prefer a rural lifestyle to that of a metropolitan environment. Their needed downtime is crucial to remaining balanced.
Are You Feeling Drained?
When you are unsure of what is happening you may begin to question everything, including your sanity. Doubt leaves you vulnerable to having your energy literally drained. Because of an empath’s intense energy field they are highly susceptible to undesirables such as psychic vampires.
Protecting Yourself From Psychic Vampires
To prevent others from feeding on your energy, leaving you feeling dizzy, weak, tired, angry or sad, we suggest encasing yourself in a bubble of white light for protection from outside sources. Visualize and say silently or aloud, “I am surrounded by white light. Only the white light and those of the white light can enter my space.”
Once you master this technique, you will gain confidence with your abilities. The emotional roller coaster will subside. You can then focus on the true connection of divine energy—yours to utilize and share if you so desire.
Overcoming Challenges of Being Empathic
For empaths, the constant bombardment of negative energies and emotions is a challenge. To combat being overwhelmed and adversely affected, we need to not only protect ourselves but take steps to keep ourselves balanced. Many empaths experience disorders such as chronic fatigue, environmental sensitivities or unexplained aches and pains.
Resources for Empaths
- Deep Breathing—Positivity in, Negativity out
- Sleep—Experiencing adequate restful slumber
- Diet—You are what you eat. Eat whole, nutritious foods.
- Water—Hydrate (8, 8oz glasses per day), bathe, swim
- Sea Salt—Before a shower try a salt scrub (a mix of sea salt and oil), add sea salt or Epsom salt to your bath or swim in salt water
- Exercise—Yoga, Biking, Hiking
- Meditation—Take time to quiet the mind and cultivate peace.
- Create—Express yourself. Draw from your passions and interests.
- Crystals—Try Obsidian or Jasper for grounding and Amethyst, Selenite or Clear Quartz for connecting with your higher self.
- Aromatherapy—Essential Oils of Bergamot, Lemongrass and Peppermint are rejuvenating.
- Nature—Go outdoors and breathe fresh air. Commune with Mother Nature. Cuddle a friendly animal.
- Music—Music therapy is a must when you need a boost. Soothing sounds help you relax while uplifting songs will raise you up.
- Laugh—The best medicine.
- Protection—Surround yourself with white light.
About the Author
Kaylee is a co-founder of Mind Body Spiritual Awareness. She has been mindfully aware of and practicing her psychic abilities since she was a child. Led by her spirit guides, Kaylee has obtained a vast wealth of knowledge and experience with the ethereal realm and alternative modalities of energy healing. Kaylee is a shamanic healer and New Age artist.