Empath coping skills

I’m an empath…so now what?

by Lindsay on November 7, 2010

in Intuition, Personal Growth

Do you find yourself listening with ease to other people’s problems? Do you pick up on the emotions of those around you without trying to? Do strangers easily share their life stories? If so, you’ve probably gone through your life being more affected by other people’s energy than you realize. You’re an empath. And if you know you are,  the next question that’s likely to pop into your head is “So now what?”

As an empath, you are someone who has been hard-wired to perceive and experience other people’s emotions. You probably grew up being told you were “too sensitive” but being an empath isn’t just about being hyper-sensitive and it’s not strictly emotions, either. Without even trying, an empath can pick up on and understand what makes other people do the things they do and what their intentions are.

The fact that you are an empath can’t be changed. Nor is it a skill that can be developed. Just like the color of your eyes, you were born with this gift (which sometimes might feel like a curse). As an empath you are always “on” – processing other people’s feelings and energies. You can learn how to manage this. Empaths often turn to alcohol, drugs and other addictions to kind of “tone down” the effects of going through life this way. However, there are much healthier ways to deal with being an empath that will serve you in far better ways.

  • Be alone: Perhaps this is stating the obvious, but empaths, more than anyone, require time alone in order to recharge their batteries. Make sure you are giving yourself plenty of alone-time to relax. Do anything you want to during this time but just be alone.
  • Meditate: If you’re having a particularly overwhelming day, take 5-10 minutes (or more if you can!) and meditate. Quiet your mind. Let the thoughts come into your head but then let them go as quickly as they come. Don’t focus or dwell on any one thing. Focus on your breathing and let your body relax.
  • Listen to music: This is one I’ve taken to doing when I just can’t get away from people (like at the office or – god forbid – the mall). Just put your headphones in, turn your favorite tunes on and block the rest of the world out, even if only for a little while.
  • Change your outlook: Being an empath is indeed a burden at times. It is my belief that before we were born, we made a soul agreement to come to Earth in this time of transition and take on the task of being an empath in this life to help others. This belief helps me put my empathic abilities in perspective and I see it as a gift, a responsibility to help others.
  • Look at your personal narrative: What stories do you tell yourself as you do the dishes or make the bed? If you believe, as an empath, that you need protection from evil, then you’re likely setting yourself up (like a self-fulfilling prophecy) to attract negative energy. If we instead focus on promoting positive strengths and positive energy in ourselves and those around us, more positivity will come our way.
  • Move: No, not from your home or city. Just move your body. Go for a walk. Go for a run, to the gym – just move. I find this particularly effective for me when I have so much pent up energy from others around me I don’t know what to do with myself. Moving your body will let off some steam (and burn some calories too – double bonus!). Movement in any form is a great way for empaths to move out old energy and pull in fresh energy.

Click here to read my first article on empaths: Are you an empath?

Have some coping tips for empaths not mentioned? Share them here!

If you like what you read here – subscribe to The Daily Awe. Each month a subscriber is chosen for a free intuitive reading. And be sure to spread the love and share the article with friends/family/your neighbors/coworkers.

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viv66 January 14, 2011 at 10:49 am

personal rituals can also help; setting up a "shield" when you feel you need it, as well as regular state of being checks so you can spot when you need to withdraw and recharge.
Knowing yourself too; to be able to distinguish when an emotion is not your own and belongs to someone else.
Not saying it's easy, because it isn't. I am still working on surviving it. The hardest aspects now are the ones when insights come at a distance, or via dreams or visions and it's essential to work out how much needs action taking and how much just needs accepting.

Lindsay January 14, 2011 at 2:14 pm

Oh that's true – something I hadn't thought of. It's really important to know yourself, so you can differentiate whether or not you're feeling your OWN feelings or someone else's.

And yeah – the distance stuff/dreams is a bit of a challenge, isn't it? I am sometimes in a quandry as to whether or not my dream is just a dream but rather something prophetic. Often times it's the latter!

viv66 January 14, 2011 at 3:24 pm

The really frustrating dreams are the ones where you see something you know is both significant and important but have no means of actually using it in a practical manner; this sort drive me mad because I KNOW something but can take no action to take it further. I've dreamed of murders, even, but when you wake knowing you have seen something you cannot possibly explain, you are left with the fact that even the most open police officer will not be open to it.
And the other harsh thing is seeing things "remotely" that you are not trained or prepared to deal with. Many years ago during the Bosnian conflict, a friend of mine served as ambulance crew dealing with atrocities: for several months, even though I didn't know that's where he was and what he was doing, I saw snippets of what he saw during his days during my nightmares. It was only when he came home on leave I discovered what had been going on. At the time, I genuinely thought I might have been going insane.
That's where prayer comes in to help deal with this stuff. I probably would be in a mental institution otherwise by now.

Lindsay January 16, 2011 at 2:28 pm

Wow, that's pretty incredible. Do you find that you dream about good things too, or mostly traumatic stuff that's happening and/or going to happen?

viv66 January 16, 2011 at 2:34 pm

That's a good question. Off hand I am not aware of having dreamed about good stuff at all. I do have good dreams, sometimes, and I have dreamed of future things that have been effectively neutral.
I have a problem with sleep anyway, so maybe there is a limit to what can come through.

Robin April 30, 2013 at 2:37 pm

I too can’t recall any pleasant dreams. Does anyone have a suggestion to change this? I often absorb something and dream about it in the perspective of the purpotrator/victim. This can be from the news or TV drama. I’d like to have good dreams for a change or at least not rememeber the bad. It’s not psychic, but while in the dream I feel things deeply and they are often disturbing.

griffin August 9, 2013 at 9:06 am

I also never had good dreams until I started living alone. Now I have good dreams mostly. So, the key is to isolate yourself and don’t allow others negative energy affect you during the sleep. If you can’t live alone, then you can minimize negative energy effect leaving lights during sleep, especially black light seems to be effective (so, in this way, it seems true after all that light at night keeps monsters away, haha).

Oh, yes and meditate for at least half an hour before the sleep. It will make you for asleep easy every night, and make your sleep very pleasant and restoring for at least first half :), even if surrounded by negative energy.

AMY February 1, 2011 at 12:29 pm

Or you could check out Rose Rosetree’s ‘Empowered by Empathy’ or ‘Become the most Important person in the room-a 30 day program for empath empowerment’ and learn some real techniques.

The latter I own and am working through at the minute. Both highly recommended from Anna Conlon as well.

(www.roserosetree.com and http://www.psychicbutsane.com)

Lindsay February 1, 2011 at 1:05 pm

Awesome, thank you Amy! I am familiar with Rose and Anna but have not read any of Rose's books. I think I should!

AMY February 1, 2011 at 12:30 pm

http://www.rose-rosetree.com -misstyped I think!

Goldenskyhook January 1, 2013 at 2:19 pm

Very nice article! I would like to add that I believe we ALL are empaths, it’s just that some of us have had the gift trained out of us through trauma or poor upbringing. Also, the best defense is a “good offense.” In other words, one must avoid taking in any energy from those one helps. It is a theft of karma to take on someone else’s pain. You are ripping them off for the lesson they need to learn. Instead, use Reiki, or some other method to make sure that you ONLY “take in” energy from the infinite source of creation. Then you must make sure that you are ONLY “sending” energy and healing to the person, even though you are reading them empathically. This way you not only avoid taking on anyone else’s pain, but you also guarantee that no one can drain you of energy. All you need to do is remember where true energy comes from and stay “plugged in” to that source at all times. This protects you from the worst of energy vampires.

sparkling_eyzz February 28, 2013 at 6:53 pm

A couple of other thing’s I have found, “before I learned what I may be” is to vacuum, or to go to the ocean! These two things have helped me alot. I just the other day came accross the word empath and have learned alot about myself. I also struggle with alcohol as a way to numb out other’s feeling’s…

Allegra July 3, 2013 at 10:30 pm

I hold the most negative and nervous energy in my stomach – something I do often and lots of times in public is deep breathing, but I imagine with every inhale drawing the energy up from my stomach out of my body and exhaling it. It just helps me to try and release some of what I’ve been retaining all day and it’s easy enough to get into that kind of a mental state. Once I did it for half an hour straight after being around someone with THE WORST type of emotional baggage and I felt so much lighter afterwards.

Sheel July 31, 2013 at 12:56 am

This article has been great! Thank you for posting it! I also wanted to add that when you can’t move from where you are I find it helps to just clasp my hands together or give myself a hand massage. Also, pressing the reflexology points in your hand really helps while imagining yourself sending unconditional loving energy out to whoever may need it. I was having a hard time in public when it started to really “hit” me now these little tricks have been helping. I have also found that whenever I feel super drained I remind myself that I am a vessel and I let the Devine energy be the power source. It’s always a roller-coaster of a journey, but it’s great to know you’re not alone.

Raven October 4, 2013 at 11:49 pm

your as empathic and psychic as a frozen grape

Lindsay October 8, 2013 at 11:31 am

I just love it when bored, miserable people come to my website and say negative things. Why bother? You did make me chuckle, though. Thank you and have a nice day!

canrose77 October 2, 2014 at 12:58 pm

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