Being the one people always turn to is a blessing, but take steps to protect yourself
Do sad movies make you really sad? Do you pick up on the emotions of people around you? Do you often take things to heart, and seem to feel things more deeply than others? If you answer yes, chances are you are an empath.
Empaths are those who easily absorb the emotions of people and situations around them. They tend to get caught up in these feelings and may even have trouble distinguishing their emotions from those of others.
Being an empath can be exhausting because you are always picking up on what others feel, whether it is positive or negative emotions. Because you are probably a “great listener” and empathize well, people feel free to tell you about their troubles and feelings. This may trigger strong feelings of your own, or put you in the uncomfortable position of being caught between friends in disagreements when they both come to you.
Despite these potential issues, being an empath is actually a gift. Being able to connect deeply with others makes you a valuable friend and trusted confidant.
So how can you use this gift for good without getting emotionally burned out? It starts, as so many things do, with awareness. Here are eight characteristics of empaths, and some ways you can make the most of it:
1. You feel things really deeply. This may leave you feeling overwhelmed at times, like you need to quietly curl up in a ball and shut out the world.
Tip: Accept and embrace the way you are. It’s a gift to feel things deeply, but don’t let it consume you. Be sure you are eating healthy and getting out in nature. Stay as balanced as you can in the parts of your life you can control.
2. You experience many emotional highs and lows. While there may be other reasons for this, empaths often experience a wide swing of emotions for no apparent reason. They can be fine one minute and crying the next, while nothing around them has changed to trigger these swings.
Tip: Know that there is nothing wrong with you for feeling this way. If it affects you severely, you should talk to a doctor about it. You might have a chemical imbalance that is contributing to your mood swings; however, this is not always the case. Use your intuition to guide you as to when it is right to talk with a professional.
3. You get drained by being around a lot of people. Your idea of a great evening is Netflix and petting your dog. It’s not that you don’t want to interact with others; it’s just that it drains you and takes you a long time to recoup.
Tip: Use your intuition to guide you as to what events and people are beneficial to be around and which ones aren’t. Feel through it before you go. Don’t just cancel as your default reaction. Other people can really enrich our lives, but choose wisely which events you choose to participate in.
4. You get bored by small talk. Gossip and small talk make you want to run. What some celeb wore last week to Starbucks is no concern of yours.
You like to talk about deep subjects that explore emotions and complex topics.
Tip: Instead of going out with a group of people, choose a friend you can talk with one on one. It’s easier to have a meaningful conversation this way.
5. You have trouble telling if the emotion you are feeling is yours. This is also another reason it can be hard for you to be around lots of people. You tend to pick up other people’s emotions and carry them as your own. It’s hard for you to tell if you are really sad or angry or if you picked it up from someone else.
Tip: If you are feeling uncomfortable after you have been around someone or talked with them on the phone, you may have picked up some energy from them. If your emotions are heightened, such as you find yourself getting angry easier than usual, review your interactions determine if you took on an emotion from someone else. If so, you can simply say, “I choose to release the emotions I took on from (insert name).” You can even name the emotion if you like. Then see if you feel different afterward.
6. You have been through a lot of trauma. Empaths often have experienced tragedy and trauma in their lives. This is part of their life path. It causes them to be more compassionate, but it can also cause them to be taken advantage of.
Tip: If you have experienced a lot of loss or trauma, you need to heal it. Working with an energy healer that you trust can be extremely helpful for empaths. Traditional counseling can help as well, although combining it with energy work makes it much more powerful. Learning to do self-healing is highly beneficial
7. Animals love you. It’s like you are St. Francis himself. Even cranky pets of other people flock to you. They can feel your energy and can’t get enough of it.
Tip: If you are capable of having a pet, by all means, get one. Pets can be highly therapeutic for anyone, but especially for empaths.
8. People tell you that you are an “old soul.” Empaths have been around the block a few times. You are wise beyond your years. Others flock to you for your advice on the regular and strangers tell you their life stories.
Tip: It’s great to give advice, but be sure that you have someone in your life that you can get advice from too. You need a shoulder to cry on at times, instead of always being the one that is there for someone else.
Want to learn more about being an empath? Click here to download your free guide: Empath, Take Back Your Power now.
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