At some point in their lives, empaths are drawn to explore the paranormal. In addition, they may explore other spirit-based beliefs and practices. This belief is formed by my own experience as well as meeting so many people in the paranormal community who feel they can relate to the beauty and struggles that come with being an empath.
What is an empath? Empaths have been referred to as “emotional sponges” or people who “lack protective filters.” The best way I can think to describe empaths is that they are people who tend to know, feel, understand, and even take on surrounding energies as well as other people’s emotions and/or physical sensations.
A few signs you may be an empath:
- You take on other people’s emotions as your own
- People often turn to you for advice
- Strangers confide in you or overshare their troubles with you
- You know when someone’s lying
- You need lots of alone time
- Intimate relationships (romantic, friendship, or family) can be overwhelming
- You feel drained in large crowds or after being too social
- You go out of your way to help others
Does any of that sound like you? If yes, I’m happy you’re reading this!
If no, that’s okay! Chances are you know an empath or two. This article may help you understand them better so feel free to keep reading.
Empaths bring a lot of love and care to the world. Because of their loving nature, they are often drawn to helping others. The beautiful side of being an empath is that you have insight that not everyone has access to. This ability to feel energies/emotions outside of your own allows empaths to help others heal. And I think we can all agree that we need more healing in the world.
That said, empaths also tend to struggle (especially early in life) with taking in too much outside energy/emotion. Sometimes so much so that it becomes difficult to feel their own emotions or know their own energy. In addition to taking in too much outside energy, empaths can also have a hard time dealing with tumultuous environments and people who have overpowering personalities. If they aren’t careful, they can even become the targets of narcissists and energy vampires. These are people who prey on the empaths good-natured heart/drain the empaths energy.
Now – that part about “tumultuous environments” is a big deal right now because (hello!) things are chaotic around the world. Between the pandemic, social justice issues, and political issues – we are living through a time of extremes. This type of energy is enough to overload most people. So, it’s especially important that empaths are taking care of themselves.
But how? Here are a few of our tips:
This sounds super simple but, honestly, many empaths don’t take the time they need to rest and recharge. It’s so easy as an empath to get caught up in focusing on everyone else and what they need instead of spending time focusing on yourself and what you need. But instead of powering through until you hit that brick wall, take time every few days (at least) to rest and recharge. What is that “brick wall”? You know the one, you’re physically and emotionally drained and just can’t muster up the energy to do anything productive.
This is a big one. Grounding yourself as an empath is important because you need to discharge all of that extra energy you absorb from your surroundings and other people. As mentioned before, empaths can become so overtaken by outside energy and emotion that it can be difficult (if not impossible) to feel their own emotions and energy. This can lead to an empath becoming confused, overly emotional, and/or negative, and can even take a toll on the physical body/cause illness. So taking time every few days to ground yourself will help you let go of all of that excess energy.
Not sure how to ground yourself? Here’s an article that may help!
With so much emphasis these days on all of the negativity and tragedy in the world, it’s important to take time to disconnect from the things that are causing you stress. How often you disconnect is up to you. Whether you disconnect for a few hours, a few days or even a few weeks at a time is totally up to you. It can be invigorating to acknowledge when you’re feeling overwhelmed, what’s causing you to feel this way, and honoring your soul’s need to disconnect for a while. While disconnecting from the media you should try reconnecting with yourself (meditate), art (create), and/or nature (appreciate). And if your family and friends are the ones causing this stress and you feel like you need to disconnect from them too…that’s okay.
As an empath, you are likely drawn to helping others. When you see something is wrong you naturally want to fix it – especially when it affects another person. But just because you see that something is broken, it doesn’t mean it’s your responsibility to fix it. This kind of goes back to the “rest” portion of this list. You have to make sure that, while you are helping others, you aren’t giving too much of yourself away or taking on too much outside energy. Otherwise, you’ll hit that wall and be too drained to help anyone (including yourself). It’s okay to be selective. It’s okay to let go of the idea that you need to help everyone, all of the time. It’s okay to decide that this isn’t your responsibility and save your energy for a matter that really speaks to you.
Being an empath often means that people come to you for advice, counseling, or even just to vent about their own problems. Unfortunately, a lot of these people never return the favor, which can lead to you feeling resentment. It isn’t always that they mean to take advantage of you but, for most people, it’s too difficult to think outside of themselves.
Setting boundaries will help prevent people from taking advantage of you. Let people know that, before they unload their baggage on you, they need to ask if you are in a place in your life that you can handle that. Tell your friends and family that you love to help but at the end of the day, you have your own problems and that sometimes you need time to focus on you. The people in your life who actually care about you will be 100% okay with these boundaries. The people who are only around to take advantage of you will make themselves known. When this happens, you can let them go.
Preserving your mental health is important. And, thankfully, we are moving towards a better understanding and overall acceptance of mental health wellness. But it can still be hard sometimes to consider this option, especially as an empath who puts their own needs last. Empaths need someone to talk to just as much as anyone else and counselors/therapists can be a great option. That said, we also acknowledge that not everyone has access to counseling/therapy. In these cases, it can be helpful to befriend another empath and (respectfully) come to an agreement about offering one another a safe space to unload stress and emotions.