What is an empath?
An empath is someone who absorbs the energy of the people around them. This is different than just being sensitive, as the empath tends to unnecessarily carry the worries and pains of the people around them, rather than just be aware of them. Some empathic people will physically feel the pain of others, such as literally feeling another’s headache. If a person with this trait doesn’t have a solid understanding of him/herself and how to work with that energy, he or she can be susceptible to anxiety, depression, and burnout. This can further take a toll on the body, resulting in digestive issues, as well as chronic fatigue and back pain. However, just by being aware, this person can begin to use this as a gift, which is what it is. Here are some of the traits of an empath, see if you can relate:
Empaths also tend to avoid antiques, meat, and many other things that carry another’s energy, and these are just a few traits. If you realize while reading this that the above is describing you, probably the hardest thing you’ve had to deal with is that you think all these things you feel are you, and all the negative feelings within are yours. They aren’t. This is where you can take heart, as you can take a deep breath and let all these things go. Put them down, they are not yours. Now that you know this, you can use this gift as it was intended – as a healing gift to others. It’s happening without your ever knowing it. Your very presence is healing to those around you, which is an empowering truth for you.
If you feel that you are an empath, know that all of the above doesn’t have to define you. By knowing this is a gift, you can stop the negativity you’ve been experiencing, and enjoy it for the good it does. Some helpful habits to implement into your daily life are: time alone, meditation, a creative outlet (art, dance, crafts, projects, etc.), being outdoors, and having a special someone to whom you can express yourself freely. Also, find a place where you can use your nurturing gift: teaching, volunteering at a shelter, working with animals or mentoring children or teens. An empath’s true calling, no matter what their chosen profession, is to heal those who are hurting. Just being aware of this can be healing to you. Just make sure any time you are feeling overwhelmed that you mentally set everyone down. This will help you regain your own sense of self and establish the boundary of not carrying everyone’s stuff.
One final note: being an empath and being empathetic are two different things. An empathetic person relates to another because they themselves have felt similar emotions from a similar situation. The empath unintentionally takes on the emotions of another. The more an empath understands and works with this gift, the more pronounced it becomes, even to the point of perceiving others’ thoughts. But one does not become an empath – one either is or isn’t. If you are reading this and are sure you are NOT an empath, you may recognize some of these traits in a loved one or a dear friend. This awareness can help you support them with their gift, and they will love you for it.
Now that I’ve been reminded of what I need, I’m going to go take a walk. By myself.
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Brigit is a certified practitioner of the SimplyHealed method which blends the art of healing with cutting-edge research and clears negative emotions on a mental, emotional, and physical level in an easy, non-invasive way. It can release stress of any kind whether it be years of abuse or daily things that tend to overwhelm our emotional circuitry. She was trained by Carolyn Cooper and works as a healing practitioner within the St. George community. “Life is about learning, growing, and overcoming. I know that we were put here to be happy and to succeed.” ~ Brigit