Why is being an empath sometimes so difficult? An empath feels others’ feelings. Are you an empath?

Calling yourself an empath is a label but it helps you to understand how you are feeling.  Here are five questions that you’ll probably have said yes to at some point in your life as an empath:

  1. Do you get overwhelmed being in crowds, or around lots of noise and activity?
  2. Have you been called overly sensitive?
  3. Do you feel like you’re an overwhelmed sponge picking up everyone’s feelings and emotions?
  4. Do people like to talk to you because they think you’ve got a big heart?
  5. Have you tried comforting yourself from negative emotions by eating too much?

For years I didn’t understand that I was an empath. There were lots of clues but I had become so inundated with others’ feelings that it was just how I lived and I thought everyone else lived that way too. Then, one sunny day I was walking down a tree-lined street in a quiet neighborhood feeling good. I had the street to myself until a man turned onto it. He looked at me as he passed by. All of a sudden I went from feeling great to wanting to top myself off, which wasn’t a usual feeling for me. I couldn’t ignore such a contrast that happened within seconds.

I became curious about how to thrive as an empath. As I watched how I interacted with those around me I was able to become more neutral. One time someone had mistaken me for someone else. I got to watch her being prickly without reacting because I knew it wasn’t really directed at me. It felt like I had stepped into a comedy of errors and not the drama she clearly was itching to be acting in. It taught me that I am only responsible for my own feelings. Sometimes I have felt stuck in a bad drama, in which I expected myself to rescue all of the other actors, at the expense of myself. Does this sound familiar to you?

If so, here are some tips to help you thrive:

  1. Spend time in your second chakra, just below the belly button, to find out how you’re really feeling. (Our own feelings are housed in the 2nd chakra. We pick up how everyone else feels through our heart, that explains why empaths have huge heart chakras.)
  2. Nature is healing for everyone, especially empaths. Breathe deeply, look at the trees, feel the ground beneath your feet when you’re outside, even if it’s from your driveway to your door.
  3. Practice saying no. Take care of yourself first. Forgive yourself for all of the discomfort you’ve felt being you.
  4. Cultivate feeling neutral. I enjoy being curious about people, refraining from judging them.  When I see someone doing something, I’ll say to myself, “Oh, that’s interesting.” Their actions and feelings have nothing to do with me. Their soul just wants to experience what their experiencing.
  5. Start to see being an empath as a gift and you won’t feel like a victim. It is a gift in a world that outwardly values those with less sensitivity. The more you see it as a gift the more others will too.

Let’s look at the empath as a whole person.

Sometimes empaths end up projecting their feelings onto others. It’s just the other side of being an empath. It leads to misunderstandings and situations can get messy.

Many empaths have a tendency to not feel safe out in the world. They may read other people’s energy so that they know what to expect from them and how to interact with them. In other words, empaths may sometimes try to control the situation so that they feel safe. It’s really easy peasy because empaths feel how others’ feel. Many times empaths aren’t even aware of doing this at all.

Becoming a responsible empath:

  1. Work at being neutral. Take a walk and only notice the blue hat, the red shoes, the short hair cut, avoiding feeling how they feel.
  2. Check in with your second chakra many times a day to understand how you really feel. You’ll surprise yourself. Many times you’ll really feel the opposite of how you thought you felt.
  3. Ask yourself is this my energy or theirs? This will help you learn more about what your own energy feels like.
  4. Work on your self-love, one way is to talk to yourself in the mirror. For example, you could say, “I’m learning to love this person in the mirror.” Tell yourself kind things, the more you do it the easier it becomes. Trust yourself. You’ll notice a difference within a short period of time.
  5. Let the energy that’s not yours go around you or through you. It’s not yours to have. It’s nothing to fear.

It helps to have a label so that we can start to understand something. It’s a common language we speak to help each other grow. Even though defining myself as an empath helped me to understand myself, I let go of labelling myself as an empath. I’ve stepped out-of-the-box again.