Thriving as An Empathic Energy Being
Dr. Judith Orloff, a pioneer in the field of Emotional Freedom Technique and Empathic Energy, describes empaths as those who absorb the world’s joys and stresses like “emotional sponges.”
Dr. Elaine N. Aron first coined the term Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) and described this as someone who processes sensory data exceptionally deeply and thoroughly due to a biological difference in his or her nervous system.
Whatever definition or description you align with, as an Energy Being who feels emotional energy in an intense way, here’s some suggestions for nourishing and supporting yourself and using your empathic abilities in your favor, for your expansion and the betterment of all.
What Does It Feel Like to Be Empathic?
It is suggested that Empaths lack the filters most people use to protect themselves from excessive stimulation and avoid taking in emotions and energies from their surroundings. This can lead to a number of unique sensory experiences. You may be Empathic if any of the following sensory experiences resonate for you.
- You tend to be uncomfortable or dislike being in crowds and feel deeply tuned in to the feelings of others beyond mere empathy, to a state where you sense and feel another’s emotions as if they were their own. In crowded or busy places, you can even feel physically unwell and experience headaches, light-headedness, nausea or other physical symptoms.
- You can feel very sensitive to sounds, smells or sensations and have a difficult time around strong fragrances, odors, loud TV or media or bright signs and lights.
- You dislike conflict and will often actively avoid, or at the very least, dread contentious situations. Disagreements and arguments are overwhelming for you as you try to soothe the feelings of all involved.
- You may take criticism very personally and are hurt even by your own self-criticism.
- You tend to feel overwhelmed by closeness or empathy and avoid or limit your number of intimate friendships and relationships as well as go into sensory overload when around others who talk or touch too much or are very loud in their communication.
- You may want to help others whether it’s possible or not and find it very difficult to watch someone struggle, even a stranger. You tend to jump in (often uninvited) to help even when it’s unexpected or unnecessary.
- Likewise, you may have a hard time setting boundaries in relationships and subconsciously feel like boundaries suggest that you don’t care. It’s very important to you that others know you care so its becomes difficult to say no.
- You may be in a career or role of being caretaker or healer and find yourself susceptible to compassion fatigue or burn out. That’s not limited to a career, as Empaths are great listeners and you may find others are drawn to tell you all their problems.
- You find it difficult to relate to others and feel like you don’t fit in, generally speaking and due to your sensitivities. You may fall into “people pleasing” or “perfectionism” more frequently in an attempt to be accepted and belong. You see the world in a unique way and often feel misunderstood or like you are picking up on things that others do not see. This can make you feel alone, different, disengaged and frustrated that others don’t “get it” or “get me.”
- You may find it difficult to make your point when communicating with others. Due to your strong desire to help and care for others, you may tend to over-explain, account for the others perspective and generalize to the degree of not expressing your true sentiments.
- You may tend to isolate yourself in an attempt to recover form overwhelm or protect yourself from intense energies.
- Empaths can take compassion and understanding beyond healthy boundaries and fall vulnerable to manipulation or toxic behaviors. You may find yourself more susceptible to blindly supporting causes and following movements and feel extreme guilt and responsibility for social issues at large. Another extreme example of the “over-caring” of Empaths is Stockholm syndrome in which a hostage begins to have sympathy and empathy for their captor.
Root Causes of Being Empathic
Now that you understand the experience of being Empathic, you may wonder what causes someone to experience stimulus this way? Like all things regarding humans-ENERGY BEINGS-the answer to that question is multi-dimensional.
Physical Factors of Being Empathic:
In the fields of Neuroscience, Neuro Nutrition and Recovery and Addiction, being Empathic is seen as a symptom of low Serotonin and Endorphin levels. You may be amazed at how restoring these levels changes what you once considered a personality or emotional trait.
Sensitivity to light, noise and fumes are a classic symptom of Adrenal Fatigue. Pyroluria and certain gene mutations like MTHFR mutations can also “wire” someone from emotional sensitivity.
Further explanation of being Empathic could be found in brain function itself. Ex. The Parietal Lobe of the brain is responsible for directing our senses and processing sensation. When the function of this area of the brain is compromised for any number of reasons including lifestyle habits, poor nutrition, genetic problems or brain injury or trauma, the result can be an oversensitivity, especially to light, touch or sound.
Another area of the brain that may be involved in developing “sensitivity” is the Anterior Cingulate Gyrus. When the ACG activity is too high, an individual can get stuck in worry and rigidity. Elevated levels of stimulus (loud people, crowds, high emotional energy) can add to the tension as one attempts to appease and include others opinions and feelings. When this occurs, you may struggle with shifting attention (become hyper-focused) and get stuck and experience rigidity or feel oppositional, argumentative, compulsive and hold grudges.
Surprises or unexpected events/outcomes then become increasingly difficult to navigate and feel emotionally “heavy” or “taxing.” This is one of the reasons that the experience of empathic energy increases risk of addiction as some turn to substances or food to numb the intense sensory experience.
Mental Factors of Being Empathic:
Yet another factor in your Empathic nature may be more mentally based. You may have learned, from a very young age, to hold certain thought habits and subconscious beliefs of a self-critical or self-defeating nature. Thoughts generate emotions and this type of thought, when practiced habitually, repetitively and often subconsciously can create a highly triggered and emotional over-stimulated state. In some cases, these thoughts and beliefs were directly instilled by what adults told you as a child and in other cases, these thoughts and beliefs were indirectly instilled by your sensory perceptions of events occurring around you during childhood. Although the specific thoughts and beliefs are varies, the 3 most common categories of these thoughts and beliefs (or fears) that lend themselves to empathic tendencies are:
- I’m not enough. I’m not lovable.
- What I want is not available to me.
- I’m different and I don’t fit in.
This type of thinking may be making you more emotionally sensitive as stimulus in your environment feels as though it “proves” these beliefs.
Emotional Factors of Being Empathic
Emotional Trauma is a common experience for humans, yet tends to be downplayed in our society. The autonomic nervous system is the part of your brain and nervous system that is responsible for your body’s automatic functions like breathing and blood pressure. When you experience a trauma, a large amount of stress or an event that you don’t understand and feel helpless about, the ANS records and stores this emotional conflict and sends traumatic impulses to your sympathetic nervous system which triggers the fight, flight, freeze or fawn response.
This process, no matter if it’s a recent experience or something that occurred long ago, codes an Emotional Tolerance Set Point that can be highly sensitive to outside stimulus. In other words, due to past traumas, your nervous system can be programmed to react strongly to the energy of situations which triggers the stress response and causes you to experience all of the signs of an Empath. Individuals with hyper-stimulated ANS may also find it difficult to express how they feel and to communicate their thoughts to others.
Spiritual Factors of Being Empathic
An often-overlooked perspective of being Empathic is that energy sensory skills are necessary for reaching higher vibrations and higher consciousness. Most if not all Spiritual Light Anchors are highly empathic.
Being an Empath means you have strong intuition and pick up on subtle clues. Although others may see you as impulsive, when you don’t deny your intuition, it can be a powerful compass. You have the ability to sense energy strongly and circulate it, thereby transmuting density of our planet into light. You are invited to consider the “energetic tension” you may feel as an Empath is simply a sign that you are not circulating energy and transmuting density fast enough and that once you learn to do that, it will be your greatest spiritual gift. Empaths who learn to hone and direct their sensory ability often become known as Physics, Intuitive including Healing/Medical Intuitive and Channels.
Daily Strategies to Embrace Your Empathic Ability
As an “emotional sponge,” Empaths tend to take in the energy of their surrounding and hold it. What happens to a sponge if you never wring it? It becomes overwhelmed with water. This is Energy Suspension and it will stagnate and constrict you in every way. Empaths can benefit greatly from learning to purge and circulate energy.
Whether it’s for the purpose of tolerating and managing life situations, people and events that you find energetically challenging or you are making an intentional decision to sharpen your Empathic and intuitive skills, here are daily rituals that can help you break out of Energy Suspension:
- Consciously manage (and match) your energy intake and energy output. Emotion is energy and energy must flow. Giving and receiving are the Yin and Yang of energy circulation. See the Aligning Your Vibration with Your Desires Energy Guide for many strategies to jump start energy circulation.
- Restore balance to any physical cause of unnecessary emotional sensitivity. Apply remedies to heal neurotransmitter depletion, hormone imbalance, Adrenal Fatigue and compromised brain function.
- Eat Feel Good Foods and avoid Foods That Sabotage (your mood, your brain, your energy) as this will ground you against perceived energetic assaults.
- Heal emotional root causes of sensitivity by healing trauma and doing shame work as shame is almost always a factor in people pleasing and perfectionism. Suggested therapies include Rapid Transformational Therapy (hypnotherapy), EFT, EMDR, CBT and Equine Therapy among many somatic therapies.
- Spend time daily in natural settings and remote areas that are free from overwhelming sensations, sounds and emotions. It’s most nourishing if this time is solo time or Vitamin YOU. Consider working outside as much as possible as well.
- Employ Breathe Breaks every 90 minutes during your day as a time to recharge your batteries. When you experience Empathic energy, you can get stuck or feel very distracted and a powerful practice is taking “recess” from responsibility to recharge your Prefrontal Cortex.
- Empaths benefit greatly from having pets, especially dogs or horses. These animals are masters of circulating energy and therefore, their energy is often seen as pure. Spending time with pets, reduces anxiety and overwhelm often felt by Empaths as its an opportunity to connect and share energy without being inundated by the energetic imprint of other’s thoughts, beliefs and emotions. A study from the University of Helsinki found that Empath feel a stronger connections with dogs and have the ability to infer meaning from the facial expressions of dogs more strongly than others.
- Self-Care practices are essential for Empaths. Create a solid plan for physical, mental, emotional and spiritual nourishment ritual daily and make them your non-negotiables.
- Employ Parasympathetic Nervous Enhancers to reset your Emotional Tolerance Set Point and send healing and calming signals to every cell in your body as well as relax your brain. You can change your brain’s autonomic response habit by leading your mind to signal your brain to switch to parasympathetic nervous response instead of sympathetic nervous response.
Examples of Parasympathetic Nervous Enhancers include:
If you struggle to maintain the practice of Parasympathetic Nervous Enhancers, continue to work in the areas of Thought Management and Emotional Healing as well as Resonance (Energy) Healing.
- Design your day and exercise your freedom of choice to set up boundaries and environments that serve you. Limit time with individuals that drain you or find the style of contact that serves (ex. Text vs call, call vs in person).
- Learn to practice Energy Circulation Techniques form the Aligning Your Vibration with Your Desires in a “compact” way meaning, don’t wait for enough time or a perfect time to practice. Repeat the process of dropping into each practice in on the spot, when needed and apply in a “1 Minute Miracle” fashion.
- Become a MASTER of awareness of your own thoughts as 90+% of stress and overstimulation is perception driven.
- Express yourself. Say what’s on your mind and bottom line it. Allow yourself to be heard. Learn to say no and learn to expand beyond All or Nothing thinking. Get creative to find the “yes” that doesn’t drain your energy and move from either/or thinking to yes/more.
- Practice energy shifting or gear shifting technique when transitioning from one situation to the next, especially if the situation was highly stimulating. These practices are similar to Breathe Breaks but done intentionally when moving from one environment to another.
- Energetically clear your aura at night before bed using the Sunset Ritual, a shower or bath, soaking in a mineral hot springs or self-massage with aromatherapy oil. Release thought energy by journaling before bedtime.
Being an Empath isn’t always easy, but as ou learn to FEEL energy and transmute that Empathic Energy, you will step into your power as a light anchor for our world. You will become a master of circulation your own energy and restore resonance and harmony within and in relation to the world. You will BE in the world and not of it.