March 29, 2015

A Survival Guide For Highly Sensitive People, Introverts & Empaths.


We all translate energy.

Some of us, however, are far more sensitive to the energy that vibrates outside our personal space than others, which causes us to pick up on frequencies from other people and our environment at a far greater intensity.

For this reason it is imperative to work out what energy is good for us, what is not so good and how we can deal with these energy fields that surround us.

Being highly sensitive to energy levels can be a blessed curse.

It can be exquisitely beautiful experiencing life on a high vibrational level and it is also beneficial to be able to read situations without the need for words, however, it can also be extremely exhausting, debilitating and can cause emotional and psychological distress.

For these reasons, it is essential to take good care of ourselves and protect our energy field so that we do not become emotionally drained and burned out.

It is important to remember that we can choose what energy we absorb. Although there is negative and toxic energy in our environment and surrounding other people, it is up to us whether we allow it to have an influence on our own energy field.

Rather than becoming affected by energies that drain us, we can make a conscious effort to avoid and protect ourselves from them by raising our vibration so that we attract and submerge in positive energies instead.

Highly sensitive people (HSP’s) and empaths are deeply intuitive souls, which causes them to be ultra sensitive to other people’s energy levels and it also means that they are highly tuned to their surrounding environment.

Introverts can also suffer from the same harmful effects from these outside energies. Often one of the reasons a person is introverted is because other people’s energy levels and the energy from their surrounding environment becomes overbearing, resulting in an overwhelming desire to retreat.

Although there are differences between introverts, HSP’s and empaths, the three personality types share similar characteristics, especially where social situations, the environment and energy levels are concerned.

Therefore, these tips are here to be of benefit for the three personality types:


This might seem like the most obvious tip to begin with, but quite often when under duress, we forget that simple breathing exercises can help dramatically. Whenever a situation feels like it’s too much, or even better, before it gets to be too much, stop everything, stay still for a moment and focus on nothing but gentle breathing.

Inhale from the diaphragm and through the nose and then slowly breathe out in a gentle blowing motion. Repeat as often as necessary, aiming to clear the mind of anything other than the sensations involved in inhaling and exhaling.

Protect Personal Space.

We all have a layer of our aura that acts as a “skin” between the physical body and the outside world. Empaths, intoverts and highly sensitive people often have a thin layer of “skin,” which means that the surrounding environment and other people’s energies can penetrate it far easier.

By practicing a simple visualizing exercise we can strengthen this layer so that we are far less likely to absorb any toxic energies along with other unwanted emotions.

Auras are energy fields that change color depending on the state of the physical body and mind. When creating a protective layer, we can choose whatever color we feel represents strength, and then imagine the whole body being cocooned in this thick protective film, which surrounds the whole body.

As we keep the focus on the color enveloping us, we will feel a barrier building between our emotion, the physical body and the outside world. When this layer is in place, it will reduce the chances of outside energies affecting our own.

Protective shields can be visualized at any time, anywhere. The more regularly we use the method, the stronger this layer will become. A protective layer is quite simply an outline around ourselves—the thicker it is, with no gaps in it, the better protected we will be from outside forces.

While protective layers can be hugely beneficial, they should not be relied upon entirely to keep us free from outside emotional harm. It is vital to put strong boundaries in place so that we are less likely to surround ourselves with those whose negative energies can have a destructive impact upon us.

As we carry out the inner work required to evaluate who and what we are allowing into our lives, we can use methods like protective shields as tools to combat the effects of negative energies. However, the more we process exactly why we are subjecting ourselves to other people’s projections, we will find that our outer shield is not as necessary as we will be building the strength within.

Time Out.

Whether with friends, a loved one, family members or colleagues, there will come a period when we will require some time out. When solitude calls, it is best not to worry too much about offending other people, as our own emotional needs and health should be prioritized first.

Often, a small amount of time alone to just rebalance can be all that is required, however, if the situation becomes too intense to bear, excuse the departure and leave immediately. Finding a peaceful spot with nature, reading a book, meditating or listening to music can be all that it takes to recharge and harmonize.

Something as simple as going to the restroom regularly to just be alone with silence is often enough. If at home, try to create a sacred space that is comfortable and calming, so that solitude can be honored, energy levels balanced and emotions returned to normal as quickly as possible.


When we feel things at such a high level it is often because we are not fully present and grounded in our own physical body. Sometimes emotions can be uncomfortable to deal with, so we constantly shift in and out of our personal space causing something known as “outer body experience.”

As we practice being fully present and grounded to the earth, we will notice that we deal with things with a far calmer and more rational mind, allowing us to gain a greater understanding of whatever it is that is bothering us, rather than jumping around to avoid or put it off for another day. It is also effective in helping us to work out what is our own, and what is someone else’s emotional baggage, allowing ourselves to remove anything that is unwanted and unneeded.

As we focus on being present in the moment and grounded within our own body, it will become almost impossible for the mind to migrate to other people’s emotional spaces, where we are putting ourselves at risk of absorbing negative energy. If this does happen from time to time, we will find ourselves reacting far quicker to reposition ourselves back into our core.

The grounding practice is performed best with bare feet on fresh grass or earth, if possible. It’s quite simply called grounding as the process involves rooting to the earth. This method keeps us balanced by using the earth’s natural healing energies to stabilize and revitalize. If this can be done next to plants or trees, the benefits will be heightened as they will naturally absorb any waste (carbon dioxide) and replace it with fresh energy (oxygen).

However much we practice the above, it will not change the blueprint of who we are; empaths, highly sensitive people and introverts will always be exposed to toxic energies, which are capable of penetrating our own energy field and causing us harm. However, the more we integrate these simple methods and repeat them on a daily basis, the more natural they will become to implement at times of need, until they naturally feel like second nature.

I have found the best method of survival, is to surround myself with a tribe of people who reflect similar energy back at me. These are known as mirrors to the soul, what we give out, we attract and vice versa. The more positive energy we surround ourselves with, the far greater amount of positive energy we will have to radiate back out.



Self-Care for the Highly Sensitive Person.

Bonus! The Introvert-Extrovert Myth:

Author: Alexsandra Myles

Editor: Catherine Monkman

Photo: Joshua Fuller/Unsplash 


Facebook is in talks with major corporate media about pulling their content into FB, leaving other sites to wither or pay up if we want to connect with you, our readers. Want to stay connected before the curtain drops? Get our curated, quality newsletters below!

You must be logged in to post a comment. Create an account.

Sky Jul 24, 2015 1:37am

Thank you for the article! I’m an empath myself and have noticed that the shield simply isn’t enough protection from negative energy. The whole life has to change. I have always been the socially popular… and the reluctant one at the same time. And I don’t try to change my need of solitude for anyone anymore. I love being on my own and agree with that self-care has to be prioritized by an empath. I have exchanged a very large and unfunctional group of friends to a spiritual tribe of like-minded people and a few true friends who also have empathetic abilities. I feel good in this world for the first time.

Strangelander Jun 19, 2015 7:21am

Sooo….how do you tell the difference between true sensitivity/empathy and paranoia?

Melina Apr 30, 2015 6:36pm

I like this and relate to some of what is often described as being an empath, though certainly not all of it. The only caution that comes up for me when reading this is that I have noticed that there are some people who avoid conflict or challenging situations with their loved ones and may claim that it disrupts their positivity. They also may avoid looking at any of the dark or disturbing aspects in the world too and this can lead to again avoiding understanding challenging or harder to look at topics. This is the only thing I would caution against. I caution against labeling yourself too sensitive and using that as an excuse to avoid the full spectrum of life especially with those you love. That being said, yes, boundaries are important when someone is cruel, abusive or when you feel you are in danger, but I would caution against accidently becoming an emotionally unavailable person in the guise of saying something like you won't deal with or discuss a particular topic because it is upsetting. Thanks for a good article though.

Read Elephant’s Best Articles of the Week here.
Readers voted with your hearts, comments, views, and shares:
Click here to see which Writers & Issues Won.

Alex Myles

Alex Myles is a qualified yoga and Tibetan meditation teacher, Reiki Master, spiritual coach and also the author of An Empath, a newly published book that explains various aspects of existing as a highly sensitive person. The book focuses on managing emotions, energy and relationships, particularly the toxic ones that many empaths are drawn into. Her greatest loves are books, poetry, writing and philosophy. She is a curious, inquisitive, deep thinking, intensely feeling, otherworldly intuitive being who lives for signs, synchronicities and serendipities. Inspired and influenced by Carl Jung, Nikola Tesla, Anaïs Nin and Paulo Coelho, she has a deep yearning to discover many of the answers that seem to have been hidden or forgotten in today’s world. Alex’s bestselling book, An Empath, is on sale now for only $1.99! Connect with her on Facebook and join Alex’s Facebook group for empaths and highly sensitive people.