Why Empaths Feel More Stress & How to Restore Energy.

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Do you suffer from exhaustion, body aches, anxiety, trouble thinking clearly, and insomnia?

Many empaths or Highly Sensitive People (HSPs), may have a syndrome called adrenal fatigue and not even realize it. The theory behind this condition is that the adrenal glands can’t keep up with outside stress so the hormones such as cortisol that normally keep them energized begin to get depleted.

In my article “How to Stop Absorbing Other People’s Stress,” I discuss the very real situation of empathic illnesses where empaths literally take on the stress and symptoms of others. Unfortunately, conventional medicine doesn’t have a context with which to understand this, so many sensitive people are left in the lurch or misdiagnosed.

Empaths tend to be emotional sponges, often taking on the stress of others. This can add to their own stress levels, making them more vulnerable to adrenal fatigue.

Here are some solutions for empaths to treat adrenal fatigue and restore their energy. But remember, for empaths this isn’t a one-time fix—it requires some basic life style and diet changes to effectively manage energy over the long term.

Strategies to Relieve Adrenal Fatigue

  • Get a blood test to check cortisol levels.
  • Consider temporary natural cortisol replacement per a physician’s recommendation.
  • Get as much rest as possible regular basis (sleep is more healing than we often think!).
  • Eliminate and / or set clear limits and boundaries with “energy vampires.”
  • Stick to a natural whole food diet.
  • Replace regular salt with Himalayan red salt (always check with a physician if your blood pressure is high).
  • Avoid white flour and minimize sugar.
  • Gentle exercise and stretching: start gradually and build up stamina as energy increases.
  • Meditate: take mini breaks throughout your busy day to replenish yourself.
  • Take 2,000-5000 mg Vitamins C orally every day.
  • Consider IV Vitamin C drips (10-25,000mg) delivered intravenously that can jump start your energy level and support adrenal health (holistic physicians often offer this treatment in their offices). I get one whenever I feel like I’m coming down with a cold to build up my immune system—and it works!

In addition to these practical tips, get in the habit of practicing positive thinking. By this I mean, do not beat yourself up with negative thoughts such as “I will never feel better” or “I am weak and sick.” Rather, focus on the surrender affirmations such as “I am healthy, happy, and deserve to have vibrant well-being.”

We might not have control over some stressors in life, but we can have control of our attitude. To relieve adrenal fatigue, you can remove a great deal of inner stress by surrendering patterns of self-loathing and embracing self-compassion and self-love.

Highly Sensitive People: Dr. Orloff on NPR with Larry Mantel



Adapted from The Power of Surrender: Let Go and Energize Your Relationships, Success, and Well-Being, Harmony Books, by Judith Orloff MD.




Loving & Understanding an Empath.



Author: Judith Orloff

Editor: Renée Picard

Image: Flickr/Renaud

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About Judith Orloff

Judith Orloff, MD is the author of  The Empath's Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People, upon which her articles are based. In the book she educates readers about empaths, highly sensitive people, and offers strategies for anyone who wants to avoid narcissists and transform difficult emotions to positive ones. Dr. Orloff is a psychiatrist and an empath who combines the pearls of traditional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, energy, and spirituality. Dr. Orloff also specializes in treating empaths and highly highly sensitive people. She is a New York Times best-selling author of  Emotional Freedom, Positive Energy, Guide to Intuitive Healing, The Power of Surrender, and Second Sight. Connect with Judith on Facebook and Twitter. To learn more about empaths and her free empath support newsletter as well as Dr. Orloff's books and workshop schedule, visit her website. Republished with explicit written permission from the author. Join her empath Facebook community for sensitive souls Here. Read more from Judith here.


2 Responses to “Why Empaths Feel More Stress & How to Restore Energy.”

  1. Kent says:

    I'm not too severe on the empath/HSP spectrum but understanding this part of me has really helped me cope the last couple of years. I was surprised to hear about the large intake of vitamin C. For the past 3-4 years I've been taking about 2000-4000 mg of vitamin C per day and have found it really helps with my stress levels and the symptoms of it (colds, break outs). Any suggestions or know of research on why it works?

  2. Mark Whittington says:

    Empath is just a cop-out term for codependent.

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