Being an empath is really hard.
Before I found out I was an empath, I’d try to explain to people what it was like to experience what I was experiencing. I’d say, “It feels like there’s no filter between me and the world” or, “It’s like it’s happening to me.” As I child, I’d often tell my mom, “I have a sad feeling about nothing.”
This was in response to practically any situation—hearing about an animal being hurt, witnessing violence in movies or on TV, seeing someone upset or stressed out, even if I didn’t know them. Sometimes, my emotions seemed to be in response to nothing at all, simply an energy I was picking up on.
I could feel it all, and I felt it all intensely—joy, sadness, rage, mania, depression, happiness. There was no filter.
I have some good days, but many days I feel overwhelmed and burdened by the state of the world. For every happy thing I experience, it feels as though there are a million horrible things that make me feel as though I no longer want to be here.
In response to discovering that I was an empath and feeling so burdened by the world, I’ve composed a list of seven activities that I’ve found make being an empath more bearable.
Exercising is a very healing and cathartic way of handling all the different emotions I experience.
Although speaking about what’s affected me on a certain day is helpful, exercising helps handle all the physical and emotional stress I experience as a result of being an empath. It boosts endorphins and is a powerful form of self-care that helps keep me grounded and sane.
Running is my favorite, but I also enjoy regularly lifting weights, doing yoga, and walking with a friend.
Meditation reminds me that I am not my body. There is something outside of me that is greater and more profound than what I experience now. It helps me to not feel trapped in a cycle of endless suffering or emotions.
Even if it’s just for a few minutes, meditation helps me acknowledge that which I cannot control and connect to the source that gives me life. It also reminds me that one day my consciousness will transform into something else; that just as I will not always be as I am now, the world will not always be as it is now.
Activism (Making a Difference)
As an empath, I feel strongly about many things, including issues like animal cruelty, the environment, and vulnerable populations. Activism, whether it’s writing an article that people will see, passing out flyers, or even just engaging in a meaningful conversation helps me feel purposeful.
Being an empath can be draining and often makes me feel like I just want to hide away from the world and give up. On the same side of the token, it’s part of what drives me to inspire change. Finding a balance is what many of these other points help me with. Do I feel like I want to help others all the time? No, but I also don’t feel like I want to hide all the time either, and I call that progress.
Reading Eckhart Tolle
Reading Eckhart Tolle is hugely helpful to me. My favorite work of his is A New Earth. It reminds me that my ego is usually the one who is making me suffer, but mostly, it brings me back to a place where I feel at peace.
Eckhart Tolle’s works remind me that I am part of the consciousness that brings all beings to life. It reminds me that with each breath, the consciousness I bring into my suffering brings me peace and power to move forward into something better.
Grounding (aka Earthing)
I first heard about grounding from my friend Steve years ago. He introduced the topic with the question, “How often a day do your feet touch the actual earth?”
At first, it seemed silly. Today, it’s a big part of what keeps me sane.
Simply lying in the grass and experiencing the healing energy from the earth feels like I’m releasing all the draining, negative things I’ve collected that day and soaking up the pureness of the earth in their place.
I try to do this every day if my schedule allows for it (and the weather). If I can’t do this, I do one of the other items on this list!
It’s not easy to avoid triggers when you’re an empath. They are everywhere. Sometimes, just being around someone who is in a bad mood, seeing another violent event in the news, or dealing with a heavy workload is enough to make me feel really off.
For this reason, avoiding triggers has become an important practice of mine. This doesn’t mean that I shelter myself from what’s going on in the world or neglect my responsibilities, but it does mean being aware of the things that I know can set me in a bad direction.
These things include:
YouTube videos. Sometimes, you just never know what you’re going to see.
Quora. Quora is an amazing website with amazing people, but I’ve seen some terrible stories shared on there, many of which have set me into a weeks-long depression.
Certain people. There are people that I know I can only be around for certain periods of time, or not at all. Avoiding these people isn’t something I do out of spite, but out of self-care.
Violent movies. My partner and I love watching movies together, but we’ve learned to pre-screen movies for violence or other things that might upset me. Parent’s Guide through IMDb has been hugely helpful here, as it details violence among other categories so we can better determine if it’s safe for us to watch.
When it comes to triggers, being aware of how I react to things is helpful. The more aware I am of my reactions and how I’m affected by things, the better I can anticipate the problem and how to deal with it.
In her book The Empath’s Survival Guide, Dr. Judith Orloff talks about how empaths love water. I’ve been enjoying baths long before I knew I was an empath, and now I know why!
The bathtub has always been a source of comfort and rejuvenation for me. I love taking baths with Epsom salt and lavender essential oil. They help me feel safe and soothe my spirit after a long day or a trying event.
Some other empaths find comfort in being close to natural water sources such as the ocean, a river, or a pond in addition to enjoying baths.
Despite all the struggles that come with being an empath, I do have days where I feel my sensitivity empowers me to be the best version of myself. My mother, best friend, and my partner are all empaths, so it makes it easier to relate to the people closest to me.
If we identify as empaths, these things could help us feel stronger and happier. I try to do at least one if not more of these items every day to help life feel more joyous and less burdened. Through taking care of ourselves as empaths, we can have more control over our well-being and work to make the world a better place!Browse Front PageShare Your Idea
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