Can you look at someone and just 'know' what they are going through? Do you cry easily? Do you find yourself listening with ease to other people's problems? Do strangers easily share intimate secrets? If so, you might be an empath, and you probably have gone through life being more affected by other people's energies than you realize.
An empath is an individual who has an exceptional ability to feel other people's emotions, sensations, and even their pain. You don't even have to try and you just know the motivations and intentions of other people. You literally feel other people in your own body.
Here are some of the top empaths traits and characteristics:
* Empaths are good listeners and easily draw out stories from others. Because of this, it may often leave the empath feeling drained or overwhelemed. Energy is exchanged from individuals through an exchange that happens invisibly through the merging of energy fields (otherwise known as 'auras'). To prevent absorbing the stress of other people, you will want to engage in training to learn how to protect and shield your energy.
* Empaths generally put others needs before their own, with a deep desire to assist people. This happens for two reasons. First, empaths are often described as "Earth Angels" or even "lightworkers' or 'healers.' This is because we know inherently that we are on the planet in a physical body to HELP OTHERS. That's the spiritual dimension of being an empath. The second reason is that many of us have learned, through early childhood conditioning, that we must rescue or fix or otherwise help people because it makes us feel better. This is known as co-dependent conditioning and is a trait that many empaths carry. In order to stop absorbing so much so called 'negative' energy, we must address our need to help and uncover whether it is actually harming us in the long run.
* Empaths are deeply in touch with emotions and tend to cry easily, often for no apparent reason (only to find out later a friend or family member is having a rough time). This is because of invisible energy cording that usually is formed around the solar plexus area (gut/navel) and allows for the communication of energy through the emotional body. So a person can be thousands of miles away and you are literally feeling their emotions, whatever they may be. You can overcome this challenge and make it less of a burden with the right kind of empath training.
* Empaths often get overstimulated in chaotic public settings (e.g. we tend to avoid public places like malls).
We have very sensitive nervous systems and just like having blue eyes, it's a genetic trait. There is a host of research available on the science of empathy. Sensory Processing Sensitivity is the scientific term for what you experience, and there is even a clinical criteria called Sensory Defensiveness Disorder or Sensory Processing Disorder (which as a mental health practitioner I am not particularly fond of and no longer use). Sensitivity is a NORMAL human experience that falls on a spectrum, and to pathologize it by calling it a disorder only feeds into the misunderstanding that our traits are really gifts that can be harnessed to help and actually enjoy life.
* Empaths do not understand cruelty or violence. This includes often watching television or videos, and often applies to our feelings and compassion toward animals. Or sometimes with really sensitive empaths, reading books or stories. We are often affected by whatever we see on social media or the internet, so keeping a strict 'diet' of healthy friends and sites in our Facebook or Instagram news feed is critical for our energetic health.
If you resonate with these descriptions, take the Empath Connection empath quiz for a deeper understanding of how to tell if you are an empath and to answer the question "what type of empath am I?".
Being an empath is not teachable; it's not something to learn. However, you can learn to manage and adapt to your empathic nature.
As an empath, you have a gift, or in many cases, what may feel like a burden or curse. As you awaken on your journey of self discovery, there are a multitude of training and educational options available for you.
You can start by watching my masterclass, in which i give you some valuable techniques and energy clearing exercises so that you will stop absorbing so much negative (e.g. lower vibrational) energy.
Whatever your experience, being an empath can be challenging. It means that you are able to process energy for other people. You feel everything, even if you are not aware of it. Being what some may erroneously call "hypersensitive" to the feelings of others is not a bad thing. There is nothing wrong with you, although it may feel like there is because of lack of societal and familial understanding.
For better or worse, because of your diffuse energetic boundaries, you can feel, and in many cases, take on, the pain of others.
As you now awaken to your empathic gifts, if you are to thrive, you must have the skills to call forth protective DIVINE Source energy and also to learn to say no to others who drain or fatigue you.
With the gift of empathy comes responsibility. Before we can move on to bigger things, such as helping others, we must confront the challenge of really knowing, loving, embracing, and fully accepting ourselves as we are.
Many of the clients who I coach in my Empath Academy classes have energy blockages in the throat area, which is metaphysically tied to being able to express yourself fully in the world. When the lower vibratory energy from others accumulates in your body over time, you may feel constricted around the throat chakra and also the sacral chakra (emotions are stored here, in between the hips and lower back area). These two areas are energetically connected (look into cranial sacral theory for a deeper understanding or get a treatment to release those blocks there, which often manifests as lower back pain in empaths).
It is the rare empath who has not been challenged to keep their energy flowing freely to express oneself in an authentic manner. Instead of being drained or stressed by the energy of others, an empowered empath will overtake others with our joy and expressive authenticity.
In my advanced instruction package, The Complete Empath Toolkit, I discuss hundreds of effective ways that you can take care of yourself and maintain your energetic and emotional sanity.
Applying the principles and working them into your daily routine may likely allow you be happy, joyful, and more prepared to face the demands of your daily life. And, in the Bigger Picture, that's really all that's being asked of us.
May you continue to put one foot in front of the other with determination, no matter what the circumstances, one small baby step at a time!
Share your experiences and comments in the box below, so that others may be helped by resonating with your experience!