If you are an empath or highly sensitive individual, it can seem like your personal world is continually invaded by the energy and feelings of those around you. This can wear you down and drain you of your own life force if you are not careful, which is why it is so vital to utilize all of the coping mechanisms discussed below.
Your giving nature and highly attuned senses are gifts to this world, but without proper care, they run the risk of being lost. If you’re an empath, I urge you to keep this list close at hand for those times when the outer universe is harming your inner universe.
1. Identify Drains & Energizers
The first and most important thing that you, as an empath, can do is to figure out when and how your energy gets drained and, similarly, those things that act to energize you.
With this knowledge, you can try to avoid situations, places, and even people who sap your energy, while making sure you spend enough time doing the things that replenish your stores.
It may sound simple, but stemming the flow out and boosting the flow in are essential elements for empaths to not just survive, but flourish.
2. Create A Shield
There are bound to be some situations that you, as a highly sensitive person, would rather avoid, but simply can’t because of their significance in your life. Important work functions, large family gatherings, and other social events could all involve people and energies that you find difficult to deal with.
Since they are somewhat necessary, you have to find a way to cope with such circumstances and an energy shield is one way to do that.
It will require effort and practice on your part, but eventually you can form a mental barrier that lets in what you wish to let in, but deflects anything negative away. You just need to imagine a bubble surrounding your being – a bubble of light is a good way to think about it. Inside this bubble is your world, where you can focus inwards and find your balance, while everything else is on the outside.
When you sense your energy being drained by other people or the occasion, you can retreat inside your bubble and stop the flow. It all comes down to awareness of you and what’s within you.
3. Watch Your Thoughts
If you find it difficult to build yourself a shield to prevent negative thoughts and feelings from invading your mind, the next best thing is to keep careful watch over your mind to identify their source.
For example, when you find yourself thinking angry thoughts, ask yourself whether this is your anger, or something that you’ve absorbed from another. Once you have worked out whose feeling it is and where it came from, you can begin a dialogue in your mind to find a solution.
Ask yourself what the anger is trying to tell you – perhaps you feel something is missing from your life in the present moment or maybe you find another person’s behavior unacceptable.
Go through a quick question and answer session to see if there is something that can be done to release the anger, and then do it.
Identification is the key here – working out what the thought is trying to tell you and where it came from is a sure fire way to either own it or dispel it.
4. Repeat Positive Affirmations
Empaths are usually very open and giving people, but this is not to say that they always remain positive. Because you feel what’s around you, you can suffer from sadness and grief that isn’t yours. To remain positive, it can be helpful to have a selection of positive affirmations on hand to push away from the negativity and swim back to the light.
You may find that you have a stronger connection with the Earth than most people and you can use this to your advantage if you know how.
It is possible, with practice, to take any downbeat energy and feelings that you may be having and send them into the Earth where they are absorbed. Similarly, the connection can send positive vibes upwards and into your center.
It all comes down to identifying and strengthening that bond between you and the Earth.
Genuine forgiveness is the process by which negative energy that has been pent up inside, is released and waved on its way.
Whether it is a person or something else that occurred in your past, as long as you hold on to the hurt, it will continue to sap you of your life force. Only when you detach yourself from it, can you begin the healing process.
As a sensitive soul, you probably find yourself getting used and hurt more than most – it’s a by product of your caring and giving nature – so knowing when and how to forgive is especially important for you.
And don’t forget to forgive yourself – both for things you might have done, and for allowing yourself to be hurt by others.
Empaths will often have busy minds that are trying to deal with the many emotions that bombard them on a daily basis. It can be the case that you get so wrapped up in your thoughts that you neglect to process and purge the feelings that you have; instead they get stored up and continue to affect you.
Catharsis happens when you let yourself feel the emotions at their most vivid – crying when sad, laughing when happy, and screaming when angry. These are all expressions of emotions, but they are so much more too. They become outlets for the pent up energy, whether positive or negative.
So don’t be afraid to embody the emotions, albeit temporarily, so that you may process and overcome them.
8. Schedule Some ‘You Time’
Many of the tips in this list are best practiced alone, which is why it is critical to give yourself plenty of ‘you time’ to do just that.
Don’t feel bad if you have to say no to other people; your well-being is a high priority and your family and friends will get the very best out of you if they first allow you to be by yourself.
So whether you set aside two evenings a week, or an hour before you go to bed each night, make sure you put some alone time in your diary.
Essential empath reading (article continues below):
- 4 Signs You’re An Intuitive Empath (Not Just An Empath)
- The Dark Side Of Empaths
- 11 Struggles Empaths Face On A Daily Basis
- 7 Signs You’re An Extroverted Empath
- Inside The Mind Of A Highly Sensitive Person
- How To Use Empathic Listening To Cultivate Great Personal Relationships
9. Create A Safe & Welcoming Place
Tied directly to the previous point about being by yourself, you will be able to recover your energies and rediscover your balance much quicker if you create a comfortable place in which to relax.
More than other people, empaths benefit from having a place that is solely for relaxation purposes. Whether it’s a bedroom, bathroom, or somewhere else, don’t watch TV, organize your life, or take phone calls in it – at any time. Make it a place for recuperation only.
10. Eat Well
It might sound strange, but highly attuned individuals are far more in touch with the food and nutrition they put into their bodies. When you eat crap, you feel crap.
With this in mind, be sure to try to stick to a diet that is healthy and balanced. By eating the right mixture of fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, pulses, and a few little treats (in moderation), you will help top up your energy stores effectively.
11. Meditation & Yoga
Keeping the body and mind supple and flexible can give an empath the additional coping skills they require to navigate the world around them. The benefits gained from practices such as meditation, yoga, and other similar arts can never be underestimated, and this is no more true than for an empath.
12. Get Out Into Nature
The link between an empath and the Earth has already been discussed, so it should come as no surprise to you to learn that exposure to nature in all its glory is a powerful healer for them.
Nature is awash with vibrant energy and just by immersing yourself in it for a short while, you can soak this energy up and revitalize yourself.
13. Change Your Perspectives On People & Energy
As a highly sensitive person, it can sometimes be puzzling to witness and experience other people. You are on the upper scale when it comes to caring and kindness, and when you see people exhibiting neglectful or hurtful behavior, it can trouble you greatly.
For this reason, it is recommended that you try to remove yourself from your mind and observe these other people not as bad or evil, but as misguided or hurting.
Quite often, those who act at the opposite end of the spectrum to you, do so because of their upbringing or some trauma they have suffered in their past. They simply may not be able to envision the world as you do and therefore don’t treat it, or the people in it, the same way that you do.
By changing your perspective of these people and their energies, you can lessen their effect on you through pure understanding. You may even find that you can experience love and sympathy for them where you once experienced bewilderment and frustration.
14. Cleanse Your Chakras
Your chakras are your spiritual and energetic centers within your body and keeping these free from damaging negativity is of paramount importance.
A popular and effective means of doing this is to use aromatherapy and/or smudging. The power of fragrance has been used for thousands of years and scents such as those from sage and lavender can help clear your chakras of anything that may prevent them from working at their best.
Some also believe that certain crystals can be used to absorb negative energy from your surroundings and from within yourself.
15. Be Grateful For Your Gifts
Being an empath or a highly sensitive person may sometimes seem like a burden, but it is actually a great gift. You are able to experience the zest and zeal of life to a high degree and one that many other people will struggle to attain.
Just by showing gratitude for your abilities, you can aid the rejuvenation process. Your thanks is itself a positive energy which can force out the negative and leave you with serenity.
16. Set Boundaries
Sometimes there will be people in your life that, without knowing it, cross into your energy zone – that bubble from earlier in the article. This is why it is crucial that you set boundaries when and where they are needed.
These boundaries can be physical, conversational, temporal, and many other things depending on how a person invades your energy.
Be firm with these limits and don’t let your caring nature leave you with your guard down.
17. Take Responsibility
If you believe that the world ought to change to accommodate your sensitive ways, you are going to be gravely disappointed to learn that it never will.
Instead, it is empaths that have to take some responsibility for their own wellbeing and the previous tips should enable you to do this.
You should know that your peace and your joy are products of your own making; while you may feel the world like nobody else, you are also capable of managing it. Be empowered, believe in yourself, and practice practice practice. Nothing is easy when you’ve got an empathetic soul, but everything is achievable.