Warning: this approach will not work for every empath and it should be tried gradually, and with the knowledge that your shield can be raised again at any time.
When someone first learns that they are an empath, they tend to seek out ways to ease the burden that comes from attracting and absorbing the energies of the people around them.
Shielding is likely to be the first technique they adopt, and the relief that comes when you learn how to shield can be immense. All of a sudden you can guard against the tiresome barrage of energies that flow your way. You can find peace within yourself, possibly for the first time in your life.
All hunky dory, right?
Well, no, sadly that is not the end of the story. Shielding is effective for many…for a time. There comes a point, however, where carrying a shield is, by itself, an arduous task.
Just think about the physical strength needed to hold a big, strong shield up all of the time; eventually you tire and the effort and energy expended begins to outweigh the benefit of holding it. The same goes for a mental shield to protect you from the wayward energy of your surroundings; at first it feels light and hugely reassuring, but ultimately there is a cost to you of maintaining it. A day might come when this cost is greater than the benefit.
So what’s the alternative, you might be thinking. Well, there are 3 things you can try instead, and you may find their effectiveness varies. There is no one-size-fits-all solution so you just have to give them a go to see how they work for you.
Turn Your Shield Into A Filter
At their most basic, shields are designed to be impenetrable barriers able to stop whatever comes their way. This is all well and good when defending against things which can seriously harm your physical or mental health, but it can also prevent healthy, non-dangerous energy from reaching you.
That’s why, instead of raising a shield, you should try forming a permeable barrier which acts as a filter to stop the most malevolent of energies while allowing others to pass through.
Or think of it another way; let the filter be a detector which controls whether or not you put your shield up when certain energies approach. If something harmless is detected, you can stand down your shield; if something undesirable comes your way, you are ready for it and can raise your shield.
This is analogous to a healthy immune system that first works out whether or not something is a threat before choosing to combat it. If you keep your shield up 24/7, it might attack things which pose no threat – much like an autoimmune response attacks normal, healthy cells in a body.
There is nothing inherently wrong with experiencing the emotions of others. Feeling sad when others are sad, or happy when they’re happy, is natural and normal. It is when you start to take on unhealthy emotions such as anger, hate, or utter despair that it can all get too much.
Your filter can also take your own emotions into account when deciding which vibrations to let through. If you have been experiencing a particularly difficult time in your personal life, you can adjust your filter to block anything which may exacerbate your low mood. If, on the other hand, you are in a particularly good place mentally, you can let other people’s expressions of anguish in to a larger extent, safe in the knowledge that you are currently in a position to cope with them.
Or you could simply adjust your filter depending on what you have to do at any particular time. If you need 100% of your focus and attention on something, by all means set your shield to full power mode to block external energies entirely. But if you are just lounging around, you might be better just filtering and blocking the most damaging energies while letting the rest through.
That’s the thing about a filter – it’s adjustable according to your needs at any given time.
Drop The Shield, But Detach From Incoming Energies
We humans tend to grow strong attachments to the important people and things in our lives. It doesn’t stop there, however; we even become attached to entities which either have no real importance any longer, or never did in the first place.
It’s the same story with the energy fields we encounter in our daily lives. We quickly associate with them and adopt them as surrogates even where such attachment is unnecessary. Just think of a time where you crossed paths with someone in a foul mood (a cashier, bus driver, or colleague) and how this feeling latched onto you for the rest of the day.
The solution to this is to learn a level of healthy detachment from the energies present all around you. If you come across some form of energy, identify it for what it is, and view it dispassionately as something separate from yourself; only then it will lose any influence it has over you.
Of course, much like our filter from above, we can choose a level of detachment to apply to different things. Should a particularly nefarious energy enter our lives, we can keep our distance from it, mentally, to prevent it from gaining a hold over us. If, on the other hand, something altogether more pleasant comes our way, we can embrace it and merge with it (to an extent) so as to bask in its warm glow for a little while.
Detachment requires a certain degree of rationality in order for you to be able to accurately distinguish between what is and is not either important or something you can control. The very fact that these are energies and emotions you’re dealing with means you have to let your non-emotional side handle it first and foremost.
Detachment allows you to deal with other people and their particular problems without becoming caught up in the drama yourself. You can stand back and analyze the situation without identifying with it from a personal perspective.
The process of detachment allows you to control when you allow emotional empathy to come to the fore and when you give cognitive empathy the steering wheel. These different types of empathy both have their uses, but being able to switch between them is an even more useful and powerful ability.
More essential empath reading (article continues below):
- 17 Survival Tips For Empaths And Highly Sensitive People
- The Dark Side Of Empaths
- 4 Signs You’re An Intuitive Empath (Not Just An Empath)
- 7 Signs You’re An Extroverted Empath
- 11 Struggles Empaths Face On A Daily Basis
- The Slippery Slope To Apathy: A Warning To All Empaths
Drop The Shield And Let The Energy Flow In And Out
Finally, you may choose to give up your shield in all but the most extreme cases and to simply experience the energies around you in their raw form. Rather than disassociating with them as you would above, you take them into yourself and feel them as they are.
Sounds like an awful idea, you’re probably thinking. Yet, if you can maintain a steady flow of energy through you, this approach can be very effective.
Most empaths struggle with external influences because the energy merges with their own, but they do nothing to keep it moving. Instead, they ruminate on the feelings they have absorbed, letting the energy stagnate and infiltrate their whole body and mind.
Empaths often suffer with low energy levels, and this makes them especially prone to holding onto whatever energy they do have. They fear what will happen if they let that energy go and, instead, hoard it away in the hope that it will sustain them. Unfortunately, you cannot expel the energies absorbed from the outside world if you are not prepared to flush some of your own energy away too.
It is actually counterproductive to try and save your energy as an empath because doing so means you spend longer dealing with all the things you have soaked up from others. Letting them continue on their way out of you will actually mean saving more of your battery than you lose.
What’s more, if you maintain a flow of energy throughout, that battery is able to recharge itself much like a physical battery does when a current flows through it.
One of the most effective ways to create a smooth flow is to practice grounding. This is where you form an energetic connection with the Earth itself and allow energy to flow out of you and into it. You can use your mind to imagine all of the unwanted energy moving out of you and into the ground beneath your feet.
And the connection that is opened when you practice grounding is actually two-way. This means that you can take up energy from the Earth much like a plant does through its roots. This helps to replenish your stores.
The most important thing when opting for this approach is to maintain a constant flow of energy in and out of your body and mind. If you do this, there will be little time for the influence of others to affect you to any great degree before it is expelled.
Personal shields can play an important role in helping an empath lead a normal life, but an over-reliance on this single approach has some major drawbacks too. While we never encourage anyone to do away with their shield altogether, some empaths might find the techniques above to be a useful addition to their toolset, to be used when the hefty weight of a shield is simply unsustainable. A shield is, however, the best way to deal with energies which will do nothing but harm you; there are malicious forces out there and having your shield ready is an important way to defend yourself.
Are you an empath who finds shielding to be a difficult task to maintain? Have you tried any of the 3 techniques above? Leave a comment below to share your thoughts and experiences.