Empaths are my favourite type of people. They are big hearted, good listeners, nurturing, very giving and are there for you through thick and thin. But it can be hard to navigate the world as an empath as it can be very difficult to process all the emotions that they absorb from the people around them and the environment they live and interact in.
So what actually is an Empath?
"Empaths are highly sensitive, finely tuned instruments when it comes to emotions. They feel everything, sometimes to an extreme, and are less apt to intellectualize feelings. Intuition is the filter through which they experience the world." - Judith Orloff (psychiatrist and Empath author)
I think Judith describes what an empath is so well that I just had to use the above quote....but in my own words, an empath is a highly sensitive person (HSP) who easily feels the emotions and energies of other people. They may also not understand that they are feeling other peoples (as well as places!) energies and emotions as well their own. I am an empath and my youngest child is too so it's something I have taken a great interest in to learn more about for both mine and my son's sake.
Before I learnt how to protect my energy, I was sick and tired all the time. And becoming a naturopath really worsened this because I had no idea at the time, but I would absorb all my patients energies and emotions. And you don't usually end up in a naturopath's clinic room unless you are dealing with some pretty stubborn emotional and physical health issues. So yep, seeing patient after patient day after day without the knowledge of being a great big old spongey empath was pretty detrimental to my health.
Since learning about being an empath, I have learnt to stay well and now my health and energy levels are only based on what is happening with me personally and not everyone else! I wouldn't say I have learnt all there is to learn as I am still working on losing the physical buffer I created to deal with this issue (weight gain can be very common for empaths as we are subconsciously trying to create a barrier around us to buffer other peoples energies) but I am so glad to know what I know now for the understanding of myself and now my son.
And empaths have so much going for them because they are so in tune with what is running everything...ENERGY. This means empaths may sense danger before others and make better decisions based on their intuition and how someone or something feels. And due to being the great big emotional sponges that they are, if around love, natural beauty and any harmonious environment, this is absorbed on such a deep level and can be extremely calming and nourishing for every cell in the body. They are also the person that knows what to do in many situations and can help so many people around them due to this. So being an empath can be an extremely amazing gift if managed properly.
So I thought I'd list some traits that most empaths have in common so you can see if you relate or maybe relate them to your child/ren or someone you know.
- Don't like loud sounds or strong smells
- Recharge from being alone
- Get overwhelmed in crowds
- Can attract 'emotional vampires' (people wanting to offload their own emotional baggage onto someone else)
- Can be an introvert or extrovert depending on who they are around
- Struggle with feeling like they need to heal the world or solve everyone else's problems
- Easily feel the emotions someone else is experiencing
- Get called 'too emotional' or 'too sensitive'
- Can turn to emotional eating when feeling stressed
- Feelings are easily hurt
How To Protect Empaths
So there are some great things to do if you know you are an empath and these simple practices can make life so much easier and increase your health and energy levels.
- So if you know you aren't great in crowds (think of all the energy you can absorb in a crowded place!!) Minimise going to crowded venues and keep your stays short. I have worked out that I have a 3 hour window before I start to feel drained and I make sure I leave at that mark or just after. Also if you are attending an event, sit or stand on the edges so you aren't in the middle of everything. And I always prefer to use my own transport to get anywhere so I can choose when I leave without relying on others or feeling bad that I might need to leave earlier.
- Learn to say the word 'No'. This does not make you a bad person! You need to prioritise your energy every time and if you are asked to do something that you know will not serve your energy at this time, then simply say - 'No, that does not work for me right now.' That is enough explanation needed.
- Allow yourself quiet time every single day to decompress. This might be just shutting yourself in a room for 5 mins at the start and the end of the day or it might involve a nightly 30 minute ritual where you just take that time alone on a walk (without listening to a podcast or music!) or a relaxing bath by candlelight or even writing in your journal with your bedroom door shut. Try and carve out some private space in your home that you can retreat to when you need to recharge.
- Do mini meditations as often as possible to prepare yourself for interacting with others or when taking a break from these interactions. Simply close your eyes, bring yourself back to your body by focusing on your breathing, picture your heart and fill it with love and energy. Surround yourself with a white light that allows all the goodness in and keeps out any negativity. Say your favourite mantra that relaxes and strengthens you. This can all be done in the space of a minute or two and can be done before walking into work or school, before an event, party or meeting, whenever you are feeling overwhelmed or before presenting a new idea or concept to someone. Do this as may times a day as you can and you will notice a huge difference in how you are feeling.
- Eat lots of protein foods as well as nourishing foods like vegetables, fruits and broths to help keep you grounded and strong.
- Most importantly remember that it is not your job to fix the world and everyone in it and learn to recognise any overly negative people that might be attracted to you due to your empath qualities.
It's so important to recognise if you have a child that has these qualities to help them navigate and process the amount of feelings they will have inside them. I always used to wonder why I would cry when any of my friends cried and why I would carry their pain home inside me at the end of the day. I always used to cry so embarrassingly hard in sad movies, feel things about people that I couldn't explain and intuitively knew who to go to in the room that needed me most. I see all this in my son now and as much as I love that he will immediately gravitate towards anyone experiencing sadness or pain and just be with them for comfort, I also need to protect him from what this does to his energy body.
So the signs to look out for in empath kids are a lot like it is for adults but for them it will be heightened as the younger you are, the less filter or buffer you have.
- So frequent meltdowns and tantrums when it all gets too much and they have nowhere else to put this extra energy except to scream or cry it out.
- Easily disturbed by loud noises and strong smells and may resist going to places where these are happening
- Crying and they sometimes can't explain a reason for why
- Signs of anxiety about going somewhere new or where there are crowds
- Will gravitate towards other kids who are having a hard time or need help in any way
- Improved behaviour after some time alone
The most exciting thing I have ever done in my life as an empath is come up with a flower essence blend for all the energetic needs us empaths need! I'm not sure why it's taken me so long but after a panic attack I suffered after being at a very crowded market for several hours, I thought to myself...I need something to take before and during times like this to protect myself. It's basically some protection in a bottle which is why I've called it PROTECT!
Protect blend will act as a filter between your energy and others energy so you don't feel so buffeted by the emotions, thoughts and feelings of the people around you. I've included essences that act like an energy shield as well as essences to help when feeling overwhelmed and sensitive.
This blend has already helped me and my son more than I can explain here in this blog and I've also had many of my friends and their kids test it out for me. I'm very blessed to know so many other fellow empaths and their children so I had the perfect specimens to test this blend for me and the feedback has been extraordinary. I have one friend who takes it every time she goes to the supermarket and can NOT believe how much calmer she feels after her shop. I've had another friend who's son was so excited by how he felt on this blend that he asked his mum if they could tell everyone about it RIGHT NOW! Such a great example of what an empath would say! Lol! So yes, it's already working for many of us and I do believe that all empaths or introvert types need to give this blend a go.
I've also come up with a Protect Pack which is basically the New Empath Tool Kit! It comes with Courage and Let it Go which are another two flower essence blends that I find very helpful when navigating life with an empath type personality.
You can take this blend as needed before situations or events where you feel you need protection as well as during these times. It will work best on an ongoing basis so twice daily is still a great dosage to aim for for at least 2-3 weeks and then it can be used just on an as needed basis if preferred. You can also take Protect blend while imagining a white bubble or energy shield forming around you and you may even want to add the mantra - "All around is swirling life while I am protected and tranquil." This is on the side of the bottle so you will always have your mantra at hand as well.
I hope this explanation on what an empath is and the tips on how to make the most of your amazing and incredible gift helpful and I hope you remember to protect yourself or your child so you can benefit from all the good that an empath trait personality can gift you!
Yours in Health,