Being an empath comes with a great deal of responsibility. Not only do you have to deal with your own emotions, but you also often find yourself in a situation of having to process other people’s energy.
In my long career as an online coach, I’ve met many inspiring empaths who felt like they needed to carry the world on their shoulders. But it doesn’t have to be that hard.
That’s why today I want to share with you what I share with my clients empaths. Continue reading to learn how to deal with being an empath.
How Do You Handle Being an Empath?
It’s not always easy experiencing other people’s emotions like they were your own.
If you start feeling emotionally drained, overwhelmed, or sensitive to the world around you, it might be time to ask for professional help and help yourself in the process.
In the meantime, I thought these 25 effective empath protection tools may help get you through the day.
1. Set and maintain healthy boundaries
Setting strong boundaries is essential for maintaining relationships and building a healthy lifestyle. If you want to protect yourself from absorbing other people’s negative emotions, you have to set clear personal limits.
Personal boundaries can help you differentiate another person’s emotions from your own feelings. They can help you stay in tune with yourself while being there for others and using your gift of empathy for good.
2. Figure out the source of negative energy
You can’t protect yourself if you don’t learn to recognize where those negative energies are coming from.
Are you going through something yourself? Is there a person in your surroundings that’s suffering?
Learn to recognize who your negative feelings belong to and identify emotional drainers. That’s how you will learn to avoid situations or places that make you feel exhausted and overwhelmed.
Related: How To Spot An Empath
3. Practice being in the present moment
When everything feels like it’s too much, it might be time to sit with yourself a little bit and try to be more present.
Don’t get carried away by your thoughts and feelings. Instead, try to practice mindfulness and being present in the moment.
Be mindful of your physical sensations, try to let all those emotions of others go through you, and don’t get involved in too much overthinking. Being fully present will open up your eyes to the beauty of the current moment.
4. Observe your thoughts
Mindfulness comes with a ton of benefits, one of them being the ability to self-reflect and self-observe.
Take a moment to watch your thoughts. Don’t give them any meaning, just sit there and relax. Just let them be for starters because that’s how you will learn to handle them as an empath.
5. Have quality alone time
A little me-time goes a long way.
Empaths tend to feel more stressed out by interactions with others and more prone to rapid mood swings, so why don’t you try to leave the world behind for a moment and just spend time with yourself?
And by alone time, I don’t mean binge-watching TV shows, scrolling through Instagram, or watching movies. Alone time. Instead, eliminate all distractions and give your body some much-needed rest.
6. Practice gratitude
Being an empath may feel like both a blessing and a curse, but empathy is a precious gift that lets you connect with the world, your loved ones, and people in general.
Try to appreciate your gift more. It’s not a burden if you learn to deal with being an empath. Practice gratitude for everything in your life, including your gift of empathy.
7. Breathe deeply
Breathing is a useful relaxation technique. It’s also a great way to practice mindfulness, prepare for meditation, and be fully present.
Whenever you find yourself drained by collective emotion, take a few deep breaths and allow the air to go through your entire body.
8. Practice self-compassion
The world may become too overwhelming at times, so if you’re not there for yourself, it may be harder for you to deal with being an empath.
Self-compassion is a good way to do that. As an empath, experiencing other people’s feelings and understanding the emotions of others comes naturally to you.
But you should work on having more compassion for yourself and your own needs. Practice self-compassion by accepting and acknowledging your suffering, then taking care of yourself just like you would for a friend.
9. Work on self-awareness
When you’re a highly sensitive person, deep self-awareness is crucial. Spend time with your own feelings, get to know your triggers, and try to be more self-aware.
That’s how you will be able to tell if you’re picking up on someone else’s emotions every time you feel worn out. You’ll also learn to be there for others without absorbing their negative emotions.
10. Ground yourself
Another useful empath protection tool is to ground yourself when you notice yourself picking up on another person’s emotions.
Grounding is a therapeutic technique that helps you live in the present moment. Tap into your physical sensations, your senses, and overall well-being.
Feel the floor underneath your feet. Touch a nearby object. These activities can help you stay in tune with nature and pull away from staggering emotions.
11. Forgive others
Forgiveness is all about letting go of all negative energy that may be troubling you.
As an empath and a sensitive person, you may find yourself deeply hurt by other people’s behaviors or words. This comes with the great gift of empathy.
You care deeply so you hurt in the same way. But if you want to embrace your empathy, you need to learn to forgive and let go.
12. Let go of all the emotions
Your unique empath abilities to experience other people’s feelings – whether they’re painful emotions or positive ones – make you who you are. But some emotions don’t serve you, so it’s time to let go.
True forgiveness is about releasing feelings of resentment towards people who have hurt you. It’s more than just saying it out loud. It requires a genuine desire to leave those resentful feelings behind you.
13. Remain positive
Being positive is a mindset, and as such, it can’t be learned overnight. You have to practice staying positive when life challenges you.
Again, it’s important to be aware of your feelings, but try to have a positive outlook on each situation.
14. Repeat positive affirmations
Repeating positive affirmations is one of the most effective ways of remaining positive when things get tough.
As an empath, you have to deal with other people’s emotions on a day-to-day basis, so it’s essential to go into each day well-equipped.
Repeat mantras like “Return to sender” or “I will learn how to set healthy boundaries”.
15. Create a peaceful environment for yourself
You know how they say, “Your home is your sanctuary.” And it’s the truth.
You deserve to feel peaceful and calm when you’re at home.
Even if it’s only your room, your bathroom, or your living room, make yourself feel cozy and peaceful when you’re there because it will allow you to unwind after an emotional day.
16. Listen carefully
If you listen carefully to other people’s verbal and non-verbal communication, you will become better at identifying your drains and energizers. T
his skill is vital for an empathic person because it can help you stay away from negative people and embrace positive energy.
Here’s a helpful guide: 8 Levels Of Listening – Complete Guide
17. Eat healthy
You are what you eat. Eating well will also help you navigate bad energy away and make you stronger when things get tough.
Figure out what foods work the best for your body and aim for a healthy balanced diet full of veggies and fruits.
18. Exercise regularly
It’s been scientifically proven that exercise helps with mental health and well-being. Find out what type of exercise suits you the most and incorporate it into your weekly routine.
Regular exercise will help you release all that energy that you’ve picked up from others during the day and help you strengthen your internal resources.
19. Try to understand others
Having a deeper understanding of other people’s experiences and life events helps you build tolerance towards them and makes you much stronger.
As an empath, you will be drawn to people who are suffering, but it’s up to you to try and understand them to be able to cope.
20. Work on your mental health
Your mental health comes first, so if you want to learn to deal with being an empath, you have to take care of yourself first.
Just like they tell you in an airplane, “Put your own oxygen mask before helping others.” The same goes for your life.
An empath who doesn’t take care of their own feelings can’t help others.
21. Spend time in nature
Nature has soothing powers for everyone, especially fellow empaths. By going out into nature, you get to relax and recharge.
That’s when the healing process can begin. When you’re surrounded by the vibrant and healing energy of nature, you can revitalize yourself and heal.
22. Take responsibility for your life
At the end of the day, we’re all responsible for our own feelings. So, even if you feel emotionally tired from feeling what others are feeling, you must take responsibility for your life.
All of the above-mentioned tools can help you do that, but remember that you need to practice.
23. Ignore your critical inner voice
Your inner critic will tell you stuff you don’t want to hear. It will tell you you’re not worth it, that you’re difficult, even that you’re a burden.
But you are not what those voices tell you, you’re so much more. So, learn to ignore that critical inner voice by believing in yourself and practicing self-awareness.
Meditation is another excellent protection tool for empaths.
The art of meditation is all about self-awareness, mindfulness, and peace – all crucial aspects of dealing with your empathy – so try meditating whenever you have the time.
25. Keep track of your own emotions
For an empath, it’s important to identify your drains and energizers. If you can’t keep up, start writing down all your experiences.
Journaling is a great way to keep track of your own feelings. You can bring your journal with you wherever you go, so it’ll be easy to use it.
If you want to know for sure if you’re an empath, I suggest you try doing this test: Empathy Test: Am I an Empath?
Also, I’ve recently published an article that could come in handy to you to figure out if you’re an empath. Check it out here: Empathetic Mindset – 11 Important Traits
Triggers for Empaths
Empaths tend to be more sensitive to other people’s struggles, suffering, or stress. That’s why they can get emotionally triggered more easily and develop certain triggered after experiencing a traumatic event.
If you start experiencing an overload of emotions leading to anxiety or depression, it means you’ve probably been triggered.
To help you avoid situations that may trigger you, I’ve created this list of the most common triggers for empaths to look out for:
- Other people’s pain – If you don’t learn to set boundaries, other people’s suffering could crush you. As an empath, seeing someone suffer will make you go through a great deal of pain. The trick is to identify your triggers and learn to deal with them;
- Other people’s expectations – As much as you want to help soothe other people’s pain, don’t let it affect your own mental health. Sometimes you can’t meet everyone’s demands and that’s okay;
- Too much intimacy – Intimacy overload, physical touch, or even eye contact can be triggering for empaths. Make sure you’re aware of your triggers so that you can set the right boundaries;
- Feeling like a failure – Empaths tend to feel like imposters when they can’t help someone solve a problem. Developing self-compassion may help deal with this trigger;
- Conflict – Empaths often have a hard time getting into a quarrel with their close people and moving on from some relationships in their life;
- Specific people – You can also be triggered by a specific person (family member or a friend) in your life who you might have a painful history with;
- Specific situations – Similarly, you can get triggered when a specific situation occurs and you feel particularly affected by it.
What Should Empaths Avoid?
Being an empath is incredible, but it’s often overwhelming. That’s why as an empath, you have to prioritize protecting your boundaries and mental health before helping other people around you.
Since you’re a highly sensitive person, you often give too much of yourself to the world.
Empaths should avoid negative people who constantly complain without wanting a specific solution.
Empaths should also stay away from negativity in general, whether that’s the world news, scary movies, or disturbing social media content.
Also, they should try to decrease external stimulation, such as bright lights, loud noises, television, etc.
Is Being an Empath a Mental Disorder?
Being an empath is not a mental illness; it’s a unique ability that some highly sensitive people have.
According to some research studies, the brain cells that are responsible for compassion in empaths are hyperactive. As a result, empaths absorb other people’s emotions and feel what others are feeling.
Even though being an empath comes with challenges, such as social anxiety or stress overload, it is not a mental disorder.
Empaths who learn to take control over their emotions and embrace their empathetic abilities will be able to lead a happy, fulfilling life.
What Do Empaths Suffer From?
Empaths are capable of feeling a spectrum of emotions. Here are some of the commonly reported negative emotions that empaths tend to suffer from.
“Being an Empath Is Killing Me”
If you feel that your empathetic abilities are killing you, it’s because you feel too much pain and suffering from others. When you start feeling this way, it’s a clear sign to do something about it.
Try uncovering your emotional triggers and distancing yourself from them. Alongside the above-mentioned protection strategies, I suggest you talk to a professional about your struggles.
Empaths and Anxiety
Empaths often suffer from anxiety, panic attacks, and fatigue as a result of their empathetic connection with others.
Whether it’s because you share someone else’s anxiety or that you’re simply overwhelmed by others’ emotions, you’re definitely more susceptible to anxiety as an empath.
When an Empath Gets Hurt
As an empath, you have insight into other people’s most intense emotions.
Living through these intense (often negative) emotions with others on a daily basis is no walk in the park. So, you will often find yourself feeling injured or hurt.
By taking constant care of yourself and your mental health, you will be less prone to emotional damage that others can cause you.
A Damaged Empath
Being exposed to too much pain can break anyone, especially an empath who is capable of feeling a spectrum of emotions.
Also, many empaths often feel misunderstood and tend to hide their personal world from others, which can often be damaging as well.
If you feel utterly and completely broken, I suggest you seek professional help.
Remember that it’s never too late to help yourself and take your life back.
Thanks for reading my article and I hoped these protection tools will help you lead a more peaceful life as an empath.
Your ability to see past the surface and connect with people on a deeper level is truly one of a kind.
So, the next time you feel overwhelmed by all the emotions, try using some of these resources to get back on track.
If I can help you in any way, feel free to ask. Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below, and I hope I hear from you soon!