Let’s face it, being an empath is not easy. It’s simultaneously like a superpower and a curse. On the one hand, you have an incredible ability to see things through other people’s eyes and completely understand their feelings and perspective as if they were your own. But on the other hand, you’re like a sponge, constantly absorbing the energy of others, which can be quite draining.
Some empaths always put the feelings of others before their own until they lose a little bit of themselves. This can have serious consequences, and lead to fatigue, isomnia and exhaustion. Here’s how.
What Is Empathy?
- The action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experiences of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner.
- the imaginative projection of a subjective state into an object so that the object appears to be infused with it
What’s really cool about our mechanisms is that the body is always ahead of the subconscious mind. Since the empath isn’t just carrying their own baggage but taking on that of everyone else around them as well, the toll of all that weight eventually gets to them. Think of it in the literal sense, if you were to go and carry any more than one suitcase at a time, you’d eventually collapse.
Similarly, the mind can only take on so much before being overly stimulated. It transfers that exhaustion over to the physical body. The problem is that, unlike most people, empaths aren’t capable of blocking or filtering their emotions from that of others so that intensity weighs them down on a physical level.
It shouldn’t be a surprise that along with physical exhaustion comes emotional exhaustion. You know the feeling you have after an argument, long day, or break-up? The one where you haven’t moved your body all day but you feel like you could spend the day in bed from exhaustion? That’s emotional exhaustion.
Any kind of excessive emotional demand can put on a strain on the mind. Naturally, by taking on such an overload of emotion and information and absorbing it as their own, the mind eventually gets exhausted too. Especially when there is no release of it in a healthy way.
A combination of emotional and physical exhaustion can lead to difficulty falling asleep. The more wrapped up the empath gets in their emotions and how they are affected by others, the more they risk getting stuck in a rumination cycle where one draining thought leads to another.
Empaths may find it hard to sleep at night because they don’t know how to shut their brain off and constantly feel connected to others. Due to that overstimulation, empaths need a lot of time alone to recharge. This is time for them to release not only any of their own negative feelings but the energies of others as well so that their mind is at peace when they go to bed.
How To Protect Yourself
Empaths, more than anyone need to learn how to protect themselves from absorbing the energies of others and learning to preserve their own energy. One way to do so is by making their home their safe space. This is a place that they go to to be away from the overstimulation and to just be with themselves. It’s a chance to shut out the rest of the world and empty their cup to avoid it from overflowing. If you’re an empath, make your home your sanctuary. Decorate it to reflect your personality.
Bring in plants that radiate their own vibrations and brighten up the space. Use candles to create a relaxing space. When you get home, intentionally take in a deep breath and leave the rest of the baggage at the door. This is how you can replenish.
The other most important piece of advice for an empath is to establish and maintain strong boundaries. This is incredibly hard for an empath to do if they fear saying no because they don’t like disappointing anyone. However, it’s important to remember that as an empath it is not your responsibility to take care of everyone else, especially when it’s at your own expense. Make sure your relationships are balanced, and that you’re being given as much as you’re taking.
Knowing your limits or when it’s time to walk away from a person or situation is crucial to your well-being. Also, if you have days when you are feeling exhausted, it’s okay to let others know that you don’t have the space to give them what they need. It’s also okay for you to ask for help too.
How To Know if You’re An Empath
- Have I been labeled as “overly sensitive,” shy, or introverted?
- Do I frequently get overwhelmed or anxious?
- Do arguments or yelling make me ill?
- Do I often feel like I don’t fit in?
- Am I drained by crowds and need alone time to revive myself?
- Am I overstimulated by noise, odors, or non-stop talkers?
- Do I have chemical sensitivities or can’t tolerate scratchy clothes?
- Do I prefer taking my own car places so I can leave early if I need to?
- Do I overeat to cope with stress?
- Am I afraid of becoming suffocated by intimate relationships?
- Do I startle easily?
- Do I react strongly to caffeine or medications?
- Do I have a low pain threshold?
- Do I tend to socially isolate?
- Do I absorb other people’s stress, emotions, or symptoms?
- Am I overwhelmed by multitasking and prefer doing one thing at a time?
- Do I replenish myself in nature?
- Do I need a long time to recuperate after being with difficult people or energy vampires?
- Do I feel better in small cities or the country rather than large cities?
- Do I prefer one-to-one interactions or small groups rather than large gatherings?
- One to five ‘yes’ means you are a partial empath
- Six to 10 means you are a moderate empath
- 11 to 15 means you have strong empath tendencies
- More than 15 means you are a full-on empath
Get To Know Yourself More
Are you still searching for your life purpose? You won’t believe what the science of Numerology can reveal about you!
That’s right, the numerology of your birth date, regardless of what month you were born, can reveal surprising information about your personality.
Higher Perspectives Author is one of the authors writing for Higher Perspectives