Am I an Empath?
Do you often feel emotions or physical pain that you know is not your own? Have you ever felt what another person was feeling while they were close to you? Do crowds tend to drain you and send your emotions all over the chart? Chances are you may be an empath.
What Is an Empath?
Empaths are people who can literally feel what another person is feeling. Some feel physical sensations, some feel emotion, and some feel both of these. These feelings can be very uncomfortable, especially if the empath has no idea why they feel the way they do. Other people may think the empath is too sensitive or too emotional, which may make the empath feel even more upset.
My own experiences left me feeling confused and at times alone. I didn’t know why one moment I would feel happy and the next very sad. In crowds, I would sometimes feel a pain in one area only to have it disappear or move to another area in minutes. By nature I am a calm person, but there were times out of nowhere, and for no apparent reason, I would suddenly feel angry or anxious. Not knowing anything about empaths at the time, I figured there was just something wrong with me. It was easier for me to attempt to shut down all feeling and emotion than to try to deal with what was happening to me. That of course lead to other issues as shutting off all emotion is never healthy. With the advent of the internet, it is easier to research what is going on and chat with others who have had similar experiences. As a matter of fact, it was not until very recently that I discovered there was a name for what I was, many other people had similar experiences, and there were ways to deal with it.
Grounding, Centering, and Shielding
Fortunately for empaths, there are many ways to cope with the overwhelming barrage of emotions we feel. When you are being constantly bombarded by incoming emotions and sensations, shielding becomes essential. Grounding and centering should become standard procedures for daily practice, along with shutting down the Chakras (the body's energetic centers). The main Chakras are at the Root, or genitals, the Navel, the Solar Plexus, the Heart, the Throat, the Third Eye, and the Crown.
Steps to Ground, Center, and Shield
- To ground, sit or stand with your feet firmly planted on the ground. Imagine roots growing from your feet and reaching into the ground, deep into the Earth. Feel like a tree, connected to the soil. Feel all negative energy flowing into these roots and being deposited into the Earth to be transformed into beneficial energy. You can then imagine the beneficial energy traveling up into your body and through the Chakras.
- To Center, bring your awareness to your breath. Breathe in for three counts, release for six counts. Do this at least three times. When you feel comfortable, imagine your energy, or your aura, stretching out as far as you feel safe with. Then, when ready, pull it back to you, into your solar plexus. Breathe.
- To shut down the Chakras, imagine each Chakra as a spinning disc. With each disc, imagine shutters closing each one. Another way to do this is to imagine a zipper along your energetic body. Pull the zipper up over each Chakra. Or, simply take your hand and wave it along your body in front of each Chakra.
- An effective shield can be as simple as imagining a bright white light surrounding you. After you have grounded and centered and closed down your Chakras, envision a ball of while light over your head. Imagine it encasing your body and surrounding it like a bubble or eggshell. Feel the light infusing your cells and becoming part of you. If you feel the need for extra protection, you can envision yourself in armor.
Do these exercises in the morning, and they should be good for the day. You can, if you feel it necessary, do them again at any point during the day. This is especially a good idea if you are in a crowded area like a mall.
This is a very rudimentary introduction to empaths and simple coping techniques. I shall be writing more in depth articles in the future. But please know this: there is nothing wrong with you. There are other people who experience this, and thankfully there are many resources out there. Being an empath can be overwhelming, but it can also be quite a beautiful gift at times. Knowing you are not alone and that there are ways to use your gift to help others are comforting thoughts. Please check out some of the links below for sites you may find helpful. It takes all types to get along in this world. We are in it together, we are all connected, and it is all good.