The term “empath” has exploded in popularity over the last few years, and we see more and more discussions about it both online and off.
There has always been terms for highly sensitive people and the understanding that some of us are more sensitive to certain stimulus than others, but what does it all mean?
For those who are just coming to grips with it all or need a refresher you might be wondering: What exactly is an empath? What does being an empath entail? Why is this important?
You may also be asking yourself, “Once I have pinpointed that I am an empath, what are the next steps I should take?” While there’s a lot of information about the signs that you are an empath, after that you’re left to your own devices. In this post I want to cover both aspects, so let’s get into it!
What Is an Empath?
The dictionary defines empathy as: the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.
Empathy is a trait that most of us have on a basic level. We have the ability to put ourselves in the shoes of another but from a distance. What differentiates empaths from others is the ability to not only empathize but embody and feel the emotions of others are if they were our own.
There is a lot of cross over between highly sensitive people and empaths. All empaths are highly sensitive people although not all highly sensitive people are empaths.
The empath sense has more to do with emotions, although empaths can be sensitive to all types of stimulus. The empath sense is when one is highly tuned into their own emotions and those of others and can sense when others are being authentic.
Empaths are highly psychic by nature and navigate the world through the psychic ability of sensing or feeling called clairsentience. In this way, empaths experience emotions in a much more immersive manner that fills all of their senses.
Learn more on what being an empath entails and how to develop your empathic senses in my free empath handbook
Are You an Empath?
As empaths are able to sense the mental and emotional state of another to the point of feeling these emotions themselves, this can be an extremely draining and difficult to navigate.
There are two paths an empath can take: close themselves off from the world out of fear, or learn how to open up without feeling so overwhelmed. They can either shut their heart down completely or open it up and learn to navigate both the good and the bad.
If you have ever wished to block out the external world completely because it is so overwhelming, then it is very likely that you are an empath. After all, who would want to go through life feeling such intense and unsettling emotions from everyone around them?
As an empath grows they start to see these problems as motivation to grow. The intense emotional fatigue is a sign to delve deeper into this sense and fine tune it.
Feeling drained and overwhelmed is not the end for an empath – it’s actually the beginning of a lifelong journey. The pain and not wanting to feel this way anymore is a catalyst for the empath’s awakening.
Signs You Are an Empath
- You are able to pick up on and embody other people’s emotions
- You are often told you are too sensitive
- You often take on the carer/parental role in relationships
- You need plenty of time alone to recharge
- People feel drawn to you for advice
- You connect deeply with animals and plants
- You feel a calling to heal/teach/guide others
- You are incredibly sensitive to sound/touch/smell
- You sometimes wish you could block out the external world
- You often feel overwhelmed and drained by other people’s emotions
An empath is someone who can pick up on the slightest shift in a room, even when others are seemingly oblivious. They note the tone of someone’s voice, body language and words and are able to sense when someone is being deceptive.
Learning that you are an empath is an eye opening experience – events from your past suddenly make complete sense, and the way you navigate emotionally tense situations is illuminating.
Many of us live with this ability without realizing it! We go around reading energy and taking on energy that isn’t ours, thinking that this is just a natural part of who we are.
Upon realizing you are an empath it is common to become even more sensitive to the energy around you. You were sensitive to energy before but now you’re hyper aware of it. It’s as if things have been amplified tenfold!
You’ll find yourself being triggered left, right and center. This can be a difficult time and it’s understandable to want to close yourself off completely. Why would anyone want to feel sensitive all the time and be at the whim of everyone around them?
Just as an unattended wound must first sting before it can properly heal, growing your empathic abilities work the same way. At first it stings but gradually over time it becomes a major strength.
Blessing or Curse?
When you first realize you’re an empath it can be extremely difficult to know how to manage such sensitivities. It’s easy to see why people say being an empath can be both a blessing and a curse.
You pick up on other people’s emotions, you’re unsure where you end and others begin, you are constantly triggered, you find public gatherings overwhelming and so on.
When I first started tuning into my empathic abilities I was being triggered all the time, the protective barrier I once built up around myself started to dissolve. Social gatherings were a nightmare and being in large groups of people for too long made me feel as if I had just been in a war zone. It was draining!
We do not give highly sensitive people the tools they need to navigate their emotions effectively. Too often we view it as a binary option: you’re either a pillar of strength all of the time or helplessly emotional.
Many empaths are diagnosed as anxious or depressed because they haven’t been given the correct tools to deal with the barrage of incoming stimulus. They deeply care for others but need loads of alone time to recharge.
Learning to thrive as an empath is all about finding a delicate balance between your strength and sensitivity. This way you can sink deeper into your sensitivity without becoming emotionally reactive.
The sensitivity and feeling of intrusion from the energy of others is calling you to go within and develop your extra-sensory abilities. You are being called to grow into a highly empathic but powerful being. Take no shit but do no harm!
Does this sound familiar to you?
Learn More: The 4 Types of Empath: Which Are You?
FREE Energy Work for Empaths Handbook
Are you an empath or just coming to grips with being one? Are you finding it tough to navigate your sensitivity? Are you unsure how to develop your abilities?
This Empath Handbook is going to be perfect for you!
The first part of this guide will help you gauge what type of empath you are, this information will give you a rough foundation to work upon. The second part of this guide will help you learn how to start working with your energy.
Get it FREE or make a small donation towards the work it took to create.