Do you think you feel more than you think or that your emotions often get the best of you? Would the people close to you describe you as sensitive? Does spending time with certain people make you feel drained? Do you avoid crowds and they make you anxious? This could mean you are an empath. Being an empath can affect every aspect of your life like your relationships, work-life and mental health.
What is an Empath?
Empaths are highly sensitive people who have the ability to understand the emotions of others and feel what others are going through. They can sense how people around them are feeling and they often feel burdened by the emotions of others as they constantly have to feel the negative energy of those around them. Being an empath can have many benefits such as empaths can help others in dealing with their emotions, they can share the pain of others, they are big-hearted and loving people which makes them great friends and are amazing listeners which is why people tend to share their problems with them.
But being an empath can be hard too, empaths can feel overwhelmed by the emotions that others are feeling because they are literally feeling the same emotions too. They have trouble setting boundaries and saying “no” to anyone which can affect their mental health. An empath can be very selfless which can bring harm to them and they often feel the need to isolate themselves to recharge.
Signs of Being an Empath:
- You are an introvert who feels anxious in crowded places and prefers being alone rather than surrounded by a lot of people.
- You have been called “too emotional” or “too sensitive” on many occasions.
- Your feelings can get hurt easily and a small thing can make you very happy. You often cry and your mood is easily affected by emotions.
- If your close ones are feeling distraught or upset, you start feeling the same way.
- You hate noises and you do not like talking too much either, you usually remain quiet and in your little bubble.
- You often find yourself putting the needs of others first without considering your needs.
- You have strong intuitions and you are emotionally intelligent.
Types of Empaths:
Today if you start researching which type of empath you are, you will come across so many answers and so many types. Every person is different and their mind works differently as well, this is why there are so many types of empaths. Some feel more emotionally than others while others are good are sensing negative energies. However, there are 3 main types and the rest have been derived from them:
1. Physical Empaths:
Physical empaths can absorb the physical symptoms and pains of others in their bodies. They can also feel energized by someone else’s well-being and can even develop illnesses that someone has. For example, if a friend comes to you complaining about a severe headache, you will soon start feeling a headache coming on as well. Physical empaths are so connected to their loved ones that they start feeling the literal pain a loved one is going through which can be really harmful to them. You might have heard the term “sympathy pains”, it is when a person starts feeling physical or psychological witnessing someone else’s pain. Physical empathy is just like this but a lot more intense.
2. Emotional Empaths:
Feeling the emotions of others and mirroring them is termed emotional empathy. Emotional empaths can feel sad or happy when they feel others around them feel sad or happy. They can easily feel drained after being within a crowd for too long because they feel so many different energies at the same time. Emotional empaths are great at developing emotional connections and they can share the pain and sufferings of others as well. Sometimes this can be greatly disadvantageous for them, such as if you are sitting with a friend who is really upset, you will soon start feeling upset and exhausted as well even if you had no reason to and were perfectly happy before.
3. Intuitive Empaths:
This is a unique kind of empathy that comes from combing empathy, feeling, and sharing the pain of others, with perception and instincts. Intuitive empaths can feel the energy of other people and be impacted by it. Negative energies can make them exhausted and anxious while positive energies can easily lift up their moods and spirits. Intuitive empaths can help other people come to terms with what they are feeling and identify why they are feeling that way. It is a powerful gift but it comes with its set of challenges as well. An intuitive empath can easily fall prey to even the tiniest bit of negative energy by absorbing it and messing with their mental health and peace.
How Can Empaths Protect their Energy?
Being easily impacted by others’ emotions and feeling overwhelmed all the time can take a toll on anyone. Empaths are highly sensitive people and their mental well-being can easily be impacted by feeling the energies of others. Although being an empath is an incredible gift that is very rare as well, it is important for an empath to protect their energy to maintain their mental peace. Here are some ways that an empath can protect their energy:
- Setting Boundaries:
Setting healthy boundaries is really important for an empath but they can have trouble doing so. Learning when to say “no” and when to put yourself and your needs first is integral. Start limiting the time you spent with people who are constantly complaining about one thing or another or people who are sad all the time.
- Make Time for Yourself:
Since you can literally feel what others are feeling, it is important to isolate sometimes and give time to yourself and assess your needs and feelings. Spending some time alone will help you prioritize yourself and it will help you regain all the energy. You will automatically start feeling better and recharged after you spent some time alone. Make this a daily practice and set aside an hour or two in a day where you can just enjoy being with yourself and doing what you love.
- Learn to Identify Emotions:
Whenever you start feeling an overwhelming emotion, ask yourself is this emotion mine or am I absorbing it from someone else? It is natural to feel sad if a friend is feeling sad but feeling the literal intense pain that someone else is going through can be tough on you, especially if it is not your pain and you have no reason to feel it. A good way to identify this is to move away for a bit, if you start feeling better then it is definitely not your pain and you need to get away to protect yourself.
The world needs a lot of empaths and people who are understanding of others’ sufferings and emotions. But being an empath can be hard and if you do not learn to protect your mental health, you can suffer greatly from the pain of others. So, make sure to identify your needs and put them first. After all, you can only help others stay happy when you are happy yourself.