Between personal triggers, relationship discords, hustle culture, and depressing news cycles, the world can be an overwhelming and stressful place.
For empaths, the feeling can be amplified many times over because they are not only affected by what is happening externally, they also need to deal with how they feel about things internally.
What is an Empath?
Before we get into the essentials of navigating the world as an empath, let us first look into what an empath is.
Basically, an empath is someone who will not only feel emotions deeply, they also take the emotions of others as if it is their own.
According to certified mental health integrative medicine provider and licensed marriage and family therapist Kristen Routh, “empaths are typically very cued into non-verbal communication, including posture, body language, and facial expression.”
Routh added that “empaths can experience sudden and overwhelming emotions when around others that at times can be difficult to contain or express in a healthy way.”
For Routh, empaths don’t rely on external cues alone to understand the emotions and experiences of others.
Empaths have this innate ability to sense and understand the feelings of others—they are more subconscious and intuitive.
Navigating Life as an Empath: Top Tips
If you are an empath, it is reassuring to know there is no shortage of ways you can avoid triggers, set healthy boundaries, and protect your energy.
Below are some of the best tips you should remember when navigating life an an empath:
Tip #01: Set Healthy Boundaries
Everyone can benefit if they set boundaries with themselves and others.
However, empaths can especially enjoy the freedom that setting boundaries brings.
For empaths, it is recommended that they limit spending time with people that trigger or drain them.
It is a sign of respect for the self and the other party so they can have more productive albeit shorter interactions with those people rather than having longer but more stressful and overwhelming interactions.
It is also ideal to be honest about conversations you are not prepared to handle emotionally yet.
You can tell the other party that you value the conversation but you are not ready to fully receive their message yet and you will be more apt to receive their message in the future.
Tip #02: Avoid Common Triggers
If you are an empath, you need to be extra mindful of your triggers to avoid feeling overwhelmed.
It is important to remember that empaths are aware and sensitive to the feelings of others on a subconscious level.
Physical proximity and touch can greatly influence how empaths receive energy.
Specific situations and people might also cause greater emotional responses than others.
That said, it is ideal that empaths learn how to pace themselves and set good boundaries with their commitment and time especially during interactions that are triggering.
Tip #03: Practice Empath-Friendly Self-Care
It is considered best that empaths are able to recognise and name their emotions, identify where they stem from, and how they appear so they are empowered and can clearly distinguish their emotions from that of others.
Self-care for empaths also involves knowing what triggers emotional reactions in them.
For instance, some of the common triggers include lack of sleep, too much caffeine, and hormonal shifts.
It would also help if empaths keep a journal so they can record their emotions and moods.
Doing so can also help them make the connection between external triggers and their feelings.
Limiting screen time, unplugging from social media, taking time to recharge, and staying in a serene environment with minimal stimulation can also help counter overwhelming feelings.
Tip #04: Protect Your Energy
Learning how to protect your energy as an empath is key to maintaining your physical and mental well-being.
Empaths need to take full ownership of how they respond to external factors that influence their behaviors and feelings.
The following coping tools have been known to help manage your energy and process it in healthy ways.
Learning how to be controlled and receptive as you process external energy is recommended for empaths.
To avoid any sensory overload, you need to also “shield yourself.”
Shielding is a technique where you visualise being protected by a bubble, armor, or white light.
Visualise the shield as a protection that can deflect any overwhelming emotions or negative feelings that are projected to you by others.
When empaths start to feel heightened emotions, grounding can help them get in touch with their body and minds.
Grounding techniques used before, during, and after discussions with others can also prove very useful.
Breathing consciously, planting the feet on the ground, and checking in with their body sensations can also help empaths retain healthy energy, focus, and stay in the present.
Over to You
Being an empath is a blessing. However, living as an empath can also be very challenging for most people. Hopefully, the tips laid out above can help make life easy for empaths so they can continue to be a blessing to others.