Empaths are people that may have an extraordinary ability to sense the emotions, feelings, and happenings of other individuals or even animals. Some people may call this hocus-pocus, but psychology points to the fact that empaths do, in fact, exist. According to Eliselebeau, there are many psychological and biological components that may exist to create an empath. Since science supports that empaths may exist, it is important to understand that if you are an empath, you may need to find different coping mechanisms than the majority of people. Empaths are easily drained emotionally and physically because they intuitively are feeling the emotions, including pain, of others. What are some signs that you are an empath?
- You find it draining to be in crowds, malls, or areas where many people are gathered.
- You frequently are exhausted with no known cause.
- You are unable to hear or read about extreme pain of animals, people, or watch war movies.
- You frequently feels moods that are seemingly unrelated to your life – for example, you feel elation without knowing why and then hours later discover your sister is pregnant.
- You intuitively know how others feel.
- You find that people seem to want to confide in you, even if they don’t know you well.
- You are frequently accused of being too sensitive.
- You have random mood swings that cannot be explained by other conditions.
- You go out of your way to help people that most people don’t.
Although not all highly sensitive people are empaths, it’s likely that many of them are. In a landmark study of 462 healthy subjects, a researcher named Kagan found that one-fifth of these children were more reactive and became more distressed when exposed to unfamiliar visual, auditory and tactile stimulations – the definition that many childhood psychologists would call “sensitive.” In the vast majority of cases, a child’s personality is formed early and remains consistent throughout their lives, barring trauma or other life-changing events.
Although people who have identified themselves as “empaths” may have much to give the world, it can come at a tremendous price to them because it requires a lot of physical and psychological energy. These individuals can benefits from some strategies taken from Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) such as guided imagery and other positive coping mechanisms, according to Thought Co.
Some of these may include:
- Imagining a barrier between yourself and the world, a fluid, moving shield that protects you from the energy of others when you feel you cannot absorb their energy or are being faced with much negative energy.
- Try to imagine the center of your being and become aware of your thoughts, feelings, and emotions. This sometimes is called “mindfulness.” See if you can switch back and forth between focusing your thoughts on others and your thoughts back to yourself and the core of your being.
- Don’t attempt to take on responsibilities that are not yours. Empaths want to help, but many people cannot be helped or must make a decision to help themselves first. Draw a mental line at when and where you will stop assisting someone and stick to it.
- People may have become accustomed to you putting their needs before yours, and may suddenly make you feel like you “are the bad guy” when you decide that your needs are important, too. You must prepare yourself that those close to you may think you have become selfish.
- Empaths should take good care of themselves nutritionally, physically and emotionally by eating healthy food, getting enough sleep and enough play/recreational activities.
- Recognize that many people do not believe in empaths. Try not to take this to heart and inside focus your feelings and thoughts on your own well-being.
Are you an empath? Do you know one? Share your thoughts.
[Featured Image by Hero Images/Getty Images]