Being an empath is about much more than having a deep feeling of empathy for other people’s emotions.
That type of empathetic understanding and compassion that we all should strive for becomes “empathic” when we actually start to absorb and take on the emotional energy from people around us.
Being an empath is an unconscious mechanism, an energetic state, born from a need to have a heightened awareness of how other people are feeling in order to protect yourself.
People often become empaths in childhood, through an experience of instability. If the adults in your life were erratic or unstable in their emotions, if you had to walk on eggshells or feel someone’s mood out before you could talk to them, those are the kind of conditions that create a hypersensitivity to perceiving how someone else is feeling, in order to keep yourself safe.
Then, by the time we’re adults, our empathic sensitivity has become an ingrained pattern of behavior, how we move through the world. Now we’re picking up all sorts of feelings, all day long, from all the people we encounter!
And an empath’s emotional radar is not set to feel out all the warm, fuzzy, happy feelings out there, oh no. Instead, our energy fields are checking for fear, anger, sadness, and emotional instability, so then that becomes the energy we suck up all day long.
But it doesn’t have to be like that. You don’t have to feel overwhelmed and bombarded with heavy emotions that aren’t even yours to hold.
You can learn how to dial down your empathic radar, protect your energy field, and empower your emotional awareness with a couple of simple daily practices.
Let’s get into them!
A regular grounding practice is so important to have as an empath. This is something that can take just a few minutes each day or as much time as you have to give it.
Grounding your energy, in the most basic sense, is when you connect your personal energy field into the energy field of the Earth. Think of it like plugging yourself into a socket that’s charged by the electromagnetic energy of nature itself.
Grounding is the go-to practice to do when you’re feeling anxious, depleted, unsure, stressed-out, or scattered, and you can do it wherever you are, whenever you need it!
To ground yourself:
- Place your feet flat on the ground, breathe and get present.
- Imagine roots growing down from your feet, into the ground.
- Place your attention on your root chakra, at the base of your spine or cervical area.
- Imagine a ball of energy here at your root, see if you can feel any sensations there.
- Say out loud or in your mind: I connect my root chakra into the heart of the Earth.
- Then, imagine that ball of energy dropping down from your root chakra, down into the Earth, leaving a thin cord attached.
- Send your awareness down, down, down, and imagine plugging your root chakra energy into the center of the Earth.
- Now just breathe, be, see how you feel.
Are you feeling calmer? More secure? More stable? Less in your head?
You can do this practice anytime you need it, whenever you feel off-balance or not quite yourself.
Go outside and do this practice with your bare feet on the dirt or grass for optimal and almost instant grounding effects.
You can also use a grounding crystal to help- just hold, wear or have one near your feet as you do this practice.
Black tourmaline, obsidian, and jasper varieties are all great options to help ground your energy. You can also carry a grounding crystal with you throughout the day to help maintain a sense of stability and centeredness.
When you carry so many emotions it can be hard to discern which ones are yours to process, and which ones you’ve picked up from people around you.
So, the first step of this practice is to start to identify which emotions are yours, and which ones aren’t.
It can be very helpful right in the moment of experiencing an intense emotion- if you become aware of it- to ask yourself, is this emotion mine?
Is this anger mine? Is this frustration mine? Am I centered in my own energy right now?
Often just bringing conscious awareness to the emotion you’re experiencing can help you determine right away if it’s a feeling that stemmed from your own internal processing or one that was influenced by or absorbed from those around you.
And remember, you’re not just taking on energy from people who are physically in your presence. You can just as easily absorb emotional energy from whatever you’re reading, watching, and engaging with online.
To clear out emotions that don’t belong to you:
- First, do the grounding practice above and plug your energy into the Earth.
- If you can, identify any specific emotions that are unwelcome in your body and address them each individually. “Hello, anger”, etc. This helps activate them in your energy field.
- Then say, out loud or in your mind, “I release any emotional energy that doesn’t belong to me.”
- Then go through any specific emotions you can name- “I release any sadness that doesn’t belong to me. I release any stress that doesn’t belong to me.” etc.
- As you do this, imagine all those emotions funneling down and out of your grounding cord, going back into the Earth.
- Trust yourself, feel your feelings, do this until you feel a little lighter and clearer.
- Then, to end this practice, imagine your whole body surrounded by a beautiful ball of golden, protective light.
- Imagine the light coming in to fill in all the spots where you’ve released emotional energy, lighting up every cell in your body.
- Breathe, smile, and see how you feel.
This is the practice to reach for when you feel like you’re drowning in so many emotions you don’t know which way is up, are feeling heavy, worried, or overwhelmed.
It’s like wringing out your empathic sponge, leaving behind only what’s authentic to you.
And at the end, you create a protective energetic barrier between yourself and the external world, to shore up your boundaries and help you deflect some of that incoming emotional information.
We hope you’ll try these simple practices out and see how life-changing they can be when you start to implement them regularly!
You don’t have to suffer under the weight of other people’s emotions. Use these simple energetic practices to help you feel secure, clear, and more confident in who you are, whenever you need them.