Do people say you’re sometimes too intense? Do you feel emotionally exhausted when you’re at a party or in a crowd? Is it easy to hurt your feelings, and when someone you know feels hurt, do you feel it with them?
If the answer is yes, then you’re probably an empath or an HSP. If you are an Empath you may be feeling other people’s feelings as if they’re your own. That means you can really help people because you understand them, but it also means relationships and even public places can be pretty overwhelming. And if you’re an empath, you probably experience your own feelings very intensely, because you’re more intensely alive than ordinary people.
Dr. Judith Orloff, psychiatrist, professor and specialist in holistic healing, calls empaths “highly sensitive, finely tuned instruments. Empaths are naturally giving, spiritually attuned, and good listeners. Through thick and thin, they’re there for you, world class nurturers.”
Who wouldn’t want to be that helpful and healing? Well, if you’re emotionally sensitive, you know that there’s another side of empathy. Empaths can be vulnerable to an overdose of negative emotions. Needy, greedy people tend to “attach” to them. Some empaths even react to catastrophic events, world tragedies, feeling the shock of others’ pain even though they might be miles away.
Olga Klimecki, a researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Germany and the lead author of a study in Cerebral Cortex, notes: “When we share the suffering of others too much, our negative emotions increase. It carries the danger of an emotional burnout.” She advocates compassion training for prevention, healing and coping with empathy. Read more in Adam Hoffman’s Huffington Post interview.
Orloff describes a host of other problems as well. Her sensitive clients compensate unconsciously by binge eating, drug use and sexual excess. Some even experience physical pain, chronic fatigue, emotional isolation and agoraphobia (fear of public places and crowds). The bottom line: if you’re an empath, for the sake of your health, you need to find support to master sensitivity’s challenges.
Over time, empaths can build healthy practices to support a joyful, healthy life. Sensitive people especially benefit from coaching, compassion training, meditation, holistic counseling, nutritional therapy, and even such simple grounding practices as regular exercise and gardening. Life balance and self-awareness are foundations for empaths.
There are also ways of getting immediate physical support. The BioElectric Shield is one holistic product that offers daily relief from negative energy. Doctors and holistic healers, two of the most empathic professions, report benefits in their professional and personal lives.
The key is finding self-protection that prevents exhaustion and illness. The world needs empathic connections. Sensitive people have to find a balance between giving and receiving, holding and releasing, connection and separateness. Self-care is the first step towards mastery, so empaths can share their vital, nurturing gifts.
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