Overcoming Empath Fatigue

Empaths naturally carry a heavy load throughout the day.  Often times highly sensitive people, the empath feels an intense level of fluctuating emotions in response to things occurring around them.  Add to that their ability to absorb emotions outside of them and you have a recipe for daily fatigue.

What makes this exhaustion worse is the inability to escape it.  For the average person, spending some time on the couch, relaxing to their favorite music, or a good night’s sleep is enough to leave them feeling refreshed.  But for the empath, there is little escape.

Seclusion is of no use when you feel global emotions, or even the emotions of loved ones, regardless of their location.  Absorbing energy from objects, walls, the earth, or animals add into this overload of emotion.  Then there are those who pick up energetic memories and the emotions of spirits.  These empaths can feel as though they have no options for solitude.

The bottom line is that everything around us is energy and empaths, being heavily affected by this energy, have little or no escape.

At the end of the day, as an empath crawls into bed, they hope for an emotional escape in their slumber, only to enter an overactive dream state. Lucid dreams, vibrant colors and vivid events of past, present, and future.  Uncontrollable whirlwinds of emotions overtaking their mental and physical state without conscious reprieve.  Spiritual intruders, entering the dream state and even luring them to different places and out of body experiences.

Empaths often find themselves waking up even more exhausted, tensed, and stressed than before they fell asleep.

How to find relief

 

As miserable and hopeless as this constant state of exhaustion may seem, there are ways to overcome this fatigue.  As you begin to search for relief through using the following tips, be patient with yourself and know that it will take practice to overcome a lifetime of feeling tired.

 

Remember feeling refreshed

 

When you are immersed in empath fatigue, dragging yourself through every moment, it can be difficult to remember what it feels like to be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.  But everyone has had times in their life when they have felt a higher level of energy.  Recall those times, no matter how brief.

Perhaps it was a feeling of excitement over an upcoming event that offered a burst of energy.  Maybe you can recall a vacation at a peaceful location that allowed you some emotional downtime.  Call to mind as many times as you can when you felt relief from the overwhelm.

Dig deep into that memory and really feel how it felt to be relaxed and refreshed.  Recall how your body felt, how your breath eased.  Remember the peaceful smile on your face; the one that takes no effort and no muscles as it comes from deep within and fills your face.  Just be in this memory for a few moments.

As you do this, your body will respond to the memory as though it is occurring right now.  You will offer yourself the reprieve of fatigue without having to change your current reality.  The escape in your mind reminds you that it is possible to feel refreshed and the effortless nature of remembering doesn’t add any more to your plate.

 

Make decisions

 

Have you ever had a time when you were so fed up with all the emotional weight you’ve been carrying that you vowed to stop?  You told yourself, loudly and proudly, enough!  Just as a person making a New Year’s resolution, in that moment of clarity and decision, you felt a burst of energetic pride, ready to take on your new found resolve.

When you made this declaration, you used your thoughts to give yourself a burst of energy.  Through your clarity, you were able to gain a higher energetic state.  You may be telling yourself that it never lasts, but by giving yourself that moment and recognizing the relief you felt, you can push that feeling further and further each time, until it gains greater momentum.

Making a decision, using the power of your mind to be deliberate in your life and take control of the way you want to feel, offers a burst of energy you didn’t know was dormant within you.  A great deal of our exhaustion comes from confusion and feeling out of control.  Simply making a decision, any decision, no matter how big or small, will give you clarity that brings with it this life force of energy.

 

Vibrate higher

 

Fatigue comes from lower vibrational emotions.  When we consistently feel emotions that fall in a lower frequency, we begin to feel as though we are wading through sludge.  As empaths surrounded by a world filled with those who are stressed, bored, lonely, sad, and fatigued themselves, we become immersed in lower frequencies, dragging us down so consistently to the point that it feels normal.

When we are in these low frequency emotions, higher frequency emotions appear exhausting as we are viewing them from a place of no energy.  We recognize that with joy, happiness, and excitement comes action and that action sounds impossible when we are exhausted.  But this perception is skewed as it assumes that we will remain fatigued in those higher vibrational emotions.

The reality is that as you work your way up the emotional scale, your energy increases exponentially.  So how do you reach for higher frequency emotions when you feel so exhausted?  By shifting your thoughts ever so slightly to achieve an emotion just higher than your current state.

Find your current emotion on the chart below, then feel around for thoughts that bring you one step higher.  For example, if you feel regret over something in your past, search for thoughts that shift you to blame.  Don’t judge the emotion of blame as something negative.  Instead, embrace those thoughts of blame.  In that moment, notice how you feel more empowered, offering a slight energy burst.

From there, keep working your way up, without judgement of your emotions.  Enjoy going through the stages in your mind, from blame to grief, to anger, up to contentment, and eventually action.  Take your time and don’t try to leap too far too fast up the scale.  Instead, enjoy any moment of improved emotion and relish in the small uplift of energy.

 

Notice and appreciate it

 

We all have moments throughout the day where we feel less exhausted than others.  They may be short-lived, and usually come from a shift in perspective or thoughts.  Often times, these moments go unnoticed in a chronic state of exhaustion.  We start thinking thoughts like, I am always tired and I can never get a break. These thoughts continue to perpetuate our belief that we never have energy, glossing over the reality that sometimes we do.

Throughout the day, take note of each and every moment that you feel refreshed and elevated, no matter how brief.  Consider keeping a journal and rating your level of energy throughout the day on a scale of 1 (extreme fatigue) to 10 (energized).  At the end of the day, allow yourself to feel excited over every number increase, whether from a 3 to a 7 or as small as a 1 to a 2.  Each of these increases will remind you that it is possible to have a higher level of energy.

Appreciate these higher levels rather than judging them as not being enough.  The more you find yourself appreciating every moment you feel relief, refreshed, or mildly energized, you will see more and more moments appear in your life to ease the fatigue.

 

It’s all in your mind

 

Have you ever felt so excited about something (a project, an event, etc.) that you could hardly sleep despite consciously knowing that you should be tired?  I liken it to the night before Christmas as a child.  Your level of emotion is so high that you feel like you could go forever without sleep.

This is because feeling fatigue is all a state of mind.  And our state of mind can be changed in an instant.  By using the tips mentioned on a regular basis, you can slowly shift your state of mind and the belief that you have always been and therefore will always be tired.  You can overcome your fatigue without changing your circumstances, by simply changing your thoughts about the world.

Recall when you have felt refreshed, gain clarity in your life, reach for a higher frequency emotion, and appreciate each and every moment you feel a little relief.  By doing these things consistently, you will notice a gradual shift in your everyday level of energy and may even find yourself enjoying the road to an improved state of being.

Instead of saying, I am always tired or I wish I could get a break, begin today by pivoting these thoughts to a better reality:

I have felt refreshed before and can feel refreshed again.

I am able to give myself a break.

I can find energy because I am energy.

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Perfect Gifts for the INFJ in Your Life

perfect-infj-giftsThe holiday season is upon us and so is the stress of finding the perfect gift for those in our lives.  INFJs enjoy receiving gifts just like everyone else, but snatching some superficial trinket may feel a little materialistic or empty.  Instead, if you are looking for a gift to spark the depth and warmth of the INFJ in your life, look for things that hold greater meaning and purpose in their lives.

Some ideas may include:

  • Gifts that encourage personal exploration and understanding, such as self-help books or tickets to seminars
  • Something that shows you listen closely to their wants and desires
  • Music that warms their heart and fills their soul
  • A donation in their name to a charity they passionately support
  • A gift that relates to a personal memory, whether their own or a mutual special occasion
  • Supplies to encourage a personal hobby, like art supplies, notebooks, gardening tools, etc.

The goal is to offer them gifts with purpose that go a little deeper than the material they are made from.  If you are looking for suggestions, check out some of these ideas:

The following contains affiliate links.  By purchasing through any of these links, you help keep this website running.  Thank you for your support!

 

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The Empathic INFJ: Awareness and Understanding for the Intuitive Clairsentient

INFJs love nothing more than to feel understood and to understand.  This self-help book will offer the INFJ in your life deeper insight into who they are as well as practical advice they can apply to their every day life.

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The INFJ Jedi Tee (also available in sweatshirt)

The force is strong with this one.  Act fast to grab this INFJ Jedi tee as it is only available for a limited time!

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INFJ: If you can read this, I can read your soul Mug

Enjoy your coffee or tea while reminding the world of your super intuition with this white coffee mug reading “INFJ: If you can read this, I can read your soul.”

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Beats Pill+ Black

INFJs love to temporarily escape reality and control their emotions through the sounds of music.  Allow them this escape with the gift of the Beats Pill.

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Kindle Paperwhite E-reader

Save them money and several trips to the bookstore with a Kindle E-reader, allowing them to take their love of fiction and fantasy anywhere they go.

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The INFJ Heart: Understand the Mind, Unlock the Heart

If you are in a relationship with an INFJ then this book can benefit both of you.  Offering insight into the INFJ mind, this book helps deepen your relationship and enhance communication.

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Bullet Journaling

The mind of an INFJ is always full and active.  Give them the gift of sanity with these easy-to-use bullet journaling system where they can take their thoughts and organize them on paper.

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INFJ Personality Type T-Shirt

Show pride in being a member of the 1.5 percentile with this women’s tee.

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Still not finding what you’re looking for? Search Amazon for an array of INFJ Merchandise and books!

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The INFJ Shadows

the-infj-shadowsUnderstanding the INFJ Shadow Functions

 

Each Myers-Briggs personality type has eight cognitive functions.  These functions make up the way in which we receive, process, interpret, and transmit information.  They are essentially the blue print for how the brain operates.

While all personality types have the same cognitive functions, it is their order which determines one’s personality type.

These functions can be split up into two groups:

  • Primary functions which are more developed and make up the majority of your cognitive processes.
  • Shadow functions which tend to work on a covert level in the subconscious.

While we have addressed the four primary functions before, the shadow functions tend to go overlooked.  These processes are actually responsible for a large amount of our negative thoughts and behavior which pop up in times of discomfort, stress, fear, or threat.

Here is a glimpse into how the INFJ’s shadow processes function and play out through our shadow selves:

 

Extroverted iNtuition (Ne)

This process allows us to hold a host of ideas and possibilities in our mind at once.  It weaves together a variety of outcomes and thoughts to create strategies for tackling situations.

This piece of us is also what makes an INFJ stubborn.  The ability to see a variety of perspectives makes it easy for us to poke holes in another’s stance or arguments, making us say things we’ll regret later.

 

Also check out:

Emerge from the INFJ Shadows

Emerge from the INFJ Shadows Program

 

Introverted Feeling (Fi)

This is the process through which information is filtered and decided whether it fits within our value system or works against it.  Often working as a gut reaction more than logical thoughts, Fi allows us to assess the world around us against that which we already believe.

This is also, unfortunately, the critical piece of our personality which causes INFJs to be passionately judgmental against the actions and beliefs of others.  It fuels us to attack those who appear to be a threat to our values.

 

Extroverted Thinking (Te)

Te categorizes our environment.  It takes all the external data fed into our minds and arranges it in neat and concise categories allowing for efficient thinking and action.

This role is great at deceiving us into thinking things are more important than they really are.  Based entirely in data, it excludes emotional reasoning, leading us to jump full steam into things that appear necessary on paper but are, in all actuality, pointless or a waste of time.

 

Introverted Sensing (Si)

This process is like the computer of the mind.  It is all about comparing and contrasting existing data.  People, events, situations, bodily responses, or any factual sensory information is compared to previous or similar situations to make assessments and evaluations.

As feelers, INFJs use this process in an extremely negative way.  Because we respond to many events with a clear layer of emotions, similar events become triggering in biased ways.  Seeing someone who appears similar to another who has harmed us brings about unfair calculations.  We may be tricked into thinking an idea is good because it brings up positive feelings associated to previous similar situations.  These instant comparisons cause us to make decisions or act in ways we regret later.

 

While these four shadow functions often play a negative role in our thoughts and behaviors, it is important to recognize that they are not in and of themselves negative functions.  In fact, within our subconscious mind, they are often working in helpful manners which can enhance our primary functions.  The key to bringing these positive traits to light is through understanding each function’s purpose and learning how to flip them around, making them work for us instead of against us.

I cover exactly how to recognize the ways in which the shadow functions appear in our daily lives and how to flip them around, utilizing their positive traits and shining light on our shadow self in the program, Emerge from the Shadows.


Want more? Check out

 

Emerge from the Shadows

A 5 day actionable program for INFJs to move toward emotional balance and mental clarity


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From Empathy to Compassion

from-empathy-to-compassionFinding Relief in Your Empathic Abilities

 

“How do I turn it off?”

This is the number one question that brings people to me and my website.

The overwhelm of feeling the emotions of others builds and builds, leaving empaths to feel helpless and desperate, hoping to find any answer to simply turn it off and find some reprieve.

It’s exhausting and heavy and draining and it is no wonder that we spend so much time just trying to stop it.  To feel a life of even emotions where we are in control every moment of the day.  It sounds like a pipe dream to many, but it is possible. How?

By turning empathy into compassion.

While these two terms may sound synonymous, they are actually dramatically different.  Empathy is feeling the emotions of another.  While most experience empathy as a piece of sympathy, able to consciously put themselves in the situation of another, empaths do this involuntarily, all day, every day, in every situation.  The emotions of another cause them to shift their own emotional energy, even without their consent.

Empathy leaves us feeling emotions we would rather not feel.  The struggles of another bring down our energy, leaving us feeling sluggish, heavy, or even crippled.  We long to help and heal, but feel too heavily the weight of another to offer much assistance.

Compassion, in contrast to empathy, is feeling your own emotions while offering sympathy to another.

Compassion is the basis from which we are able to aid those who are in need.  Offer a shoulder to cry on, give resources and time, and make plans of action to help those suffering around us.  Compassion keeps us in control of both our emotions and our situation.

Empathy is crippling.  Compassion is empowering.

When an empath absorbs the emotions of another in despair, their need to help comes from a desperation to end the pain.  The steps they take are then made less effective and both parties suffer together, hoping for a cure to emerge from anywhere.

However, when able to remain in control of their emotions, deciding to feel powerful, joyful, and especially hopeful, the empath can now look at those suffering and offer them compassion from a place where they are able to assist.  They can look at another’s suffering and choose to feel positively.  From this space, they can create the very cure they would normally long for.

Compassion allows the empath to remain elevated, lifting up those around them, instead of emotionally falling down the trail of despair.

“How do I turn it off?”

You make the choice to choose compassion over empathy.  You use your empathic abilities to feel how they are feeling greater than anyone else around you, then you make a choice to not feel the same way.  You make a choice to feel good – to feel joy and hope – and from there you can be the help they need.

There is nothing wrong with being an empath.  Your abilities allow you to recognize where compassion is needed the most.  Recognize the empathy, acknowledge the emotions, and allow yourself to release them in order to fill yourself with the empowerment of compassion.

If you are struggling with how to release the emotions of others, I cover this and more in the Take Back Your Emotions program.  Not only will you better learn how to cope with your empathic abilities, but also grow in your gifts to help those around you.

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Monetizing Your Healing Gifts

monetizing-your-healing-giftsReleasing the Stigma

 

Money is a tricky subject, especially in the spiritual and healing world.  There is a great deal of stigma revolving around charging for “soft” skills, or skills which are not easily honed through a college or trade school.  Empaths, healers, shamans, and teachers are born with a unique set of abilities and determining how to use them, morally and appropriately, while not hoarding them from them masses is a fine line to walk.

I, personally, have decided to use my gifts to make a living.  This was a personal choice and one that did not come easily to me.  I worried a great deal that it is unfair to charge people in order to help them.  I wanted to offer assistance to everyone I could, regardless of their financial situation.

But what happened was I became drained.  Every day, all day, I offered my gifts for free and still had to put in extra time to make money through other avenues.  In the end, I had nothing left to give, but more people still kept coming to me for help.  I felt like a martyr, giving and giving, wondering when I would receive.  I started to feel taken advantage of, which lessened my ability to offer the love each of these people deserved.  Overtime, I realized that I was not actually helping anyone because I was too drained to offer the service I wanted or they needed.

Why was I drained?  Because there was no equal exchange of energy.  I wanted to help others, giving my time and talents, but felt guilty about receiving anything in return.  This led to my energy be tapped dry and nothing left to fill me, nor the time to fill myself because I still needed to work to feed myself and my children.  Because I was allowing for an imbalance in energy transfer, I was attracting energy vampires.  People who, whether consciously or unconsciously, were taking my energy and not offering anything in exchange.

This scenario is common for healers.  So common, in fact, that many have come to believe that this is the life they are destined to live.  But it isn’t.  It can change.  You were not created to be exhausted and drained day in and day out.  You have the right to be filled as well as to fill.

Money is energy.  It is an arbitrary exchange system that simply allows us to decide what matters most to us.  Energy is everywhere and it is constantly flowing.  Giving and receiving in balance is the key to a life of fulfillment and contentment.

Everyone is born with gifts.  A master surgeon with his steady hand saves lives.  One with the gift of a mathematical mind offers assistance as an accountant.  A pianist with hands of gold gives us the beauty of entertainment.  An athlete born with an amazing gift of coordination and bodily awareness allows us the pleasure of a national pastime.

We are all gifted.  And with these gifts, we spend years of research, study, lessons, practice, and mentorship, honing in on our abilities and discovering how to use them to enhance the lives of those around us.

Just as an accountant deserves to be paid, a surgeon should send a bill, an athlete collects his wages, and a pianist enjoys the fruits of his hands, so too do healers deserve to be compensated for their gifts.

If you are struggling with charging for your natural born talents, look around at those you admire most and see them giving and receiving in works they were born to do.  The harmony is beautiful and it is what makes the world go round.  It is what makes each one of us thrive and each one of us feel the joy and fulfillment within our lives.

When you begin to see that you deserve an equal exchange of energy just as those around you, you will begin to attract those who feel you deserve this exchange as well, and you will help people like you never dreamed possible.

Money is tricky.  Most of us have been raised with distorted beliefs and paradigms, blocking our ability to receive our worth.  But we are all equals and all gifted, all deserving of an equal exchange of energy.  Admire the gifts of another and feel your joy in seeing them compensated and then take a moment to admire your own gifts.  You deserve to be compensated, too.

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The Socially Anxious Empath

the-socially-anxious-empathI want you to visualize for a moment that you are standing in a crowded room.  The room is filled with familiar and unfamiliar faces and they are all looking right at you.

As you reach up to scratch your cheek, someone tells you that you appear uncomfortable.  You cough and see noticeable faces of disgust.  You reach for a shrimp cocktail and someone tells you that you have already had two.

With each movement comes commentary from the crowd, critiquing your mannerisms, appearance, emotions, and actions.  If you attempt to speak, you are interrupted consistently mid-sentence with opinions on your word choice, ideas, and perspectives.

After only a matter of minutes, you feel terrified to move but equally fearful of standing still.  You feel critiqued, whether positively or negatively, for every single thing you do. No matter what you do or do not do, those in the crowd have something to say about how they feel towards you.

Ultimately, you are made so uncomfortable and fearful of what others will say next that the only reprieve is to leave the situation.

Welcome to the life of the socially anxious empath.

While people are obviously not verbally expressing their emotions about everything an empath says or does, the empath still feels it. 

You see, each and every one of us is having emotional responses to the people around us every single day.  When the cashier asks if you want paper or plastic, you have an immediate emotional reaction to the question – surprise, confusion, overwhelm, gratitude, understanding, or any host of everyday emotions.  When someone sneezes right beside you, you have an instant emotional response to how they handled their sneeze, whether disgust over the proximity, compassion for their discomfort in feeling unwell, or gratitude for the tissue they had readily available.

In everyday conversation, each sentence spoken evokes an emotional response from you.

These responses, whether positive or negative, are often involuntary.  They are immediate judgments based on a lifetime of experiences and layers of beliefs and paradigms.  To do this is human.  It is healthy.  It is an innate survival mechanism.

What makes us able to remain emotionally even is our logical ability to assess situations as well.  Let’s use the sneezing example: When someone sneezes in your general direction, your emotional response may be that of instant disgust.  But your logical faculties will remind you that had they turned another way, they would have sneezed on someone else, and at least they were gracious enough to cover their mouth and nose.  Sneezing is involuntary and they meant no harm in the simple act.

Your logic and thoughts remind you that there is nothing wrong with the situation and you move along, without your initial involuntary emotional response being of any matter in the grand scheme of things.

This emotion and thought process often occur so rapidly and subconsciously that the average person hardly notices these insignificant reactions, both within themselves and especially within those around them.  They can converse with another and take the conversation at face value because they are less than aware of the minuscule blips of emotional responses.

Empaths, however, notice.  Even if the empath is unaware of their abilities, they are still very clearly picking up on these tiny changes in one’s emotional frequency.  So in a simple interaction with another, each word, movement, or mannerism that causes a small and involuntary emotional judgment from another is felt by the empath.  They become painfully aware of how the other person is perceiving them.  Whether these perceptions are positive or negative is of no matter.  The empath still feels exposed and on show, hyper aware of every move they make.  Their only reprieve seems to be to escape the situation where they can feel noticeable relief from the removal of the unforgiving spotlight.

Knowing exactly how others feel about you, without the ability to know what they are thinking, causes the empath to become anxious in almost any social situation.  Unaware of the reason why, they live a life of social anxiety which holds them back from making new friends, finding fulfilling relationships, participating in activities, thriving in the workplace, and more.

So how does an empath, with their keen sense of everyone’s emotions, break free from this anxiety?  Through knowledge and awareness.

Knowing the reason why you feel anxious helps immensely.  You are not crazy.  Others are not spending more time critiquing you than those around you.  They are simply being human, offering human responses, in the same way they do with everyone around them.  You just happen to have the ability to feel these responses in an instant.  Find relief in knowing that others are not focused on examining and judging you.

Take a moment to notice your immediate emotional responses to others.  You will see that you offer these same shifts towards others.  It is not malevolent nor is it intentional.  In many cases you do not allow these tiny judgments to alter your perception of others because you see them on a larger scale.  Others see you on a larger scale, too.  They have logic and reasoning and are continuously forming new opinions and paradigms.  You are just offered a front row seat to how the human mind works.

Next time you begin to feel anxious when conversing with another, remember that the other person is not critiquing your every move.  They are probably not even aware of their emotions that you are picking up.  You are turning a brighter spotlight onto yourself and their emotions than they could even consciously fathom.  So turn down the spotlight, find enjoyment in the unique knowledge you hold, and continue forward in the discussion with a newfound sense of your abilities.

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The Difference between HSP, Empath, & Clairsentient

hsp-empath-clairsentientLabels are a tricky business.  They carry with them entire definitions, preconceived notions, and hefty judgments, all wrapped up in one simple word.  While labels can be confining or, in some cases damaging, they are a necessity in conveying our experiences to those around us and ourselves.  As I have written before, discovering one label can be a life-changing experience.

But what do we do when a label that seems to fit so perfectly carries with it gray areas?  How do we decide if we claim that label or continue to seek a better one?

Obviously, every single person is different and our life experiences can never wholly be reflected in a few letters, so it is important to use labels as a catapult launching us further into self-discovery, not letting ourselves get wrapped up in the details and fretting over their accuracy.

But understanding a little deeper about which seems to be the best fit can aid in additional research and be just the thing one needs to continue forward in their journey of self-discovery.  For that purpose, I wanted to touch on the degrees of empathic sensitivity in hopes of offering greater clarity about your individual life experience.  These definitions are not hard-wired or set in stone and many will find that they use the terms differently, but based on my personal research, the following seems to be a common understanding for each label.

 

Highly Sensitive Person

 

The term Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) was made popular in more recent times by author and clinical psychologist, Dr. Elain Aron.  She has found that 15 to 20 percent of the population is born with heightened sensitivity to external stimuli.  She describes it as the brains ability to notice more than the average person, giving them a great deal to reflect upon and process.

HSPs have the physical capacity to feel, taste, hear, see, and smell things at a greater magnitude.  Tags on clothing which others would hardly notice can drive an HSP insane after only moments.  The humming of a fluorescent light can cause headaches whereas another would be unable to hear the consistent tone.  Perfumes can leave the HSP overwhelmed and in need of fresh air.

On top of the ability to notice these everyday details, HSPs also tend to be more emotionally in-tuned to those around them.  This stems from their ability to pick up subtle clues in body language, tone, or facial expressions.  HSPs tend to score higher on social intelligence tests (like this one) due to their ability to read these cues, even without conscious knowledge.  This ability leaves them aware of one’s emotions without necessarily understanding why.  Their emotional awareness causes higher levels of sympathy and empathy.

For the Highly Sensitive Person, their heightened abilities are all based on an innate, biological sensory survival trait which exists in hundreds of species.

 

For more information on living as a HSP, check out Dr. Aron’s book, The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You.

 

Empath

 

An empath is one who has the ability to feel the emotions of those around them, from people to animals to plants.  They absorb the emotional energy of others and take it on as their own, causing them to experience exactly the same emotional effects in their own bodies.

Empaths go beyond empathy caused by the heightened sensory of awareness of a HSP and instead physically absorb the emotional energy causing them to feel exactly what another feels even if they are unable to empathize.

While the cause of empathic abilities isn’t well known or understood, the most commonly held theory is that empaths are highly sensitive to the invisible energy which surrounds us and all things.

Let us look at an example using a hotel room.  If a couple has a heated argument in their hotel room and then proceeded to act as though nothing had happened upon the entrance of an HSP, the HSP would sense the tone of the room immediately upon entering due to their awareness of the nuances in body language and facial expressions, despite the couple’s best attempts to hide it.

However, if the couple has a heated argument and then leaves the hotel room before an empath arrives, the empath would feel the emotional residual energy from the argument without any obvious physical evidence that it took place.

In most cases, empaths are highly sensitive as well.  However, not all highly sensitive people have empathic abilities.

 

Clairsentient

 

Empath and clairsentient are often used as interchangeable terms.  In many instances, the use of either is considered appropriate, however there are slight differences in what each word represents.

Clairsentients, just like empaths, have the ability to sense the emotional energy around them and take it on as their own.  But clairsentients (meaning “clear sensing”) are able to make clear sense of the information within the energy around them.  They have a sixth sense which allows them to know things beyond the physical understanding. Similar to clairvoyance in which one receives knowing through visions or clairaudience which gives one extrasensory information through sounds or voices, clairsentience offers a knowing or understanding through a feeling or sensation.

Unlike empaths who feel emotions and energies of others, clairsentients find themselves having physical sensations which give them information about people, plants, or objects around them.  Things like tingling in the fingers when they are near someone whose energy calls for physical healing or throbbing in their throat (throat chakra) when near someone with a message they long to spread.

Clairsentients are almost always highly sensitive people as well as empaths.  Along with their heightened sensory awareness and ability to absorb the emotional energy of those around them, clairsentients also gain great knowing from extrasensory perception.

 

It is easy to see the many similarities between these three terms.  However, the minor differences are just as important when determining which labels best apply to your life.  You may find only one or two fit your situation, or perhaps you are all three.  Either way, it is my hope that you have gained a better understanding of your own personal abilities in order to continue to grow in self-acceptance.

 

I would love to hear from you!  Are you an HSP, Empath, Clairsentient or combination?  Share in the comments!

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What the Heck is Grounding Anyway?

what-is-grounding-anywayThe term “grounding” has been around for quite some time and seems to be continuously gaining popularity, especially as the spiritual movement progresses and more are looking for natural ways to bring a sense of balance to their lives.

Depending on who you ask, grounding is the key to achieving just about any form of physical, psychological, or spiritual comfort.

Chances are that you have had or overheard one of the following conversations:

 

“How can I find emotional stability in such a chaotic world?”  You have to ground yourself.
“What can I do to protect myself from all of the negativity?”  Learn some grounding techniques.
“Where can I seek solace from depression, anxiety, spiritual attacks, or overwhelm?”  Clearly you need to ground more.
“How do I achieve financial abundance, find my soulmate, or cure all that ails me?”   GROUNDING!

 

It comes up over and over again in a variety of different forms but without understanding what exactly grounding is, it really offers little more value than feel good buzz words like “think positive” or “hand it over to the universe.”  Great, but how?

I have written about grounding techniques before, but here I wanted to explain precisely what grounding is, why it is needed, and the main purpose it will serve in your life.

 

What is grounding?

 

Grounding is essentially the act of stabilizing yourself.  Many times in our lives we feel emotionally, physically, or spiritually out of control, as though we are being pushed around from several different angles, unable to grab a hold of anything to stabilize ourselves.

Grounding offers that stability.

Picture yourself as a the popular double samaras (or “helicopter seeds”) which fall from a maple tree.  These seeds find themselves in a place of stability, clinging to the branch of a maple.  Then one day, they are released and fall, spiraling toward the ground.  These seeds are now at the whim of their surroundings, blowing about in the wind.  They find themselves whisked back into the sky and falling back onto the ground until they are able to find just the right environment to put down their roots and stand strong against the elements.

This is grounding.  When you feel as though external forces, from opinions or emotions of others to outside obligations, are tossing you around and you can hardly remember who you are or what you want, grounding techniques offer you the perfect environment to dig in your roots and reach back into who you are and want you want in life.

Just as a double samara establishes its roots to allow it to discover what it is and reach upwards towards the sky, able to stand strong against the wind and rain, so too does grounding offer you the ability to reach back into the very elements which previously tossed you about with a new found strength and security.

 

Why do you need grounding?

 

We have all experienced those chaotic moments when our head feels like it is spinning from the moment we wake up.  Feeling lost, lonely, misunderstood, or even frightened are all symptoms of a lack of control in your inner world.

If you are in a place where you feel as though you have been twirling around at the whim of every breeze, then over time you lose sight of what you are meant to do in this life.  Your sense of self is gradually diminished and you begin to wonder who you are or what you think.

The longer you remain in this stage of personal disconnect, the more likely you are to develop mental disorders like anxiety, depression, dissociative identity disorder, co-dependency or any host of unhealthy cognitive effects.  On top of suffering emotionally, remaining in such a lower vibrational place is bound to leave you open to long term negative physical effects and health problems.

But by taking a few moments every single day to ground yourself, you can combat these negative emotions and regain a sense of who you are.  You are able to dig back into your roots and remember who you were before you became lost in the wind.

 

What purpose does grounding serve in your life?

 

Freedom.

The freedom to be you.  The freedom to feel however you want to feel.  The freedom to be whoever you want to be.

Freedom from outside opinions.  Freedom from outside circumstances.  Freedom from all earthly conditions.

Grounding you gives you your life back.

“Maybe the journey isn’t so much about becoming anything. Maybe it’s about un-becoming everything that isn’t really you, so you can be who you were meant to be in the first place.”  ~ Unknown

So next time someone recommends that you need grounding, they are not punishing you or sending you to your room without supper.  They are telling you to take a few moments to practice what it is like to be unabashedly you, standing strong against anything that wishes to uproot you and toss you into the wind.

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Empaths and the Law of Attraction

Empaths and the Law of AttractionThe law of attraction (LOA) is a universal law of which is working in our lives all the time, regardless of whether or not we are aware of it.  This law applies to everyone from those who are lacking emotional awareness to those who swarmed by too many feelings.  From sociopaths to empaths, LOA is ever constant.

 

But how does an empath who sops up the emotions of others day in and day out make a law entirely based on one’s emotional state work for us instead of against us?  How do we create our own reality when we can hardly decipher our own emotions?

 

The Law of Attraction, in brief

 

Before we get into how being an empath impacts the law of attraction, it helps to have a general understanding of what LOA is.  Discussed by Napoleon Hill in the popular writing, Think and Grow Rich, made famous by Rhonda Byrne in the book (and subsequent film) The Secret, and continued to be discussed by modern day philosophers and celebrities, including Dr. Wayne Dyer, Oprah Winfrey, Will Smith, Louise Hay, and Esther Hicks, the law of attraction essentially states that everything has a vibrational frequency.  Bob Proctor refers to this as a constant “ocean of motion.”

 

Things which are on the same frequency will gravitate together, meaning that your vibrational frequency will bring people, objects and circumstances into your life which match the frequency at which you are vibrating.

 

Like attracts like, without fail.

 

Our emotional state is an exact translation of the frequency at which we are currently vibrating.  Higher frequencies, like hope, freedom, appreciation, and love feel positive and joyful.  Lower frequencies feel heavy and negative, such as sadness, despair, anger, fear, and hopelessness.  The way to determine which frequency you are vibrating on is to simply look at how you feel.  If you feel negative, you will attract more things to make you feel the same way and vice versa.

 

Those who are successful at utilizing the law of attraction have practiced controlling their emotional state, and thus their vibrational frequency, in order to create the exact reality they desire.

 

An Empath’s Emotional Control

 

With this knowledge, when we look at the average empath’s emotional state, we can see how the law of attraction would be detrimental to an empath, especially one unaware of their abilities.  Empath’s take on the emotional state of those around them, in an instant.  They can feel one way in their home, then walk down the street and feel differently depending on the house they walk past, the individuals they encounter and even the trees or animals they see along the way.

 

The empath’s vibrational frequency can fluctuate up and down the emotional scale as fast as they can snap their fingers.  Their thoughts, experiences, and emotions do not always align as the emotions are not always theirs.  Thinking about something that makes them feel good in an attempt to shift their vibrational frequency can quickly be trumped by the depressed person in line behind them.

 

When Put Together

 

When you combine the unfailing law which determines our reality based on our emotional state with the dramatic and seemingly uncontrollable shifts within an empath, you are met with a recipe for disaster.  Simply being an empath does not make the law cease to exist anymore than it makes the law of gravity stop working.

 

Whether the empath feels joyful of their own accord or joyful because another is emitting it, the law of attraction will bring them more things to be joyful about.  If they are absorbing sadness, hopelessness, or fear from another, the law of attraction will bring the empath more things to feel sad, hopeless, and fearful of.

 

It is easy to see the chaos this brings into the life of an empath.  They begin to feel as though they have no control over their reality and positive thinking only takes them so far.  Life feels unpredictable and holds them constantly on guard for the next emotional and vibrational shift.  The more out of control the empath feels, the more situations are delivered to make them feel out of control.

 

Using LOA to Your Advantage

 

This does not mean that the empath is incapable of using the law of attraction in order to create the reality of your dreams.  The best part about a universal law is that, no matter how unpredictable life may feel, the laws are always predictable.  Drop an orange and it will hit the ground every time.

 

Awareness

The key to using LOA is to remain constantly aware of your emotional state.  This takes practice.  It is best to begin by setting a timer on your phone and checking in with yourself every time it beeps. Write down how you feel and then move on.  The more you check in with yourself, the more it will become a habit.  Overtime, you will be amazed at how easily you can pinpoint your emotions, regardless of whether or not they are yours.

 

Emission

Empaths grow so used to absorbing the frequencies of others that they can forget they hold the power to emit them just as those around them do.  Any time you notice that you have picked up on the emotions of another, pause for a moment and recognize that you are radiating frequencies to others too.  You are a beacon, not a sponge.  With this growing awareness, you become more capable of deciding what frequency you wish to put out into the universe and the more you consciously choose your frequency, the less you will passively absorb the frequency of others.

 

Practice

After habitually focusing on the frequencies you take in from others, it will take time and practice to shift to focusing on the frequency you are emitting.  Stay aware and continue to practice noticing how you feel and consciously deciding how you want to feel.  The good news is that manifestations are not instantaneous.  You have no reason to fear your thoughts or emotions.  Instead, stay curious.  Enjoy noticing your emotions and the emotions of others and overtime the law of attraction will deliver to you more things to enjoy.

 

Empaths do hold the power to control their emotional state, as difficult as it may seem at times.  The law of attraction is working at every moment and is responding to you in every instance.  Just as you discovered the law of gravity in youth, observe it without judgment, play with it, learn it, and then use it to your advantage.

 

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A Basic Shielding Technique for Empaths

Basic Shielding TechniqueEmpaths absorb the physical and emotional energies of those around them on a regular basis.  The default mode for an empath is wide open and susceptible.  Many must work for years to come to a place of stability and even longer to learn how to turn down their abilities long enough to simply walk through a grocery store.

While learning how to use our abilities may take time, momentary peace does not have to.  By finding simple tricks to shield yourself, you can begin to feel more confident in practicing a state of emotional control regardless of the situation.

My favorite shielding technique is through visualization because you can do it anywhere without anyone around you noticing.  By simply calling to mind an image, you can find emotional freedom in an instant.

The following visualization is one I have been using for years.  While it may take a little time to get familiar with, once you have the gist of it, you can immediately begin to use it in any situation with ease. This is a basic visualization exercise that focuses the mind and allows you to feel in control of your body, your energy field and what you allow into it.

Shielding Visualization

 

Picture those around you as having a force field surrounding their bodies.  Call it whatever you prefer: an energy field, aura, emotional excess or any other term you feel comfortable with.  Give this field a color if that helps you picture it.  Each person can have the same color or different colors.  You can visualize the field as a cloud surrounding the person, or perhaps it has more water-like appearance flowing around the body. Maybe it is a light glowing around them.

See this field as an attachment to their body; something that seems sewn on and held closely in.  It looks tailored and conformed, almost like a nice-fitting garment, not jumping out toward you or anyone else.  Their field stays close to them.

Now visualize the same thing around yourself.  See it moving, as water, fog or light.  Notice how yours does not fit like everyone else’s.  Rather than being controlled and held tightly to your body, your field seems to hang loosely, flapping in the breeze, going wherever it pleases.

Visualize it being pulled toward those around you like a magnet to metal.  Watch as it reaches out, intermingles with the fields of those around you, flowing toward them like a river.

Now watch it as it comes back to you.  Notice the pieces of the other person’s field floating in it, washing back towards your body, stuck like fish in a net or flies on a spider’s web.  This stuff remains in your field, just hanging there, as it continues to dance around and pull in more and more energies from the fields of those nearest you.

Now imagine that you can control your field.  It is fully under your power.

Reach out and grab it, reel it in, pulling it close to your body as you would a blanket on a cold winter evening.  Pull it away from those around you and bring it completely back to yourself.  Harness it.  Sew it back onto your body and do not allow it to flow freely away any longer.

If it feels like it wants to linger, firmly tell it no.  Visualize it staying on you and only you.

But you will see that it is still full of all that other stuff it pulled in from those around you.  Visualize shaking it out like dust off an old rug.  Watch as the energies that are not yours fall to the ground below you.

Envision pure, crisp water flowing through your field, washing out whatever remains, cleansing it of any energy that does not belong to you. See your field going from muddled and cloudy to pure and free.  Watch as it glistens and shines, empty of all that is not yours.

Feel how lightweight it is as you wear it.  How much easier it is to carry around, controlled and free of baggage.

Any time you feel like your field wants to move toward another, remind yourself that no good comes from pulling in unwanted energies.  Absorbing the energy of those around you does not lessen their burdens or struggles.  It only adds to yours, clouding up and weighing down your field, leaving you less capable of offering the assistance they may truly need.

It takes mindfulness and practice to master this visualization.  You will need to spend some time meditating on it, creating a visual that you can easily call to mind in the midst of an overwhelming crowd.  But overtime you will be able to harness your field, keeping it in and cleaning and emptying it when it manages to wiggle out again.

Believe that you can control what comes into your emotional space and you will control it.

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