Being born an empath is not something you can control – it’s something you are bestowed. Once it becomes clear you are an empath, you’ll need to develop mechanisms and strategies of coping with your gift day to day. It can at times be stressful and draining, but with proper understanding and listening to the advice of other empaths, you can begin to harness your gift for the betterment of yourself and others.
We’ve put forth this guide to help you decipher whether the feelings you’re experiencing are because you are an empath – and if so, to help you understand how to channel your gift usefully rather than find it a burden.
What is a Psychic Empath?
Everyone feels empathy to some degree. Feeling sad when your loved ones are sad does not mean you are an empath; you are just reacting compassionately. All humans pick up on the emotions and ‘vibes’ of others – for example, it’s contagious when all your colleagues at work are in a great mood. The reverse is also true. If your husband or wife is unhappy, stressed or angry, your mood will be brought down in tandem.
Being an empath is a lot more complex than simply having empathy or compassion. As an empath, you feel others’ emotions as strongly as your own, sometimes to a point where you can’t distinguish which are truly yours. You feel the emotions of others even when they’re not displayed. You are influenced, on an unconscious level, by the desires, motives, intentions, and moods of people in your vicinity; even strangers.
As you know, or can imagine, being an empath can be stressful. In a large crowd, you can easily be overwhelmed by innately feeling the feelings of multiple people at once. You might learn to avoid such situations, which can be limiting. In our ‘Are You an Empath?’ section, we will list some coping mechanisms to help you avoid daily overwhelm.
Types of Empaths
Reverend Erin-Ashley Kerti, psychic development coach and empath, has defined five different empath types. You could be exclusively one type from this list; or a spectrum of some or all of them.
NOTE: Kerti stresses that this list is NOT all-inclusive. There can indeed be other types besides these five, because everyone is unique. Not everyone fits neatly into these boxes, and that does not mean they are not an empath.
If you strongly relate to one or all of these points (or something very similar to these), you could be a psychic empath.
You experience the emotions of others. It is irrelevant if the people are known to you or not. You feel the sorrow of the shop assistant whose pet has just died, and the jubilation of the man on the street who has just become a father. These emotions don’t have to be displayed by the person – the emotional empath feels them inside.
You experience the physical ailments of others. Generally, this occurs when you are in the vicinity of an injured person (but in some cases, it can be across further distances). It’s not enjoyable to feel other people’s pain; and hospitals can be a minefield for you. This type requires a lot of concentration on coping mechanisms.
You emote with animals, connecting to their energy. You sense whether an animal is happy, sad, anxious, etcetera. Sometimes an animal empath’s ability is only connected to one species of animal. Obviously, visiting a place where animals are captive or abused, like a zoo, can be a harrowing experience.
You connect with the global population as a whole, particularly the energies of groups of people. Global catastrophes such as natural disasters or terrorist attacks severely affect you, even if they occur on the other side of the planet. You will often feel the effects BEFORE you’ve heard of these events. If you feel out of sorts during the day, like experiencing a sense of heightened anxiety, check the news – you may find your cause. It is often hard to separate your personal stress with that of the rest of the world.
You are in tune with the earth’s energy – not people’s energy. Therefore, if a major natural disaster is on its way, you will feel physical symptoms before it happens. The symptoms and sensations depend on the person and the disaster. As a result of feeling what the earth feels, earth empaths often experience relief and calm after the disaster has passed – exactly opposite to what is felt by a global empath, who mirrors the feelings of the people affected.
Are You an Empath?
If you frequently find yourself feeling emotions oddly unconnected to your own life, ask yourself these questions. More determinants and useful information can be found here.
- Do you acquire knowledge from other people without being told anything, deeper and more accurately than intuition?
- Do you tend to react more strongly than others in emotional situations, even on TV?
- Do you find yourself practicing intense emotional labor on behalf of others, and ignoring your own needs?
- Do you regularly experience déjà vu or lucid dreams?
If so, it’s likely that you are very empathically sensitive. In the next section, we will share some strategies practiced by empaths across the world for leading a more ‘normal’, unaffected life.
- Related: Symptoms of a Psychic Awakening
How to Deal with Being A Psychic Empath
Being affected by others’ emotions, positive or negative, is hard. Some empaths are even driven to addiction to numb the sense of overwhelm they feel.
Here are some constructive ways to deal with being an empath, and recognize it as a gift rather than a curse. There is also a very helpful and more complete list here.
- Visualize a shield (fluid, not rigid) to separate yourself from ill-feeling when around unpleasant people or sensations.
- Practice yoga and meditation daily to clear your mind of your own and others’ stresses.
- Eat well – sensitive people are far more attuned to what they put into their bodies. When you eat badly, you feel terrible. You need a diet full of nutrients to be as physically and mentally strong as possible.
- Honor your need to recharge in solitude. Take time for yourself to do things YOU love, away from the interfering energy of others.
- Create art – this is great catharsis.
- Go outside into nature as often as possible; absorb mother nature’s positive energy.
- Make a list of the positive ways your gift has enhanced your life, to look at when you’re feeling overwhelmed.