Once upon a time, I tried everything to avoid feeling everything so much. On the weekends I would binge drink . I ate too much. I partied and jumped into relationships with the wrong men. I even over-medicated using my mental illness as an excuse to go numb. Just surviving wasn’t cutting it anymore. It wasn’t until I made the choice to get healthy and start feeling and dealing with my intense emotions that the healing really began.
It’s not all crystals and Epsom salt baths–even though they help.
You gotta make the choice to do the work too.
Here are some things I do to make my life as an empath a little easier.
Talk To Yourself. Talk to yourself and answer too! You’re not nuts. You’re checking in. I’ve heard about the technique where one visualizes a big radio dial and then you visualize yourself turning your sensitivity up or down. I’m less into visuals, so the radio dial thing doesn’t really work for me. Instead, I determine what is mine and what is someone else’s by getting calm, and then talking to myself. How do I really feel about this? Whoa, that person was angry. Why am I angry now too? Am I really angry about this? Okay, it’s time to take a step back and empathize with their situation instead of feeling it with them.
Alone time. I have to get away from people and check in with myself a lot. Take some alone time. Maybe alone time is a short walk, a drive, meditation, taking a bath, or even a work out. I’ve been single for the past six months and I’ve really noticed how much of my partner’s energy I was picking up every single day. I’ve noticed that being alone makes it easier to check in and listen to my own thoughts and feel my own feelings. Give yourself a break to check into your own feelings and rest when you need to.
Energy Healing + Talk Therapy. I cannot say enough about energy healing (reiki). It is hard to explain how Reiki works; it just gets at the feelings underneath the feelings. It is relaxing and almost like meditation. If you don’t have a practitioner where you live, many practitioners can do a distance healing session. Also, talk therapy has helped me see my thoughts and behaviors from a different perspective. As an empath, I’m usually the one listening, but in therapy I do most of the talking. I appreciate the objective perspective that I get from regular therapy.
Anxiety Relief. I have panic attacks. They are the worst. Meditation helps, but it only does so much. When you are in the middle of a panic attack it is really, really hard to get out of it. Sometimes I have to surrender and let them just come and go. I’ve found that trying to focus my thoughts on something positive helps. The physical symptoms I experience are heart racing, fear of losing control, and difficulty breathing. Talking to an understanding friend or partner during the panic attack helps too. I try really hard to go the holistic route first, but sometimes when it is interfering with my day-to-day life, I do take anti-anxiety medication. Perhaps, the most important thing I’ve learned from anxiety is to not be so hard on myself.
Homework: Do you notice a difference in your energy level when you spend time alone and when you are with people? Who do I trust that I can talk to about my feelings? I picked up on some fear energy/anxiety today. What did I do during the anxiety attack that helped? What made it worse?
Suggested reading: “The Universe Has Your Back” by Gabrielle Bernstein