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Being An Empath
Can Be Overwhelming
What To Do When You Reach The Breaking Point
Being an empath is a beautiful intuitive gift, but it also carries with it many challenges. Overwhelm is a big one.
If you're interested in energy healing, it's likely you're an empath--someone who's highly sensitive, with the strong ability to feel the emotion of others. It's a form of intuition. Empaths usually center their energy in the heart chakra. (Learn more about what it is to be an empath here.)
Being An Empath: A Crisis May Come
Empaths often have huge reserves of strength and stamina, so they can go for years lavishly giving their energy to others. But over time it usually catches up with them. They become increasingly overloaded and depleted from the oceans of emotion they process each day. For many empaths, this overload and depletion eventually reaches a crisis point.
An empath in crisis may feel exhausted, overwhelmed, depressed, and/or emotionally volatile. They may experience health problems. Eventually, they realize they can't continue living in the same way:
- feeling responsible for other people's happiness and well-being
- feeling other peoples' feelings as a default way of functioning
- generally feeling so much, so intensely .
They realize that something has to transform.
Responding To Empathic Crisis
So what's an empath in crisis to do? Here are some ideas:
- Find someone to help you learn to manage your gift, preferably someone who's successfully navigated the empathic crisis process.
- Work with a counselor to help you learn to set personal boundaries.
- Repeat a mantra such as "I am not responsible for other peoples' happiness or well-being."
- Develop an "off switch" for your intuition. Remind yourself as often as needed that being a good person doesn't require that you feel other peoples' feelings.
- Learn to recognize depletion when it first starts and change your behavior. Avoid people and situations that "drain your batteries."
- Take as much alone time as you need to recharge.
- Support and develop your third chakra to help you set boundaries and maintain your own identity and goals.
- Practice pulling your energy back to yourself and keeping it contained within yourself. (Chances are most people will never notice!) Here's a centering exercise to help you do that.
- Once you've centered your energy, visualize pulling your heart energy inward toward your spine. This helps protect, balance, align and ground your heart energy. (Thanks to a client for this idea!)
- Practice focusing more of your energy in your sixth chakra . This allows you to still feel compassion while providing distance and perspective so that you don't actually absorb other peoples' energy into your own energy field. Here's a method for doing that (#1 on the list).
When you're able to manage your beautiful gift of empathy--learning to use it selectively and to value your own wellbeing equally with others'--being an empath will feel much easier. Not only will you be more stable, you'll have more energy for your own life journey. Start envisioning: how will you use this newly freed energy?
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