The world can be overwhelming and stressful between personal triggers, relationship discords, hustle culture, and depressing news cycles.
For empaths, the feeling can be amplified many times over because they are not only affected by what is happening externally, but they also need to deal with how they feel about things internally.
What is an Empath?
Before we get into the essentials of navigating the world as an empath, let us first look into what an empath is.
An empath is someone who will not only feel emotions deeply but also take the emotions of others as if it is their own.
According to certified mental health integrative medicine provider and licensed marriage and family therapist Kristen Routh, “empaths are typically very cued into non-verbal communication, including posture, body language, and facial expression.”
Routh added that “empaths can experience sudden and overwhelming emotions when around others that can be difficult to contain or express healthily.”
For Routh, empaths don’t rely on external cues alone to understand the emotions and experiences of others.
Empaths have this innate ability to sense and understand the feelings of others—they are more subconscious and intuitive.
Navigating Life as an Empath: Top Tips
If you are an empath, knowing there is no shortage of ways to avoid triggers, set healthy boundaries, and protect your energy is reassuring.
Below are some of the best tips you should remember when navigating life as an empath:
Tip 1: Set Healthy Boundaries
Everyone can benefit if they set boundaries with themselves and others.
However, empaths can especially enjoy the freedom that setting boundaries bring.
For empaths, it is recommended that they limit spending time with people that trigger or drain them.
It is a sign of respect for the self and the other party so they can have more productive albeit shorter interactions with those people rather than having longer but more stressful and overwhelming interactions.
It is also ideal, to be honest about conversations you are not prepared to handle emotionally yet.
You can tell the other party that you value the conversation but are not ready to receive their message fully, and you will be more apt to receive their message in the future.
Tip 2: Avoid Common Triggers
If you are an empath, you need to be extra mindful of your triggers to avoid feeling overwhelmed.
It is important to remember that empaths are aware and sensitive to the feelings of others on a subconscious level.
Physical proximity and touch can greatly influence how empaths receive energy.
Specific situations and people might also cause greater emotional responses than others.
That said, it is ideal that empaths learn how to pace themselves and set good boundaries with their commitment and time, especially during triggering interactions.
Tip 3: Practice Empath-Friendly Self-Care
It is considered best that empaths recognize and name their emotions, identify where they stem from, and how they appear so they are empowered and can clearly distinguish their emotions from others.
Self-care for empaths also involves knowing what triggers emotional reactions in them.
For instance, common triggers include lack of sleep, too much caffeine, and hormonal shifts.
It would also help empaths keep a journal to record their emotions and moods.
Doing so can also help them make the connection between external triggers and their feelings.
Limiting screen time, unplugging from social media, taking time to recharge, and staying in a serene environment with minimal stimulation can also help counter overwhelming feelings.
Tip 4: Protect Your Energy
Protecting your energy as an empath is key to maintaining your physical and mental well-being.
Empaths must take full ownership of how they respond to external factors influencing their behaviors and feelings.
The following coping tools have been known to help manage your energy and process it in healthy ways.
Learning how to be controlled and receptive as you process external energy is recommended for empaths.
To avoid sensory overload, you must also “shield yourself.”
Shielding is a technique where you visualize being protected by a bubble, armor, or white light.
Visualize the shield as a protection that can deflect any overwhelming emotions or negative feelings projected onto you by others.
When empaths start to feel heightened emotions, grounding can help them get in touch with their body and minds.
Grounding techniques used before, during, and after discussions with others can prove very useful.
Breathing consciously, planting their feet on the ground, and checking in with their body sensations can also help empaths retain healthy energy, focus, and stay in the present.
Over to You
Being an empath is a blessing. However, living as an empath can also be challenging for most people. Hopefully, the tips above can help make life easy for empaths so they can continue to be a blessing to others.