Empaths make up only around one to three percent of the population. Empaths are highly sensitive to energy of all kinds, like the energy of other people and places. They also have a close connection to, and an innate understanding of, nature and animals. Because empaths are so sensitive, they need to protect themselves. Otherwise, they can easily get drained and exhausted. Just walking in a shopping center and being exposed to other people’s emotions can be overwhelming.
Empaths feel deeply and absorb the energy of others. So, when you as an empath are spending time with someone who is feeling sad or miserable, you will take on those feelings and internalize them. As an empath, you will always be conflicted between helping others and looking after your own needs.
Here are 11 things that you can do to protect yourself. Make sure to read until number 1, because it’s the most important one of all.
Number 11. Nature.
Spending time in nature is essential for an empath. There are many different ways to ground yourself when you’re outside. Walking barefoot is a wonderful way of being in direct contact with the earth, and allowing the earth’s energy in. You could lie on the grass or with your back against a tree, touching elements of nature and experiencing it as a source of calming strength. Earthing has loads of benefits. It can reset your body rhythm. If your sleeping patterns are erratic, this could help you. It will also allow you to get rid of stress and tension. Emotionally, you will feel better and calmer. Swimming in open water would have the same effect.
Number 10. Stay away from energy vampires.
You will know when you’ve been in contact with people who drain your energy. Whether they are doing it knowingly or unknowingly, you will feel depleted and weak once you’ve spent time with them. If they’re doing it on purpose, it might be because they’re jealous of you, or simply don’t like you.
Or they might just be unkind or have narcissistic traits. If you can, stay away from them, cut these people out of your life as far as you possibly can. If you have no other option than to interact with them, maybe because the person is a colleague that you will encounter daily, then make sure you protect yourself first.
Number 9. Set boundaries.
Boundaries help other people understand that you value yourself, your time, and your energy, and that there are certain limits as to what you would do or allow. It makes things a lot easier if these are clear from the outset. If not, there will always be people who test your boundaries to see what they can get away with.
Number 8. Detachment.
You are naturally inclined to be of service and to help others. It could be a one-way street, you could just keep giving and giving, resulting in complete exhaustion on your side, while the person receiving your care and compassion might be unaffected in any way. You might feel they need somebody to guide or assist them, but they might feel they don’t need help. Instead of giving where your help is not wanted or needed, consider walking away, and detaching yourself from the situation. You can still be approachable when people need assistance and care, but be less giving to people who don’t want to be helped.
Number 7. Shielding.
Visualize a protective shield around you. It works like a one-way protective cloak, still allowing positivity to flow from you to others, but blocking negative energy from reaching you. You can do this whenever you feel that you could use a protective layer to keep toxic energy out. Take a moment, breathe deeply and then visualize a shield of soft, white light around your entire body. Inside this layer, you can feel happy and safe.
An alternative way of doing this is to visualize a sleeping bag around you. Just zip it up and feel that you’re protected from head to toe. You are still able to give off yourself and help others, but their energy cannot get to you, it stays outside of your protective sleeping bag. Choose any color you like!
Number 6. Mantras or affirmations.
Repeating a protective mantra or affirmation can help you focus your energy on rejuvenating yourself and feeling the strength of these wise words as you being internalized them. Mantras originated in Sanskrit and carry ancient wisdom. Affirmations only started surfacing a few decades ago but are still powerful. An online search will help you find something that is applicable and useful to you. Or just make up your own, according to where you’re at and what you’re needing at the time.
Number 5. Water.
Water purifies and cleanses. Washing your hands provides confirmation that you are cleansing yourself and letting go of things that could be harmful to you. Taking a shower is even better. It is an effective way to wash away negative energy or anything that might be holding you back. It is refreshing and rejuvenating, especially if you visualize that which is unwanted, flowing away and down the drain. You could also visualize standing under a waterfall that removes anything that isn’t good and pure. Taking a bath is not quite the same, because the water is not moving.
Number 4. Meditation.
Quieting your mind is one of the best gifts you can give yourself: make sure you meditate daily. This provides continuous protection. It lets you get in touch with who you are, helps you to get rid of anxiety, and provides clarity. Two ongoing challenges for empaths are getting overwhelmed emotionally and having their energy drained. Meditation can help prevent both of these.
Being free from external influences, just having some uninterrupted quiet time will do wonders for you. If it’s hard for you to quiet your mind, try to find something to listen to, that you can focus on. This can be the sound of an air conditioner, whether in real life or on an app. Or the sound of rain or a water stream or the humming inside an airplane. Sometimes you might want to listen to a guided meditation or relaxing music. Do whatever works for you, as long as you give your mind a rest.
Number 3. Take a break from social media.
It is bound to happen: when you’re scrolling through social media posts, you could come across something that triggers you. Rather put down your phone and take a walk outside, or listen to music. This doesn’t mean you must delete all your social media accounts and never check-in. Social media can have benefits, especially for connecting to other people that you care about. But taking a break now and again will do you a world of good.
Number 2. Breathe.
Breathwork brings cleansing and clarity. It quiets your mind, removes old energy, and lets new, fresh energy into your body. Let’s say you’re at work and something happens that triggers you emotionally. You are unable to get away, but there is a simple solution. Focus on your breathing, even just for a couple of seconds. You will feel the difference as it helps to calm you down.
Number 1. Being alone.
An empath needs a lot of time alone. Crowds can be overwhelming and just way too busy for an empath. Lots of activity and noise can drain your energy. Solitude allows you to recharge, ground yourself and find balance again. You might feel that you need to go for a walk in nature, read a book, dance, or do gardening. Or you might just need to be quiet and not do anything at all. Being alone and doing something you enjoy will help you prepare to face the world again when you have to.
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