What is an empath? 

Most people can go about their daily lives without much worry about what is happening around them. They are not influenced by outside forces and can focus on themselves without being weighed down by their environment. However, you will find some that struggle to deal with excessive stimuli and are susceptible to minute fluctuations in the energies around them and as a result can quickly feel overwhelmed from a seemingly invisible sensory overload.

If you are sensitive to your surroundings, have an overdeveloped sense of compassion towards others and often feel affected by negativity and burdened by what is occurring around you, especially when others are not, you could be an empath. Empaths are highly sensitive, emotionally and physically, that's right not only are empathic people more sensible in terms of feeling good and bad emotions, they have enhanced physical sensations.

Fear not because being an empath is a gift, it should be treasured. It is a power that can be developed into an influential force for good.

What  does empath mean?

The term empath is derived from the word empathy which describes ‘the ability to feel and share another person's emotions’. An empath is someone with an innate ability not only to understand mental states in other people but to actually experience them. These feelings go beyond conventional science and psychology and allow them to connect with individuals at a much deeper level by sensing and experiencing their true hidden emotions.

“Empathy is seeing with the eyes of another, listening with the ears of another, and feeling with the heart of another.” – Alfred Adler

They can be described as overly sensitive with a heightened response to the energy vibrations of others that allows them to see the world in a unique way. They can offer insightful advice on how to understand human behavior because empaths are highly perceptive to people’s moods and innermost feelings.

They can read people faster than most, sense potential outcomes to specific situations without prior knowledge, and assess vital hidden data simply by using their natural capacity to amplify the subliminal information they receive through their inbuilt emotional sensors.

The emotional sponge

This faculty to feel and understand means empaths absorb so much more information than normal and are highly influenced by what is happening around them. They are acutely aware of their surroundings and are attuned to understanding and experiencing the underlying issues that people suppress in everyday life but that are actually eating away at them. The process can be draining on the soul if the sponge mechanism becomes saturated with too many emotions.

Empathy is a spectrum of energy absorption and an empath finds themselves at the extreme end of it in how they soak up and take in the emotional vibrations around them. Emotions empaths have no filters that push back and they are exposed to forces that reverberate at a deep level on their personal feelings and well-being. Finding mechanisms to regularly cleanse and wring this sponge of negativity will allow them to focus and allow their body and mind to deal with the influx of these emotions.

15 signs you may be an empath

  • You are good at reading people

  • You are highly intuitive and make decisions based on instinct

  • You absorb other people’s emotions and are affected by their moods

  • You are introverted and feel uncomfortable in large groups of people

  • You feel like you don’t always fit in and tend to isolate from others

  • You have overdeveloped senses and are frayed by noises, smells and other sensations

  • You are sensitive to what is happening around you both directly and indirectly

  • You often feel the need to detach yourself from others and escape to recharge

  • You are unable or find it hard to create and set boundaries

  • You tend to avoid intimate relationships

  • You look to nature as a refuge

  • Your heart is true and you always want to offer support to those you think are in need of it

  • You are a good listener and people turn to you when seeking someone with compassion

  • You do not deal well with aggression and confrontation and always seek a peaceful solution

  • You struggle to deal with negative emotions

Dealing with negative emotions

The celebrated author of the best-selling ‘The Empath’s Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People’ Dr Judith Orloff asserts that empaths ‘feel other peoples’ emotions, energy, and physical symptoms in their own bodies, without the usual defenses that most people have’.

In her powerful book, she offers practical support to empaths on how to deal with negative emotions in a world that is highly stressful by equipping them with the tools needed to fully embrace their gifts.

It is known that empaths are frayed by noise, smells, or excessive talking and struggle with being in close proximity to other people because they feel emotionally drained by crowds and can find multiple simultaneous connections difficult to manage.

Intimate relationships and closeness with others are often avoided. This can lead to seeking solitude and escapism from forming attachments, and the more confrontation is eschewed, the more likely they are to retreat into their shell and feel exhausted by everyday life occurrences.

However, there are techniques and methods to counter the sense of being overwhelmed with simple meditation, breathing rituals and practical mindful exercises that can place a protective bubble around an empath, one that filters the energies and can empower them to take full control and charge of their surroundings.

Setting boundaries and coming face to face with the fact that being an empath is not easy requires time but harnessing this power can be so liberating as it will focus the mind and allow personal development and fulfilment.

Having the amazing intuition, if correctly channeled, can prepare you for any situation. Finding serenity, inner-peace and being realistic comes with understanding the world around you and how people behave within it. For instance, you should take pride in having that awareness to see through people, being able to quickly identify the ‘emotional vampires’ who have a draining effect on others.

MD Judith Orloff, the famous Psychiatrist warns empaths about emotional vampires and teaches you how to combat energy vampires and narcissists.

Emotional vampires

Learning how to deal with these draining characters will be the first step to shielding yourself from the negative impact they ultimately have on those around them. Althoug emotional empaths find it difficult to shield themselves from others, learning to stay away from toxic individuals can help transform depression, anxiety and fear into energy that will empower you and your life.

These charismatic and often charming individuals can be toxic due to their selfish nature and lack of accountability. Due to their insecurities, they project an air of dominance and feed on others’ vulnerability to boost their self-confidence.

They prey on seemingly weaker people by intimidating and bullying them. Adjusting your expectations, establishing those boundaries and understanding how they function will protect your health and well-being. Make sure you exclude emotional vampires from your entourage so you wont be subject to a random panic attack during the day anymore.  

Being an empath is a gift

“Learning to stand in somebody else’s shoes, to see through their eyes, that’s how peace begins. And it’s up to you to make that happen. Empathy is a quality of character that can change the world.” – Barack Obama

Today, we seemingly live in a world where empathy is often discouraged and we are taught to put the ‘self’ first. However, with a shift in perception towards prioritizing social integration, community well-being and reconnecting with our environment and viewing people as part of a whole rather than as individuals, being an empath can put someone in a unique position to be able to help others and make the world they inhabit a better place.

“You can only understand people if you feel them in yourself.” – John Steinbeck

Empaths experience both positive and negative emotions in other people and often, these highly sensitive people can be viewed as weak because they are affected both physically and mentally by what is happening around them. Empaths are susceptible to reacting adversely to various situations but if this gift is understood it can be proactively used both privately and professionally to understand dynamics and make decisions based on knowledge extracted from subliminal human messaging.

“Empathy is really the opposite of spiritual meanness. It’s the capacity to understand that every war is both won and lost. And that someone else’s pain is as meaningful as your own.” – Barbara Kingsolver

Having an intuitive understanding of human dynamics and emotional reactions can make an empath excel at managing personalities within any given context. Seeing through people and recognizing the underlying traits Their innate feeling of matters makes them outstanding pacifiers in stressful situations. They are good at settling issues and can judge fairly and accurately because they can place themselves in someone else’s shoes and actually feel them. They can extract knowledge that is not visible and have natural diplomatic flair.

Living in an age of sensory and informational overload, more and more people are becoming affected by negativity and cases in mental health issues, anxiety and depression are rising the world over. If as an empath you have mastered the art of protecting yourself, you can start applying your knowledge to every aspect of your life and find the path to fulfilment and then relay your gift to help others.

Harnessing your empathic powers with PsychicWorld

Understanding the qualities held within people and equipping them with the tools needed to find peace and harmony in their lives is one of the key features of our platform. We pride ourselves on the experience of our consultants in coaching and helping others develop their skills to deal with whatever the world can throw at them.

At PsychicWorld, we invite everyone to practice mindfulness and to cultivate a serene approach to the worlds we inhabit. Our experts are here to offer empaths support in creating a protective and filtering layer to the emotional vibrations of the environment around them, and can help them harness their gift to reach the emotional maturity needed to achieve inner-peace and true contentment.