Originally written and posted on December 21, 2019, by Kathy Best, as 10 Signs You May be an Empath, updated November 19, 2020
Empathy seems to be an emotion lacking in many areas of society these days. Have we as a species devolved to a level where empathy is no longer part of our emotional makeup? Or have we just learned to disengage so thoroughly from the complex array of emotional depth we were born with, in an attempt to protect and preserve our well-being? Whatever the reason it has had a very disastrous effect on our personal and professional lives and society as a whole. You see, empathy is what enables us to relate to people, it allows us to disagree but still recognize that another point of view or another belief can be just as valid as our own in the context of someone else’s personal experience. It gives us the ability to dig deep within ourselves and work to understand why someone would do or say something hurtful and empowers us to express compassion or forgiveness for injuries and transgressions. It helps us see past the surface, see through the facade, and into the heart and soul of another being who desires for the exact same things we desire…..love, safety, and appreciation.
While it seems that so many people have lost or disconnected from their ability to empathize, there are those at the other end of the spectrum that have developed so much empathy they can no longer function in their lives or in society in a balanced, healthy manner. These are the empaths that care so deeply they wind up losing their mental, emotional, and physical well-being to a gift that has become a curse. As an empath myself, I completely understand the frustration, depression, and overwhelm of being a magnetic sponge for everyone else’s moods and emotions. It has been the cause of so much needless suffering in my life and the lives of millions of people around the world who either don’t realize they are empathic or just have no idea how to control this powerful gift. Let me reiterate that it is truly a wonderful gift and not a curse or a disorder.
I spent decades of my life on a disturbing, disruptive roller coaster of emotion that affected my ability to learn, to study, to have friendships, relationships, jobs, good physical health, mental clarity, trust and confidence, and emotional strength and balance. It wasn’t until I was in my thirties that I realized I was empathic and it was through my research, study, and testing of spiritual, nutritional, and personal development principles and practices that I discovered the tools I needed to really harness the power of this gift and live in harmony and peace with it and everyone else.
It wasn’t until my forties that I truly recognized how imperative it was to continue the practices that I had learned. I wound up losing my physical and emotional strength, the good health I had worked so hard to attain, and almost my life after I stopped using the practices and techniques that all empaths need to maintain in order to stay grounded and balanced in this rapidly changing and constantly challenging world. For anyone who is empathic the skills and practices you need to live a fulfilling, happy, healthy life must become a way of life, a lifestyle, and not just something you do occasionally when you feel yourself getting overwhelmed or slipping off of the edge of sanity.
Cellular biologist, author, and epigenetics researcher, Dr. Bruce Lipton describes our cells as liquid crystal semiconductors and says that our DNA scans our environment for relevant frequencies and then reshapes itself accordingly. We can see this happening under a microscope. We are made of trillions of cells constantly transmitting and receiving energy. For many empaths it often feels like our energy exchanges are on steroids. Luckily there are many tools and techniques empaths can use to help them balance, shield, protect, and nurture their powerful sensitivities.
How to tell if you’re an empath and some practices to help you stay grounded and balanced:
- Empaths are naturally generous, loyal, and good listeners. They are loyal to a fault and can be world-class nurturers. They easily get their feelings hurt and are often told that they are “too sensitive.”
- It’s important to develop strong boundaries and learn to say no to people and things that aren’t in your best interest. Developing a spiritual practice that helps you connect to your higher power will go a long way in giving you the grace and confidence to be true to yourself regardless of what other people say or think. The crystal Fluorite helps maintain healthy boundaries, overcome dramas, balance emotions, and neutralize negative energy.
- Empaths are extremely attuned to other people’s moods, good and bad. They feel everything, often very deeply and take on the energy of others’ emotions whether negative or positive. Empaths feel overwhelmed in crowds, where their empathy is amplified. They are inclined to be reserved and prefer one to one contact, or small groups. Some empaths are extroverts, but still prefer limiting how much time they spend in crowds or at parties and often use alcohol or drugs to diminish or repress their empathic nature.
- Using a shielding technique or practice is vital to self-preservation in social situations. The simplest version is feeling or envisioning a golden suit of armor encompassing your body surrounded by an opalescent diamond shield that extends 6 feet out in all directions, protecting you from any harmful or negative people, situations, energies, frequencies, vibrations, and entities. Wearing or carrying black tourmaline is excellent for protection and transmuting, purifying, and neutralizing negative or harmful energy, entities, forces, and electromagnetic radiation.
- When overwhelmed empaths often develop panic attacks, depression, chronic fatigue, or food, sex, and drug addictions/binges, and many other physical symptoms that defy any conventional medical diagnosis.
- Developing a relaxation or meditation routine is the best way to process and release the emotional baggage that builds up inside an empath. Writing down feelings and experiences for objective observation can be a valuable tool to decipher what emotions are truly yours and what belongs to others. Also learning to clear and balance their chakras can greatly reduce the level and extent of stress and anxiety on a daily basis. The crystal Smokey Quartz is an excellent detoxifier and transmutes negative frequencies, energy, and environments.
- Empaths experience and navigate the world through their feelings and their instincts, but often learn to discount both.
- It is very important for them to develop, listen to, and trust their intuition and their gut feelings about people and places. This will help them find positive, supportive relationships and avoid energy draining people. The stone Malachite can help you release stagnant energy, truly be yourself, clear overwhelm, restore balance, remove emotional blocks, and enhance intuition.
- As emotional sponges, empaths often try to anticipate others’ needs and responses with varying degrees of accuracy depending on their level of confidence skill, and internal balance, so being around people can be physically and mentally draining. Empaths need regular alone time to recharge their batteries, but often don’t have the understanding or self-love to enjoy being alone. Even brief escapes prevent physical and emotional overload.
- Getting energy work from an experienced practitioner, taking a hot bubble bath, reading affirmations or, getting a massage are great ways to recharge and renew. Empaths also like to drive themselves when they go places so they can leave when the need arises. Hematite is the perfect stone for soothing emotions, centering, grounding, and shielding and encourages you to release unhealthy thoughts, feelings, and emotions.
- Too much togetherness can be demanding and depleting for an empath so they may avoid intimate relationships. Deep down they are afraid of being consumed by the relationship and losing their personal identity.
- It’s essential to develop habits and hobbies that encourage them to experience themselves independently from their partner, especially creative or meaningful expressions that provide opportunities to discover and use their strengths, talents, skills, gifts, and passion. Painting, drawing, coloring, writing, or any creative endeavor can help empaths fully embody their greatest individual potential. The stone Citrine is essential for empaths as it helps balance and heal, provides comfort, warmth, and positivity, boosts creativity, decisiveness, prosperity, and energy, and removes unwanted attachments, and frequencies.
- Empaths make easy targets for energy vampires who can sap the empath’s energy and sanity. Whether consciously or unconsciously, energy thieves do more than drain an empath physically. Narcissists are especially dangerous because they are only concerned about themselves. They can make the empath believe they’re unworthy and unlovable. Other energy vampires include The Victim, The Chronic Talker, and The Drama Queen.
- Developing a strong sense of self, a healthy, loving relationship with themselves, and using a shielding technique is necessary to protect themselves and prevent energy vampires from stealing their power and their resilience. Carrying or wearing Sugilite will help balance and protect your electromagnetic field, enhances your third eye and crown chakras and connects you to the archangel of strength and protection, Archangel Michael.
- An empath’s nerves can get distressed by loud noises, strong smells, or excessive talking. This is especially true when they are not involved in regular self-care measures or they live and work in environments that expose them to such for long periods of time daily.
- Journaling, listening to soothing or uplifting music, connecting with angels, guides, or ascended masters, and learning energy healing techniques can all support their emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being while facilitating the use of their innate empathy to heal themselves and become a healing light to the world. The stone Labrodorite blocks negative and unbeneficial energy, lifts insecurities, protects against misfortune, stimulates calmness, and removes stress and anxiety
- The urgency and unending responsibilities of ever day life can become unbearable for an empath.
- Getting out in nature can nourish and restore them. It helps them release their burdens and reconnect to their inner well of strength, serenity, and wisdom. Empaths take refuge in the presence of wild greenery and bodies of water. Moonstone is an excellent stone to promote inner strength, growth, and new beginnings; it soothes and calms emotional instability and stress, prevents nighttime anxiety, keeps you energized, attracts success and good fortune, enhances intuition and normalizes sleep patterns.
As an empathic child life can feel unsafe, extremely painful, and difficult to navigate. Empaths often develop the ability to turn off their intuition and block their emotions, so that they no longer feel pain and sadness. Constant, excessive anger, fear, or anxiety can cause severe exhaustion and illness in empaths, so it is imperative to find the time and space to practice self-care, calming, and healing techniques. An empath doesn’t have to feel too much or go into sensory overload once they learn how to center and shield themselves. If they are surrounded by harmony and love, their bodies and minds absorb these and flourish.
Wearing, carrying or sleeping with the stone Lapis Lazuli can help you develop and trust your intuition. It is known as the stone of truth and friendship. It promotes a sense of complete awareness, showing you how to appropriately respond to the vast amount of sensory information you receive daily. Lapis Lazuli has the innate ability to repair, strengthen, and protect your auric field while enabling you to speak your truth and communicate your thoughts and feelings effectively avoiding misunderstandings and discord.
When empaths learn to harness their gifts and practice centering and shielding themselves regularly they can become potent healers, intuitive counselors or coaches, activists, speakers, and successful entrepreneurs who stand confidently in their power and walk courageously toward their heart’s desire.
Kathy Best left a 16 year career in accounting to pursue her passion in nutrition, wellness, and spiritual development. She’s an intuitive living expert, certified holistic nutrition & wellness specialist, healer, and angel communicator with over 17 years of research, study, and experience. She’s overcome numerous addictions, healed multiple illnesses, met and married the man of her dreams, and continues to create a life of magic & miracles using her approach to wellness and living. She combines her 17 years of experience and knowledge in nutritional therapy, spiritual development, Reiki, Quantum Touch, Ho’Oponopono, EFT, and intuitive & angelic guidance into individualized programs that help her clients recover their emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual balance, develop their divine gifts, redefine themselves, and recreate their lives into the happy, vibrant, fulfilling masterpieces they were meant to be.