I remember from a young age that I was able to feel the emotions of others. Whether it was a family member, friend, or even a stranger, I could feel what they were feeling. Being so young however, I had no idea what was going on. I just knew I felt so deeply, and at times this "sensitivity," caused me anxiety and confusion. It also make me introverted and needing to spend a lot of time alone.
It wasn't until I started working with energy through my Reiki Practice, that I began to understand what was happening and why I was feeling what I was feeling. I also came to the realization that some people are a little more sensitive to energy than others. This is what one would call an Empath or a Highly Sensitive Person. An Empath is a person who can consciously and unconsciously tune into the emotional state of another.
After understanding that Empaths are highly sensitive to energies, things started to make more sense for me. Like the fact that I couldn't watch the news, and any kind of violence or cruelty would leave me feeling completely down and depressed for the entire day. I was holding onto energy and emotions that were not mine. It's no wonder why my anxiety was so high at times.
I also noticed that I felt overly uncomfortable engaging in "small talk," and inauthentic connections would make my skin crawl. I could just sense when something, or someone, didn't feel right.
Empathetic people typically only express their emotions with someone they feel 'safe' with. On the other hand, people seem to be very drawn to empathetic people; they feel an instant sense of safety and trust, and will openly share their deep emotional traumas. You will find complete strangers being drawn to the energy of an Empath, and I personally believe it's an inner knowing that they will understand and listen without judgment.
I have now learned how to better manage my own energy and emotions, and I'm much more aware when I'm experiencing something that isn't mine. I'm sharing with you some things that helped me throughout my journey and they can help you too.
Check in with your body
A clear indication that you’re carrying someone else's energy is when you notice a sudden change in your own emotions, energy levels, mood, or if your physical state suddenly switches. If you find you are feeling anxious, stressed, irritated, or even sick, you may have absorbed the energy/emotions of someone around you.
When this happens, take a few moments to check in with your body and ask yourself, "is this mine?" and listen for your answer. If you hear "yes," don't be afraid to explore the feelings and self inquire, be curious about it. If you hear "no," then repeat the statement, "I release what isn't mine, I release what isn't mine," then envision the energy leaving your body and dissipating into the air.
You'll be surprised how powerful this tool can be and how quickly it can change your state. Just remember to remain as an "observer" of your experiences and not an "absorber" of everything you encounter.
I clearly communicate my needs and take the time to appreciate my own energy, to know my true self, and to grow and evolve spiritually.
Talk to someone
As an Empath, you will most likely be spending a lot of your time dealing with the energy and emotions of others so it's important to connect with someone you can relate with, someone who "gets you." People tend to be drawn to empaths as they have this natural and compassionate energy about them, they stand out like a beacon of beautiful light in the world, however you need a place to openly discuss these emotions so you can release them in a healthy and healing way.
Find friends who share your empathetic nature with whom you can share with, in confidence, so you are not struggling alone. There are many of groups and pages on Facebook and Instagram where you can connect with like minded people who you can relate and share with. You can find me on Facebook and Instagram as well. I'd love to connect with you.
I choose not to absorb the emotions of others, instead I will observe what is and stay in my own space of energy and light.
Take a Spiritual Bath
Empaths love the water and find it very healing and therapeutic. A healthy way to dissolve stress and anxiety, and to release unwanted energy is to immerse yourself in water. I like to have what I call a "Spiritual Bath" where I use Epsom salts and essential oils such as Lavender and Lemon, then I safely place candles around the room and burn some incense. Nag Champa is my absolute favourite incense as it has a peaceful and soulful scent to it.
The magnesium salts will calm your energy and relax your muscles and the candles and incense will create an almost instant feeling of safety and grounding. When you drain the water after your bath, envision the water taking away all the stress and negative emotions you have been holding. See yourself as being cleansed and filled with the healing powers and pure energy the water naturally carries.
I will continually practice self-care in order to respect and protect my sensitivities. I commit to taking the time to recharge and replenish my mind, body, and soul.
Set Healthy Boundaries
Setting healthy boundaries are a must for Empaths. To survive and thrive as an Empath, it's important to set boundaries for the sake of your own emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual well-being. If you feel drained and depleted after spending time with certain people, (including family) then give yourself permission to limit your time with them.
This doesn't necessarily mean you need to "get rid of people," it simply means, you are permitted to do what feels right and good for our own soul, and if that means spending less time with certain people, that's perfectly okay. With that being said, if you need to completely remove yourself from people who are abusive or harmful to you, please trust what your intuition is guiding you to do.
I wrote a blog sharing 7 Ways To Set Boundaries As An Empath. and I also included a powerful Meditation for Empaths to help you balance and ground you energy.
When you set healthy boundaries, you are choosing to respect your own needs and this is a true form of self love and self care.
I have the power to clear all negativity and stress from my body. I embrace my physical, emotional, and spiritual wellness.
Spend time alone
Empaths need time alone to regroup and reconnect with themselves and often times it's one of the only ways they can replenish their energy. Detaching yourself from external stimulation is a great way to clear negativity and release unwanted energy that you may have picked up throughout the day.
When taking time to centre your soul, try avoiding phone calls, text messages, bright lights, nosey environments, the internet, and television, or anything else that could distract you. Perhaps spend some time in nature, journalling your feelings, or simply, just being still.
This is your time for you, so don't feel guilty or ashamed, remember, you need to give your best to yourself first in order to give your best to others.
I consciously let go of all things that no longer serve me purpose.
Meditation will help ground you, balance your energy, and create internal harmony within, it will also help you connect to your mind, body, soul, and spirit. Find some time when you can be alone without distractions and choose a Meditation that you feel drawn too.
There is an abundance of Meditations on YouTube for clearing energy which you may find helpful. I have also created one specifically for Empaths, as mentioned above, to clear unwanted energy and to bring in new positive and healing energy.
During your time of Meditation, focus on releasing and receiving, and allow yourself to absorb the gentle healing. Place your thoughts in a space of love, positivity, and compassion and give yourself permission to just BE for as long as you need to. This practice will help you let go of what isn't yours. Being an Empath is difficult at times, but it's a true gift, and if you take care of your own energy and emotions, you will learn how to better manage the energy and emotions of others.
I vow to honor my sensitivities and treat myself lovingly. I appreciate myself and my beautiful gifts and abilities.
♡ With love, Vanessa
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Vanessa Marie Dewsbury is an internationally known Reiki Master, Self Love & Spiritual Teacher, and Bestselling Author. She is also an advocate for Mind & Body Wellness. You can find her on Instagram at @soulalivebarrie
Vanessa has been a guest on well-known radio shows and podcasts and has appeared in news articles acknowledging her work in the spiritual and personal development community.
Her acquired wisdom through her own life experiences and health issues combined with her training and certifications in various modalities allows her to offer powerful guidance as well as the vital tools required to enhance and promote inner-healing, personal growth, and self love.
Vanessa Marie Dewsbury