Here’s How to Manage Your Feelings as an Empath
If you’re an empath, emotions tend to rule your world. You don’t just understand how someone else feels. Rather, you feel it too. Empaths are highly sensitive individuals. And this isn’t exactly a secret.
Learning to manage those empath feelings when you feel all the feelings can prove to be a tricky task. Maybe you struggle to fall asleep after that violent show or movie. Or perhaps you find yourself taking on others’ pain or anxiety to the extent that it impacts your own life and activities.
As an empath, absorbing emotions tend to be your norm. Yet, rather than swaying to the tone of someone else’s emotions, there are ways to deal with it and take back control.
You can be a sensitive empath but also be in the driver’s seat of your life. In this article, we’re going to explore exactly that.
You might want to find out first: Are You An Empath?
Types of Empaths
Surprisingly, there are different types of empaths, and only one of these is emotional. In fact, the emotional empath is quite susceptible to narcissists, finding them draining and straight-up exhausting.
In addition to emotional empaths, there are:
- Physical empaths - This involves picking up on others’ physical symptoms and feeling them within your own body.
- Intuitive empaths - This type of empath has a strong intuition where they can pick up on emotions and feelings in a room with even just a quick glance or look.
- Plant empaths - The plant empath is tuned into nature and makes a wonderful caretaker of plants, giving them what they need.
- Animal empaths - Similar to other empaths, the animal empath picks up on feelings but does so in relation to animals.
- Earth empaths - This type of empath surpasses a plant empath in their ability to perceive and feel nature and the earth in all its glory.
The common theme here? Empath feelings touch on various entities, not just people!
And interestingly, you can be a combination of multiple empaths. There is no rule saying you can only fall into one category.
Triggers for Empaths
Simply put, any highly charged emotional energy or situation can lead to an empath absorbing emotions and feeling everything, even if they don’t want to. Yet, there are particular, even obvious, situations where it can be harder for an empath to gain control of their own emotions.
The following situations might cause sensitivity to empaths:
1. Being in the Presence of Someone Else’s Pain
Of course, a great friend would drop everything to be there for someone else and hold their hand. As an empath, you’re great for this. You know what to say since you understand the depth of their emotional distress.
At the same time, these situations can leave you feeling drained and like there isn’t anything left in the tank. This is where it’s important to set boundaries and understand your own ability to handle things.
You can’t take on everyone else’s pain.
And most importantly, people that actually care about you don’t even want you to do that. There’s a difference between being there for someone versus absorbing some of their pain. Finding that line can be hard, but we’ll explore this in the next section of this article a bit more.
2. Others’ Expectations
Expectations and demands are tough on empaths. Those empath feelings make it very hard for you to say “no” and take a step back.
You can feel the other person’s disappointment or hopes falling short. It might even give you serious anxiety.
Again, boundaries do a ton of good here (more on this in a bit).
As an empath, you cherish being close to others. You tend to cater to others’ needs, and you’re really good at this. But this also means you can feel overloaded easily by intimate gestures or situations.
In turn, this can actually cause empaths to reject intimacy. In a way, this is an empath shutdown where you may just block out things entirely to avoid overwhelm. Yet, again, awareness and boundaries play a major role here.
How to Handle Being an Empath
So now that you know what situations could cause empath distress, what can you do to better manage these empath emotions and clear that energy that tends to take over your life?
1. Set Boundaries
You need to know your limits and have a clear boundary for them, especially when it comes to certain people (you know the ones. You feel “drained” afterward seeing them and not in a good way).
If you find yourself unsure how to do this, simply create some distance. Answer their texts or calls less often or less “right away.” If you feel the need, you could also discuss this situation with them. This is entirely up to you!
You might want to brush up on: How to Create Healthy Boundaries With Love Instead of Fear
2. Cleanse Your Body
Wash your hands and visualize the emotions you’re feeling leaving with that soapy water. Or take a shower or warm bath and allow those emotions to melt off your body. This whole visualization aspect can really help you let go and also find a state of calm.
There is also something so cleansing about using water for wellness. Whether you immerse yourself in a bath, hydrate with a refreshing water blend, or use water along with your daily affirmations, try cleansing your body with the healing power of water.
3. Cleanse Your Space
Now that your body has been cleansed, it is time to do the same with your physical space.
Light a candle, tidy up that pile of clothes in your room, or move around some furniture for better Feng Sui. Whatever you decide to do, creating a peaceful physical space will help your mind find calm and “spark joy.”
If you’re feeling overburdened by emotions, chances are that browsing social media or watching another scary movie isn’t going to help you out. If anything, these will likely only add to your stress bucket.
Related article: 10 Quick Tips to Unplug from the Digital World
5. Become Aware of Your Body
When you feel another’s feelings, your body dials up that nervous system fight-or-flight response. But there are simple ways to overcome this. You can actively relax through deep breathing or by even changing your postures, such as through yoga poses or other similar movement practices.
You might want to read: Beginner’s Guide to Hatha Yoga
How to Control Empath Emotions Through Acceptance
Another way to overcome these emotions and move forward? Accept them. Recognize them. Let them know you see them, then move past them.
These emotions don’t have to hold you back in your life. Observing them and letting them flow can also be a pathway toward bettering your life as an empath.
And remember, you have a gift.
Many people struggle to understand others. You don’t. And that’s something that, despite some flaws, is so valuable in interpersonal relationships and beyond.
Related article: Why Is Empathy So Important?