If you’re an empath like myself, you probably know how difficult it can be at times. It can be hard to determine what emotions belong to you and what is being absorbed from someone else. Even if you do know which emotions are yours and which are coming from someone else, it can be hard to separate those emotions if you don’t learn the proper techniques.
For most of my life, I didn’t know what an empath was, let alone that I was one. I always had strong emotions and felt the same emotions as those around me. I thought it was normal and everyone was the same. It wasn’t until the end of my teenage years that I first realized that I was an empath.
If you don’t know what an empath is, let me explain. An empath is a person who is hypersensitive to other peoples emotions. Empaths can feel the emotions of others on a deeper level than what the other person may be externally portraying. There are different theories as to what makes a person an empath. I believe empaths are just born more sensitive to the vibrations and frequencies of their surrounding. This would explain why an empath can train themselves to tune out these frequencies and why non-empaths can train themselves to become more naturally empathic.
If any of that sounds familiar to you, you may be an empath. The next step after finding out you’re an empath is to learn ways to tune out other peoples emotions that you do not want to take on and to keep people from draining your energy. Before I go into the techniques I use, lets talk about energy draining real quick.
Unfortunately, empaths attract negative people like magnets. Empaths are naturally great listeners and are often compassionate. We get a lot of people, strangers even, telling us their life stories and dumping their emotions on us. If you don’t know how to properly handle that, these emotions can take a toll on you. A negative person is often an energy vampire, meaning they dump their negativity on you and suck out all of your energy. Staying grounded is a HUGE must for empaths for this exact reason. This brings us to our first technique: Grounding.
Grounding is an important technique that keeps you connected to yourself and the earths natural energies. I ground myself each morning, every time I go to the grocery store, any time I go somewhere where there will be a crowd, when I know I will be around a negative person, and any time I feel like I just need to center myself and reconnect.
There are quite a few different ways to ground yourself so I will just explain a few of my favorites. The method I use often is just a quick meditation. I do this in the car right before I go into the grocery store. The grocery store can be a problematic place for empaths because there are multiple people who are tired, hungry, and emotional. People, in general, have a lot of emotions revolving around food which makes the grocery store an empaths emotional rollercoaster and can be flat out exhausting.
The way I do my grounding meditation is by closing my eyes and imagining roots coming out of the bottom of my feet and the base of my spine. The roots go straight down into the earth. I imagine a bright white energy pulsing through these roots from the earth up into my body. Then, I just focus on my breath for a bit until the pulsing and my breath align and I feel energized. When I first started practicing this, it would take me a bit to actually feel a change. Now that I’ve done this for a while, I really only need about 20 – 30 seconds before I feel energized and ready. If I’ve had a particularly rough day or am feeling very out of touch, I’ll do this meditation for up to 10 minutes.
Another way to ground yourself is by earthing. Earthing is when you make contact between the earth with your bare feet. This needs to be done on something natural like grass or dirt, not concrete or synthetic lawn. The earths energy can be transferred to your body through direct contact. It is best to do this in the morning as earthing can affect sleep if done toward the evening. Walking on or simply making contact with the earth for at least 20 minutes can help keep you grounded throughout the day. I’ve heard that grass covered in dew is the best at transferring the earths energy. It’s super refreshing too!
Shielding helps to deflect the energy and emotions you do not want and allow in only what is beneficial to you. Placing a shield is similar to the grounding meditation but we are going to envision a flowing shield of energy around our bodies. You can adapt this to what serves you best but I’ll give you the way that works well for me.
I start by closing my eyes and seeing (and feeling) a bright ball of light in the center of my chest. Sometimes this light is white, sometimes it’s gold. It tends to fluctuate depending on my mood. However, this light can be any color you want. You can go with whatever you see first or you can choose a color that is soothing to you. You want make this light grow until it is surrounding your entire body. You can have it radiate off your body or just simply surrounding you like a bubble. Whichever way you choose it to be, make sure it is flowing with energy. You don’t want it to be solid because then your energy can feel trapped and you can’t let in the positive energies you may want to allow in.
Once you have your shield in place, you can do whatever feels right to you to keep it in place. Some people like to snap, others like to clap, I like to gently tap my chest where the energy first originated.
Shielding can be done as often as you feel necessary. It can even be done while out in public. I just suggest practicing at home first so you don’t feel overwhelmed trying to do it with distractions around.
Mindfulness might just be the most important tool for an empath. If you aren’t mindful of your energy, emotions, and surroundings, you won’t always notice when you are taking on someone else’s emotions. Thankfully, empaths are often naturally in tune with their surroundings so mindfulness comes fairly easy in that sense. However, empaths can also be too in tune with other people and not enough with themselves. This allows you to take on other peoples emotions without realizing it right away.
Staying in touch with yourself and being mindful is the first step in deflecting the energy you don’t want. Be mindful of your feelings and your energy, specially when out in public or around other people. Make sure to do regular mindful check-in’s with yourself to catch anything you may not have caught in the moment. A good method is to do a mindful check-in at least each time you use the restroom. That might sound weird but if you make it a habit to do a mindful check-in each time you use the restroom, even if it is just to wash your hands, you’ll be less likely to forget to check-in with yourself throughout the day.
You’re probably thinking “what?! Spooning?!” It’s not the kind of spooning you’re thinking of! Spooning is when you use a stainless steel spoon to help you ground yourself and relax by resetting your body’s polarity. This is a technique I learned from Donna Eden, an amazing woman with the most stunning energy medicine knowledge. To spoon, you take the rounded edge of a stainless steel spoon and rub it on the bottoms of your feet and down your spine. This is also excellent to help you sleep.
Smudging the Home
Smudging regularly is so helpful to an empath, specially if you live with other people but is also important if you live alone. Living with other people, your home will become filled with mixed energies. If someone has a bad day at work and they come home and release their stress and negativity, that energy gets trapped within the house. Then, that get’s mixed with energy from other days, other moods, and other people. You, as an empath, may be bringing home other peoples energies that you have picked up throughout the day.
Smudging your home regularly can help clear all that trapped energy. I like to smudge with white sage or palo santo. If I don’t have either of those around, I will use frankincense or nag champa incense. There are so many things you can use to smudge but these are just my favorites. I like to smudge on a day that I’m doing a lot of cleaning. I will do all or most of my cleaning then light what I am using to smudge. I walk around my house in a clockwise motion and moving clockwise through each room, making sure to get each corner with the smoke. All the while, I am thinking of a positive affirmation. Something like:
“My home is cleared of all negativity to allow an abundance of positive energy.”
If you don’t want to repeat one affirmation, you can just think positive and loving thoughts while smudging. Once you have smudged each room of the house, you can walk back through the house in the same clockwise direction opening all windows with the intention of letting out all energy that does not belong. Leave the windows open for at least 20 minutes to allow the outside air to flow through your home and clear out all loose energy that shouldn’t be there.
As I said before, being an empath can be exhausting. However, if you have the proper tools and techniques, you can make being an empath manageable. I truly believe being an empath is a blessing in disguise. Once I learned how to manage it, I enjoy being able to empathize with others on a deeper level but also being able to choose when I want to connect and who I want to connect with.
If you’d like to learn more about empaths and how to handle it, please leave a comment below. I’d like to know if anyone would be interested in a course on empath techniques.
Also, please feel free to share your own techniques and what works for you!