Being an empath means being highly sensitive to the energies around you. People, places, objects, events and environments all have a profound effect on how you feel.
Being open to so much information all the time can easily send you on an emotional rollercoaster. Not in the least because very few people truly understand how deeply affected you can be.
Commuting to work used to be my hellfire. Being on the underground in the press of morning rush hour made me feel claustrophobic, and on the rare occasion I wasn’t shielded by my big headphones, reading a book or playing games on my phone, I was talking myself down from a panic attack.
But if the sunlight happened to reflect in a particular way off of the tall buildings surrounding the station as I got out, I could easily be captivated and stop to admire it, being transported away from the stress and anxiety for a moment.
Until the bag of someone who was running late would clip me and their irritation would wash over me. My brow set in a scowl I’d get to work, yank on my uniform and furiously chew gum until I got up to my floor where I put on that final porcelain mask and gritted my teeth, ready to start my shift.
Back then I didn’t know how to protect myself from all the impulses and information the world was throwing at me. And that’s one of the most important things you need to learn if you want to live a life where you aren’t constantly overwhelmed and exhausted.
Here I’ve listed 14 things you can easily incorporate into your daily routine and use whenever you need to feel more secure in yourself.
Being highly sensitive means being misunderstood quite a lot.
Having a particularly sensitive nervous system means that you process everything – and I mean everything: thoughts, feelings, temperature, sensations, smells – more deeply.
Your experience of the world is different and your sensitivity can feel like an annoyance or burden to other people.
I know that my sensitivity has created many misunderstandings, especially with family members who insist that my sensitivity is just “all in my head”.
While not everyone who’s sensitive is the same, we do share many experiences – and it can be very stressful when the people we care about don’t “get” us.
This one is for you curling up on the couch with the cat and a book on a Saturday night.
For you pep-talking yourself in the supermarket car park to just go in and get it over with already.
For when you’re wondering why you’re the “only one” who wants to stay home this (and every other) weekend.
If you’re struggling to be like everybody else – I know exactly what you’re talking about because I did that too!
Here’s what I wish other people knew about me as an empath, introvert and highly sensitive person.
Empaths are emotional sponges who absorb both the stress and the joy from the world around them.
To really thrive as an empath (not just survive), I think it’s critical to learn how to not take on the energy, stress and moods of other people.
To an empath, the world can often seem coarse, heartless and disdainful of sensitivity. I know I’ve been told time and again that I need to be less sensitive if I want to succeed in life.
But I say that there is nothing wrong with being sensitive. Being sensitive to the world around you isn’t a weakness that needs to be stamped out.
I think empathy is the very thing about you that is most right in the world. Rather than “growing thicker skin”, I believe it’s more important for you to learn skills to help you cope with a highly sensitive nervous system.
When you learn to understand your specific needs as an empath, you’ll be able to truly connect with yourself (and others), be your authentic self and shine as an empath.
Dr. Seuss said, “Be yourself because the people who mind don’t matter. And the people that matter don’t mind”.
With anxiety and depression rates in young people growing at the same rate as smartphone adoption, it’s more important than ever to raise strong, self-aware children who can not only survive meeting a bully, but thrive in a world full of them.
By extension, raising bully-proof kids, will also raise kids who don’t bully. Compassion and empathy is the only way we have back to each other, back to a place where we can connect with each other and be part of something greater than ourselves.
Compassion is not a virtue, it’s a commitment. It’s not something we have or don’t have – it’s something we choose to practice every day, every challenge.
The earlier we begin to foster compassion in our children, the easier it will be for them to choose compassion over antagonism.
Children need love – especially when they seem to deserve it the least. And that’s when it can be so incredibly hard to find a compassionate response.
Dealing with a developing brain and a human being learning how to hooman gets overwhelming at times. And arguing with a miniature version of myself, with the same shit-ass attitude, can get really frustrating.
When I say “Get dressed”, I don’t mean stand around watching TV with one sock on. Some days my mom voice is so loud even the neighbours brush their teeth and get dressed.
I can’t promise to fix all my daughter’s problems, but I can make sure she never faces them alone. Ultimately, I’m not dealing with just a tantrum, I’m training her in how to survive life and I’d like for my legacy to be the best advice she ever got.
This is but one mother’s quest to navigate the temper tantrums of a developing toddler brain, because life can get hard and things can go wrong, but no matter what, you’ve got to stay strong.