Empathy is the ability to read and understand people and be in-tune with or resonate with others, voluntarily or involuntarily of one’s empathy capacity. Empaths have the ability to scan another’s psyche for thoughts and feelings or for the past, present and future life occurrences.
With that given, empaths have now been scientifically proven to be more prone to anxiety, especially social anxiety, as well as depression. Because an empath has the power to interpret others emotions it is easy to take them on and let them affect you negatively. Soon, anxiety and depression set in, and life gets to be way harder that it should be.
Being an empathy is not always a bad thing, it is a powerful gift, it means having the ability to feel what other people feel and to use that emotion for good. This could make you a better communicator, humanitarian, and overall person. All gifts that we possess come with great responsibility and being an empath is no different.
With a lot of experience of my own dealing with anxiety and depression, I have determined many if not most empaths are susceptible to anxiety attacks and depression not just because of their own intense emotions but because they pick up on the emotions of others often times without realizing it.
As an empathy, here are several wonderful tips which will truly support you in preventing anxiety and depression, as well as make great progress in living a happy, healthy, and overall fulfilling life.
Talk to Your Emotions
I know, I know this may sound like crazy talk, but here I go! There is an entire science developed to the ability to understand, interpret and relate to your feelings. There is a limit to how far you can evolve spiritually and within your personal development if you are not emotionally literate.
Once you can identify and get to know your own feelings and emotions, you can start to create a dialogue which could sound something like this:
“I feel angry & upset…Hmm, this is trying to show me something. Anger, what are you trying to show me? Oh, that I feel secretly sad. Why am I sad? Oh, I am missing something.. What’s missing? I am not getting enough time to be creative in my own space. I need to be alone and be creative. How do I feel? Better now. I’ll create that space tonight.”
It is an unfortunate fact that most empaths have not been trained to use their gift of empathy properly, so when they walk into a room of high emotional intensity they being to “pick up” on the emotions of those around them. Similar to a TV antenna turning into different channels, empaths will unknowingly pick up strong signals that are being emitted by those around them.
This can be extremely confusing for someone who is “turning in” to an emotion of panic accidentally. You might begin to feel all the symptoms of a panic attack but cannot pinpoint exactly why they are feeling scared.
The next time this happens, pause, and mentally ask yourself: “Am I the source of this panic, or is someone else?”
“Is there anything that could be causing this feeling of panic within me?”
If you have found no reason for your panic and believe it could be coming from an alternative source, do a quick visualization:
Imagine a cord between you and a big colored balloon. This balloon is the emotion that you’re experiencing. Sever the cord and watch as the balloon floats away. Take a deep breath and check in with yourself. If the emotion belongs to someone else, this brief visualization will help to release it from you.
People are not giving themselves permission to healthy channel and express the emotions that need to move through their bodies. There is a compounding effect to this emotional constipation.
As children we were told to quit crying, be quiet, sit still and shut up. When we expressed our emotions, we were told to cut it out. Years of this behavior leads us to stifling out natural expression, and in time we become disconnected from our true selves.
You have to be willing to live your life! This starts by being brave enough to feel. Have you ever noticed that when people in your life become depressed they stay in bed watching movies or tv endlessly. Why? Well, they are secretly craving the emotional expression they are witnessing others have.
Create motion in your life by exercising, going on adventures or simply mixing up the monotony of your daily life.
Go into Your Pain Rather Than Trying to Escape
Yes, I know it sounds counter-intuitive does it not? But, it is a very important step to releasing the pent up energy inside of you. When preoccupied by the thought of escaping, repressing and avoiding our pain we participate in the cycle of our own suffering. Don’t give into the temptation, do not run, just stop and be still. Sit down and let yourself feel the fatigue, confusion, anger, the lost, and the hurt. Because it is only when you face the pain you feel, that you can progress to the next stage of letting the suffering go.
Meditate on gratitude
Meditate on gratitude every day, do this for a minimum of 20 minutes. This will release feel good hormones that counter balance the stress hormones that our bodies are addicted to.
Stop Trying to “Fix” Other People
Repeat after me, “ I do not need to fix the problems of other people.” There, that was easy wasn’t it? Easier said than done right? As an empath myself I know what it is like to need to go around fixing other people, or their problems. By doing this, we often create major problems for ourselves.
When you set it in your mind that you are going to fix someone else, you are allowing yourself to become a sponge and will unconsciously seek to take their negativity from them and put it on your own shoulders. Because it is impossible for you to take away that person’s pain, you will only end up sharing it with them and when you leave them you will feel exhausted, in a blue mood, and heavy.