If you are an empath you may relate to the world as I do. It’s often overwhelming with huge amounts of information coming at you all the time. You are, from what I can tell, more aware of the energy in the world than the average joe which means you are constantly processing more. This is tiring – even when you are doing it consciously sometimes.
I perceive the world first and foremost from an energetic viewpoint. This means the first time I meet a person I am receiving information primarily energetically and often I cannot accurately recall people’s physical form until I’ve seen them at least two or three times. My feelings rule my world more than I would like to admit and more than what makes sense according to logic.
As an empath, I constantly feel like my energetic system is under attack. It’s not really under attack in the sense that others are forcing themselves onto me. It feels that way because I am constantly being bombarded with energy. I often want to hide from the chaos around me because it is just too much and I can’t feel who I am any more.
People are constantly and unknowningly projecting their thoughts, ideas, and perceptions around. On top of that there’s wifi and cellphone signals, uncontrolled emotions bouncing around everywhere, and people constantly taking our energy (usually unconsciously).
Most of this world seems to happen unnoticed by the majority of the population but for me, and other empaths, its a real reality. And its a hard reality when you live in a word dominated by thought and logic, ambition, and schedules with no regard to feelings or emotions. The intensity of the feelings can easily control me and I can feel like I have no way of getting out of them. Or sometimes just stepping out of my house is too much for me (but I go anyway and find myself grumpy).
When I went into large cities I used to go crazy within six months flat. My whole system would begin to crash. Slowly it would shut down, and my mind would go with it. I would sleep upwards of twelve hours a day easy and all my waking time that wasn’t spent earning an income in order to survive I would have to be alone in order to recharge. In order to recharge I need silence, so construction drove me mad.
It wasn’t a very positive place to be in.
It turns out I can live in major city centers for longer than six months however it is a requirement that I do certain things to keep myself in balance. These are the key things that help me as an empath stay sane in an otherwise overwhelming world.
1. Daily yoga and meditation practice.
Yep. This is where I get my silence, and it is where I strengthen my auric field. A strong auric field has become my best friend because without it I am over-sensitive even by empathic standards I think.
2. Music is my best friend.
I’ve developed what I call “disappearing into the music”. I know others can see me still, but I can put my headphones in and disappear into the music. I can take myself out of the word, temporarily, and let myself ride the music instead of the energy around me. Somehow this always recharges me.
This is a requirement. I’ll often use it when I’m on public transportation, or on a walk. Sometimes I will just lie on my floor and close my eyes and let the music take over me. The world does not exist outside of my head when I am disappearing into the music.
3. Plan alone time.
I literally plan days where I have no plans and can flow with whatever I am feeling that day. I plan recharging time and I don’t let anything get in the way of this. There are activities I can do that will recharge me, and the only time I allow another person to come with me to recharge is if I am going to for a major hike.
This is because I need to be able to feel my own energy in order to know who I am. I need to spend time with my own energy as a pure substance in order to feel connected with who I am and to know my boundaries.
I need to have at the very least half a day each week to myself. In an ideal world I would have two full days personally.
4. Always have my own room with a door.
Sometimes in expensive cities like Vancouver you can reduce your rent costs by renting a living room or splitting a bedroom or something like that. In cases of necessity I have done this however I cannot do it for a long term situation. I literally begin to witness my emotions go haywire.
It is so important for me as an empath to be able to know my own energy and to disengage from other people for a while to recharge. After three months of not being able to on a daily basis I begin to get edgy and grumpy. After six months I have panic attacks and want to die. I’ve never gone longer than that – and I don’t want to.
Even with a daily practice this is something I need, especially in a major city.
5. Find a time for silence.
I don’t know if this is an empathic thing or just a me thing – I am an introvert – but I need to find silence. I need to find this silence not only in what I can hear but also in what I can feel. Since I was a child I have been able to feel other people in entire houses that I live in. I can stretch my energy out and feel into the house to see who is home and where.
This means that my energy changes often to accommodate the others inside the same floor as me. I now look for living situations where there is either a massive amount of concrete/insulation/building material between myself and other suites or I live on a floor where I am the only one (think: attic rooms, basement rooms, etc) or I live with people who travel a lot.
This silence is a necessity for me. If I can’t find it in my house I have to be able to find it outside in nature. And if I can’t do that I can disappear into the music. If I can’t find it for a sustained length of time however I will begin to mentally deteriorate.
6. Nature is my other best friend.
I know this is redundant; its on all the empath lists and its true. As soon as I go into true nature (by “true” I mean as uncultivated as possible) I can literally feel things lifting off of me and I feel that I can relax. I feel like I can let go of all the sh*t I’ve been holding onto or its been following and enjoy where I am. I can feel me again!
Nature, if you go deep enough, acts as an insulator from humans and technology. It’s amazing how much we live in on a day to day basis but a retreat for three to five days can change everything. It allows me to thoroughly recharge and I try to plan mini self-retreats every few months.
7. Find a way to express and let go what you are feeling.
I have developed a thing that I do at least monthly. I call it barfing on a canvas. I began doing it in my teenage years when I was working through some heavy emotional stuff and I just kept doing it. I literally get a canvas, my paints and brushes come out. I put on some fitting music, light a candle, and let everything inside of me come out. I let go of any worries I have about how the painting will look or how perfect it will be because this canvas, this painting, it isn’t for anyone else.
It is just for me.
So I emotionally barf on this canvas. I won’t stop painting the canvas until everything is out and I am completely devoid of anything else to express. If I wait months in between canvases I’ll sometimes need two or a really big one. Afterwards I feel totally fresh, renewed, and empty. I notice joy creeps into my day to day life.
If its not painting for you find out what it is – boxing, swimming, running, dancing, whatever works to get you outside of yourself and letting to.
8. Allow yourself to let go instantly.
Not everything you experience as an empath is something you need to process. Most of its probably not yours. Most of its not worth your energy. So just let it go. Don’t let your mind get locked in on it and create a story about it. Most of what you experience are other peoples projections and thoughts.
This isn’t to say you don’t have sh*t to deal with. You do. You probably have a lot of it to deal with. And this is to say don’t get caught up in the stuff that is not yours. Don’t react to stuff that isn’t yours to deal with in the first place. Focus on your sh*t, like how you are reacting to something, and let go of the rest.
As you become better and better at handling your energy it becomes easier and easier. I notice for me that I now make life choices that support my sensitivities so my life is less stressful. I also notice its easier for me to recognize when I’m working with other peoples crap rather than my own, and I can let it go quickly.
9. Eat according to what your body needs; not craves or what you think you should eat.
This one is HUGE!
If you follow me closely you will probably have read of my flexi-vegan lifestyle. I am vegan because of health reasons not because of activist reasons. My body feels really good on a vegan diet but I don’t eat the average vegan diet from what I can tell. I don’t eat a lot of processed foods at all, lots of beans, veggies and potatoes.
There have been people who tell me I’m not eating healthily however my diet changes and adapts to where I am living and what I am doing with my days. When I am working a full-time job (or close to it) in a major city center I need foods that ground me, which are typically heavier, almost every day. When I live a lifestyle more in tune with who I am as a person and in a warmer climate I tend to eat a lot more raw vegan.
But I always tune into my body and ask it what it needs. I’ve learned my body likes strange things like when I have a stomach ache eating an avocado always helps. And this is what I think empaths need to do. Stop listening to what everyone else tells you and start listening to your body.
What tips do you have for empaths surviving in a crazy world?
P.S. Yay! I’m excited to announce I have created a new patreon account and I would appreciate your support if you love my work here. 🙂