Around 25% of humans are born highly sensitive, with a brain and central nervous system more reactive to stimuli. Empaths are highly sensitive plus plus, probably making up about 3-5% of the population. Start by writing down any words that you associate with the words, "empath" and "highly sensitive". For example, words such as "too emotional", "too sensitive", "fragile", "pain". These words reveal a lot about your perception towards sensitivity.
It's hard to be an empath in our world. There is so much chaos, pain, and overwhelming stimuli in the form of distractions, sound and lights. I'll share my top three tips for going from overwhelm to superpower, but first let's see if you may be an empath out of balance. How many of these apply to you?
You fluctuate emotionally frequently
You feel depressed after being around others, for no discernible reason
You find it hard to be authentically you around others
You have a tendency to put others before yourself
Saying “no” is a challenge
Speaking up for your needs is a challenge
You experience social anxiety, chronic fatigue or chronic pain
You often feel like hiding away because others’ energies are overwhelming
You feel anxious or jittery for much of the day / question your own intuition
You want to fix people bc you can feel their suffering
Sensitivity is not a problem, in fact, I like to think of it as a superpower. Feeling ourselves, the world and others so deeply as to be in powerful connection is a gift.
We have the opportunity to be emotional leaders — showing others it is possible and powerful to cry often, for example. Any problem comes from our approach to our ability to feel so much. Feeling deeply has been shameful for most of us growing up in the patriarchy. We need tools to say no to old conditioned patterns of beliefs that keep us feeling this way, and tools to say no to old ways of being which just don’t serve anymore.
Journaling prompt- examine how your sensitivity has actually helped you in the past. For example, you might discover that your sensitivity has helped you to save your partner from being fired, your child do better in school or helped you to make wise decisions about your life. I recommend that you write down as many situations as you can think of. This will help you to slowly reprogram your thinking patterns about sensitivity.
Three Empath Empowerment Exercises:
1. Alone time / Meditation / Self-Love Cultivation
Empaths need waaaaaaay more alone time than most people. This means it can be hard to adjust to taking so much time alone in a world that favors extrovertedness, socializing and busy-ness. Be strong in saying no to many engagements. Start cultivating a practice of restorative time with yourself. Soft music, candlelight, books, art, meditation, baths and walks in non-crowded places, or with your hood up in places with more people.
2. Boundaries / Discernment / Sacred No's Hone your boundaries and discernment about what is yours and what is an other's. Work on your boundaries and noticing when they disappear, swallow others up, get holy or become armoured up around certain people, energies or situations. Get to know yourself and get clear about what is your truth. Work on your boundaries. Learn to say "no" and see how this actually lends itself to allowing more love from and to yourself. Boundaries equal more love. Explore and cultivate.
3. Chosen Family who Love and Support You as You are!
It's important to surround yourself with people who support and embrace your sensitivity and need for alone time. Begin to explore if you want to be in relationship with people who can't hold space for you while you cry or feel something deeply or feel offended if you want time away. Call in people who are understanding of you into your life. You are not too much. You don't need to change. You are enough. You are powerful. Don't allow yourself to get small to make others comfortable. Find your people and hold them and be held.
An affirmation for you, empath:
I love and accept myself as I am.
Draw it / write it/ sing it / dance it all the time. Let this truth be embodied. Loving You