Menu Menu Close Twitter Facebook

Coping as an Empath and Highly Sensitive Person

Getting Grounded and Understanding Your Energy

30th June 2017

Have you ever felt like someone or something got inside your head or body somehow?! There's a lot of articles out there now about being an Empath. They all describe what it's like to feel like a human sponge that gets easily infected, influenced and overwhelmed by other people (mainly extroverts) and negative energies caused by crowds of people who may be stressed or busy. The bottom line is that unwanted energies are somehow able to enter and impact your being whether that be on a physical, emotional or mental/psychic level. This is something I have struggled with for years and so I know the territory well and have been searching for answers in many spiritual and therapeutic traditions. It's true to say that meditators who practice in a transcendent way i.e. opening up to the transpersonal or light are particularly susceptible to this although I've had this all my life from childhood and so I think you are either born 'open' or you are not.

On many levels it's a gift. You are able to sense what's going on with people easily and feel what others are feeling. It's possible to live in a more intuitive less cognitive way too which means you don't process your thoughts in the same 'heady' way. Instead you rely more on your instincts and gut and less on thinking things through. However the Western world is not wired up that way. Most people are in 'Western Mind' and many organisations and society at large are very patriarchal and more head than heart. So how does an empath work with that? You can't live your life on a mountaintop, however tempting :)

The answers lie in your body. The body is designed to protect your spirit and has an incredible capacity to help you receive, process, distill and release unwanted energies. All you have to learn is how to work with it instead of against it. First of all if you are a true empath no amount of self-protecting visualisations are going to prevent you from getting infected by energies. It is going to happen for many reasons especially the way you were parented, so you have to accept this is going to be something you have to manage in life. Then it's important to be aware of when and how it happens. I notice that I get really effected by travelling on the underground or airports and especially by individuals who are grandiose or narcissistically wounded. Sometimes they are trying to 'feed' off my energy which I experience like someone taking the life force away from me. It's true there are these challenging individuals on the planet and mostly they have no idea that's what they are doing. From a psychological perspective this happens to people with weak ego boundaries or a not so strong sense of self. So the good news is that if you are super-sensitive you can do something about it!

  1. Meditate on and breathe into your belly. (About 3 cms below the navel). This area is what the Taoists call the Dan Tien or centre of the body's energies. If you are soaking up too much negativity from your environment it's a sign that you are not rooted in your body or grounded enough. Even if your usual meditation practice focuses on the third eye or higher energy centres it's important to still be able to ground whatever energy you take in through meditation into the body. If you don't you will be a spiritual powerhouse but no Earthly good. (as a spiritual mentor once said to me). So learn to feel your feet on the ground, breathe into your belly and then imagine that whatever spiritual energy you have taken in is able to travel down through the body and out through your feet. If you feel the awareness in your body as you do this you should feel your feet tingling.
  2. Don't give your power to Narcissists. So empaths are easy prey for narcissists because they are good listeners and narcissists love to speak about themselves whilst sapping the life force out of empaths. Often narcissists and empaths fall in love.....and there are many blogs on that one. I have noticed that what works is interjecting when they are talking about themselves and steering the conversation back to yourself. (they won't like it). Also breaking eye contact and turning your body slightly to the side and crossing your legs subtly creates a barrier from their energy. Lastly notice how they operate - they are tactical people who easily control others so don't give them that power. It's important to not do what they want, say no and set the boundaries. They won't like it but it's necessary so that they learn they can't use you for their own gain.
  3. Spend time in nature. If you are infected by unwanted energy. Take off your shoes and sit at the base of a tree for a while. (an hour or more). Imagine that the unwanted energies are being drawn out through your feet and the base of your spine into the Earth. A great visualisation is to imagine that there is a psychic hoover in your belly and this hoover is able to suck all the negative energies out of every nook and cranny of your energy field. The energy can then be metabolised by the body and taken down through the belly, down the legs and once again in to the Earth. Nature can support the body to do this work and if you have running water to walk in that is fantastic or even better walk and swim in the ocean because the positive ions will help to clear your aura.
  4. Strengthen your sense of Self. Some of us need to strengthen our ego's instead of break them! That means learning to make decisions, think for yourself, take full responsibility for yourself on all levels. This doesn't come naturally for everyone and especially for empaths who tend to have a wounded child inside. So empaths need to grow up as well as grow down. You can't stay a child forever on the outside although it's good for all of us to be a child sometimes. Therapy is a great place to explore your sense of self and your boundaries in relation to another person. Body psychotherapy in particular holds a vast amount of knowledge on embodiment and how to use your body to block unwanted energies and strengthen your sense of Self in the world. It has taken me years to get that people are very different in this area and to find my own unique solutions.
  5. Recognise your gifts and Power as an Empath. The world is going to label you as sensitive and extroverts will see you as weak.......but you are not.......far from it in fact! Empaths can hold more feminine energies and they are naturally living more in alignment with their innate wisdom and the natural world. Once they are more embodied and able to work more with their bodies they are great enablers of change and transformation. They can see through peoples' defences and barriers, they can support people to connect with their bodies and feelings, they can intuitively know how to act in challenging situations. They make great healers, facilitators, coaches and mentors because they are more naturally connected to the Transpersonal in whatever way works for them. Like me you may have spent your life being criticised for the one thing that people actually need, so embrace who you are and just learn to manage yourself.

    I would love to hear your experiences with all of the above :)

More blog posts

Black Lives Matter

25th June 2020

This quote spoke to me today:“I hate the practice of race discrimination, and in my hatred I am sustained by the fact that the overwhelming majority of...

Read on...

Black Lives Matter

13th June 2020

'The child who is not embraced by the village will burn it down to feel it's warmth' African proverbI'm writing this as a white female and so first of all I...

Read on...

Childhood Emotional Neglect

9th January 2019

“The truth is, to love your child is a very different thing from being in tune with your child” (Jonice Webb)We are now seeing a long overdue conversation...

Read on...