How To Know If You're An Empath
The term empath is used to describe someone who is highly sensitive and who has a heightened awareness of the world around them. Being empathic is a natural human trait, but different people either feel more empathy while some feel less. There are even people who are empathy deficient. Highly sensitive or empathic people tend to feel everything, sometimes too much and they will also tend to overthink their emotions. A highly empathic person will usually use their intuition as a guide, and they are highly perceptive. Judith Orloff MD is the author of the Empaths Survival Guide which she wrote to help other highly empathic people since she herself is one. She says that when empaths are in a space of nurturing and love, they will thrive, but if toxic people and situations surround them, they will usually find themselves anxious. Highly empathic people are easily targeted by toxic people as well, so it's essential that they practice healthy boundaries. Sometimes these overly empathic people may gain weight to serve as a barrier of protection when they don't know how to set boundaries. Many empathic people suffer from anxiety and panic attacks, depression, and fatigue.
The truth is, as Judith writes is that having a high awareness and being conscious of other people's emotions doesn't mean that you have to take it all on. Judith has a quiz that you can take on her website to see if you are a highly empathic person. She has you ask yourself questions like "Have I been labelled as “too emotional” or overly sensitive?",
"Do my nerves get jarred by noise, smells, or excessive talk?", and "Do I overeat to cope with emotional stress?" as well as a few others. Then you see how many you answered yes to and see if you are highly empathic or not. If you do find out that you happen to be an empath, this is the first step to self-care. It helps to allow yourself to have lots of quiet time alone to decompress and process. Judith also suggests taking little breaks throughout your day and go outside to have some fresh air. Since highly sensitive people are very prone to too much stimulation, taking a moment of peace can make all the difference, and it really helps to reset your mind and body.
Another thing that is going to help you out a lot is to figure out what your boundaries and needs are and how to set them. You can practice saying No more often than you're used to. Remember, you don't need to explain yourself, and no is a complete sentence. Make sure you have plans in place if you need to leave somewhere. This could be bringing your own car to events so you can leave to go home whenever you want. When you go to events where there are a lot of people, try sitting at the back and off to the side instead of right in the middle. Make time for some meditation and make self-care a regular part of your daily life. This can look different for everyone so if for you doing your nails and a face mask is self-care then do that. Or, sometimes just putting on a good show or a movie is enough to let your mind have some time to chill out. Always make sure you're eating enough, getting enough sleep and drinking enough water to stay healthy. Doing some exercise is also very helpful for any anxiety you may have, even if it's just getting out for a walk 20 minutes a day.***
Learn MORE at Judith Orloff MD
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