Q. How did you come to know you were an empath? Was it someone you spoke to, something you did, or just an inner knowing? I am quite sensitive to people's feelings and the mood in a room. My own moods can be strangely variable at times. I've explored the possibility of it being hormonal, maybe depressive even but I have a feeling of something deeper I'm not quite exploring. Maybe I'm overthinking it and just 'having a moment'.
If you are sensitive to people's feelings and can genuinely feel the mood in a room, you are most likely an empath. You aren't 'overthinking it' or having a moment, your intuition is nudging you to learn more! You also aren't the only person asking this question these days. I'm getting it a lot and I think it's because a lot of empaths are programmed to wake up now. The world really needs empaths to be self-aware, empowered and ready to work.
Because empaths are so in-tune and aware they also experience a whole slew of metaphysical things, including other forms of psychic intuition. Check out this post here to learn more about all that.
Re, How I knew I was an empath: I always knew there was something different about me. I cared 'way too much' about the world and had a hard time accepting societal 'truths' that I just knew in my heart were not true at all. Outwardly I was fine (robotic even) but my inner world was something entirely different. When I was diagnosed with clinical depression I respected the psychiatrist's opinion but knew I was was not sick. I was given an anti-depressant and hated being numb. I am a feeling person and feeling things deeply is why I'm here. When I got myself grounded and started working in mental health I knew the people I was working with were just as caring and sensitive as I was. I didn't stay in formal mental health long because I knew I couldn't work in a system that believed caring and sensitive was something to be 'fixed.' I had many intuitives tell me I was an empath and seeded here at this time to create change and that's what finally validated my experience and enabled me to stand up and embrace the label, but deep down I always had an inkling. Just not a language for it.
Being an empath means having the ability to perceive the world through feeling. Everything is energetic and empaths can tap into the thoughts and emotions of other people, animals, places, and things by physically feeling the energy behind them. All of us have the ability to be empaths, some of us were just born more sensitive to our abilities than others. As the world continues to increase in consciousness, more and more people will become empaths. Until then, empaths will struggle because our systems aren't set up to support us. They are set up to change us. Though the world is evolving, we still exist in a patriarchy and feeling deeply in a patriarchy is considered a weakness. We also exist in a capitalist society that would crumble if institutions (schools, healthcare, etc.) started to speak honestly about energy - people realizing their potential is unlimited and that they can heal themselves is not great for companies that profit off of obedience and sickness.
A lot of empaths experience symptoms of mental illness but that does not mean they are ill. It means they do not have the support they need to be their deep, feeling selves. More and more mental health professionals are beginning to realize the direct impact of lifestyle and lifestyle choices on mental health. Poor nutrition causes depression, being in a job you hate causes depression, being in unhealthy relationships causes depression. Now imagine that x 1000. Empaths have sensitive systems so not getting nutrition affects them more than someone not as sensitive. Most empaths are also born with a mission or life purpose so being in a job they intuitively know they aren't supposed to be in affects them more than it would affect someone who doesn't have the same drive for life purpose. The same for relationships. Empaths can be drawn to emotional abusers, but more often than not, empaths find themselves in relationships that lack genuine love and understanding and this is draining on them because they are here to love and understand. We have to be extremely self-aware to know that not being supported is different than being flawed.
Wanting to learn more about empaths and feeling resonance with going deeper into why you experience your emotions the way you do is a sure sign you are meant to. Show up for what shows up for you. And when you feel safe in your empath identity, own it. Embracing your abilities and being grounded in how you share your experiences with the world is how things will slowly start to change.
Someday we won't need the word 'empath' to describe the abilities and experiences of sensitive and aware people.
We just need it now so sensitive and aware people know they aren't alone.
P.S. Anytime you catch yourself saying/writing the word 'think' as in 'overthinking' you are trying too hard to figure things out. Empaths are problem solvers so I get it, but try to instead tune into how you feel. As an empath your feelings are your compass.
Some other articles that might be helpful to you:
Why my lows aren't as low anymore, February 2017
What it's like to be sensitive, April 2017
How did you know you were an empath?, November 2016
Synchronicity and trusting what you know to be true, September 2016
If you are new to the empath label or still trying to figure out where you stand, I have a Mentorship stream specifically for empaths where we create a safe space for you to ask any questions you might have about empath ability or energy in general. This stream is also good for learning about and developing strong boundaries (a weakness in most empaths) and finding how your intuitions speaks to you so you can strengthen it and step into the work you are meant to do.