How to deal with being an empath
One of the most common questions I get through this site is "how do I deal with being an empath?" Another? "I just realized I was an empath, what do I do now?" People are talking (thank goodness!) and this empath / energy thing is finally getting into the hands of the people who need it, so I thought we'd continue the conversation and talk about these common concerns with a Q & A!
Regardless of whether or not you identify with the empath label, being intuitive and connected to the non-physical world is overwhelming. Not only do you pick up the energy of other people, you also pick up the energy of places and things, including the energy of toxic spaces and non-physical visitors. Most people who are clairsentient (a fancier word for empath) live with anxiety and depression and until they realize what's really going on - until they realize it's their sensitivity to energy that makes them anxious and depressed - anxiety attacks and other symptoms associated with 'mental illness' rule their lives. There's good news though! Mental health concerns caused by energy are not permanent and those who experience them are not doomed to a life of panic attacks and overwhelm. All it takes for empaths to feel safe and at peace is the intention to be so and a toolkit of energy clearing and protecting strategies.
Below are a few of mine!
Q & A: How to deal with being an empath?
Q. I recently moved back into my parent's house after college and my relationship with my family is very tense, leading to a lot of bad energy in the house. It has been affecting my health; I can't sleep, I have nightmares, I get anxiety just walking into my house. I'm not afraid of the dark, but I am at my house for some reason. When I sleep at a friend's house or my boyfriend's house I sleep fine with no nightmares or scary imaginations. Is there a way I can clean the energy in my house? To help get some of this dark aura out so I can sleep better at night? I will be living here for a while and need to do something about it.
A. Hi there! It seems you have two energetic stressors going on - the stress of being home in a tense energetic environment with your parents and the stress from a dark energy that's clinging to your parent's house. Though I don't know your family situation I know what it feels like to be overwhelmed in a space you are supposed to feel safe. Home is supposed to be relaxing, bedtime is when we are supposed to rejuvenate and heal, and not being able to do that for whatever reason is really stressful on our mental, emotional and physical health. If you can feel a dark aura, you are an empath and that means you are more affected by the energies of the external world than those around you. Don't dull this down or feel bad about it. Sensitive people often feel worse about already feeling bad because we can't understand why things affect us so much or explain how much they affect us to people who think we are being overreactive and needy. If any part of you is feeling bad about your family situation / what's going on with the energies in your house I want you to know that I get you and you're not being irrational or needy in any way.
Since you will be living at your parent's home for a while, below are a few ways I've learned to protect my sensitive energy that might help you protect yours too.
- Incense or Sage: a lot of folks swear by burning sage (part of an Indigenous practice known as 'smudging' that should only be used with respect to the culture from which it came) and by burning incense to clear negative energy in their energy bodies and the spaces around them. I encourage you to look into both, and if you decide to try sage, to learn about the culture from which smudging comes as there is a lot more to it than just igniting a collection of leaves. Both sage and incense can often be found at most health food stores. I no longer smudge but I do have a band a sweetgrass that was gifted to me a few years ago that I sometimes smell when I'm in need of immediate elevation.
- Use intentions: saying intentions like, "I welcome only those of the Highest truth and compassion" works to create an energetic barrier to anything negative that you're sensing in the non-physical. I use this mantra anytime I am intentionally connecting to the non-physical (example: when I'm using tarot cards) or any time I am woken up or in a situation that feels unsafe.
- Use essential oils: lemon essential oil on a tissue and intentionally rubbed on your walls and any other hard surfaces around your home is a helpful way to detox your living space. Lemon has clearing properties and is often used in house-clearing rituals.
- Nature: bring something living, like a plant or some rocks into your living space. My home is filled with rocks, plants, branches, seashells and everything living. Nature is one of the highest frequencies so bringing it into a negative space helps create an aura of high vibration. If you can't bring nature into your space I encourage you to be intentional about getting outside for walks every single day. Walking bare foot in the grass or forest / ocean 'bathing' (when you allow yourself to just BE in nature to collect negative ions) will change your life as a sensitive person.
- Crystals: sprinkle rose quartz crystals, selenite and protection stones like black tourmaline throughout your space and also keep them on hand. Rose quartz is for unconditional love and will create a more gentle energy between yourself and your parents, selenite will clear and transmute that negativity you feel and black tourmaline will protect your aura from absorbing the energy of your situation / space. I have a rose quartz on my finger, sometimes sleep next to my selenite and wear protection stones in my pockets all day long.
- Beeswax: beeswax is also known for being high vibrational so bringing pure beeswax candles / products into your space (if you aren't vegan) helps keep the energy clean! I am predominantly vegan but sometimes bring bee products into my space, for the high vibration but also because bees are going extinct and I am intentional about supporting the bee keepers who nurture the little ones.
- Remove clutter: clear out clutter wherever you can, even if it's just in your immediate living space or the space that's around you right now. As a sensitive person you feel the energies of everything, including clutter. If there is anything that might have a negative energy attached to it hanging out in your space, it's going to affect you. So clear out what you can! This is why I suggest those going through a breakup remove their ex's stuff, stuff has an energy and we can't move on and live in the energy we are trying to move on from at the same time.
- Learn about how negative entities attach: THIS video talks all about negative entities and how they attach to our bodies and interrupt our sleep.... by waking us up, making us scared, and sending us intrusive thoughts. I encourage you to watch the whole thing (so informative... and quite frankly, mind blowing) but the part about sleep only starts around the 55 minute mark. Understanding the impact of negative entities on sleep and wellbeing is important for empaths because we are energetically open especially when we are sleeping!
As for helping with your family situation specifically:
- If you aren't ready to have a conversation with your family about being an empath / sensitive, it's sometimes safer to talk to them about being an introvert or having introverted tendencies. The term 'introvert' describes a personality type that recharges by spending time alone and is much more respected due to the popularity of Myers-Briggs and the work of Susan Cain and her book Quiet. Having a conversation to explain why you will often retreat when home with your parents will help put you and your family on the same page when it comes to your energy needs.
- When you have to be around your family it helps to have a physical barrier. I lived in a busy home growing up (there are eight of us!) and so even though I loved being around my family members I often found myself overwhelmed when I was around them for any length of time. Though I didn't know why I did it, the only way I could stay in the room with my family members was to sit with a blanket over my head. Now that I understand my energy needs I realize in addition to being clairsentient ("clear feeling") I am also very claircognizant ("clear knowing") and I instinctively put a blanket over my head to protect myself from other people's feelings AND thoughts. Physically protecting my head and creating a safe space under a blanket helped me engage with my family in a healthy, peaceful way. Another thing I've found that works is wearing big oversized sweaters, it helps protect the heart chakra.
- Drink lots of water. Water is THE most important thing for moving emotions through the body and because you're taking on a lot of negativity in your living situation, it's important you keep it flowing so it doesn't sit in your body and cause problems.
Struggle with self-care?
I send a weekly self-care reminder every Wednesday with real-life tips for putting you (and your energy) first.
Another thing I really want you to do is get intentional about clearing, grounding and protecting your energy regularly. I wrote a post all about it and I hope you give it a read! This past winter I worked in an old building that used to be an orphanage where children were killed in an explosion. In order to work in that building I had to clear CONSTANTLY. It's a bit annoying but it works, I swear. I encourage you to do this hourly when you first start and then lessen your practice as you become more and more aware and in control of your energy and its protection.
A mix of honey, chamomile tea and warmed non-dairy milk plus a drop of lavender essential oil on the back of your neck will also help you sleep.
Hope that helps with your current living situation and that you feel a bit more confident in protecting your energy and dealing with being an empath in the process!
Did any of this resonate?
Realizing you're an empath and learning to work with your abilities, rather than have them work against with you, will change your life. And if you have no idea what that means or where to start, my empath specific 1:1 mentorship stream might be perfect for you. We'll chat YOUR story and get you set up with a 4-week energetic self-care plan to teach you how to clear, ground, protect and KNOW your energy to regain control of your intuitive abilities and your life.