(First of all, if you’re wondering what an empath is and if you might be one, you might want to hop over and read this article: Signs You’re an Empath)
Empaths & HSP’s
In my experience working with empaths, many of them are also Highly Sensitive People (HSP’s).
The ‘Highly Sensitive Person’ is a term coined by psychologist Dr Elaine Aron. A highly sensitive person is someone who has a keener than average sense of hearing, vision, touch, taste and smell, and who is generally very sensitive to stimuli in their external environment. Note that this is not the same as being an empath, however many people who are empaths are also HSPs (and vice versa.)
Here are some signs that you may be a HSP:
- You dislike loud noises like sirens, screaming babies and car alarms
- Noises that don’t appear to bother other people (for example: noise from neighbours) really disturb you
- Smells that don’t appear to bother other people affect you (e.g. someone wearing strong perfume)
- You need the lighting of a room to be ‘just right,’ and may have a dislike for bright or fluorescent lighting
- You feel stressed out when you’re in a busy urban environment
- You are unusually sensitive to pain
- You pick up on subtle details in your environment that other people don’t notice
- You are sensitive to caffeine
- You prefer peaceful, quiet environments to noisy, busy ones
- It is easy for you to feel overwhelmed when you have lots of different tasks to attend to
- You dislike high-pressure work environments
- You need a quiet place to withdraw to, and like to spend time alone
- You’re easily moved emotionally by music, art, etc.
- You have food intolerances or sensitivities
- You fall in love quickly and feel overwhelmed by the feelings of ecstasy it causes, which can bring up anxiety.
If you related to the statements above, you might be interested in Elaine N. Aron’s book, The Highly Sensitive Person. That book contains many helpful lifestyle recommendations for HSP’s (and by extension for empaths.)
Ted Zeff’s book, The Highly Sensitive Person’s Survival Guide (Step-By-Step Guides) also comes highly recommended for the same reason.
The Emotional Projection Trap
In my book, I write extensively about what I call the “Emotional Projection Trap”. This is something empaths engage in often. It means suppressing your own negative emotions and then becoming triggered when you go into settings or have experiences which involve bumping up against other peoples’ strong negative emotions. An example would be going to a funeral of someone you barely know, and sobbing all the way through (because the experience triggers your own unresolved grief) and then concluding that you had a good cry because you were overwhelmed with all the energies at the funeral or with other peoples’ pain.
But what is often really happening is that because we are so busy, and because we live in a culture that values relentless positivity; that encourages shutting down our emotions, we sometimes are not even aware of the negative emotions we are holding within ourselves. The emotional projection trap can also happen because we don’t always have the clarity to see what is really going on inside ourselves. And as empaths we sometimes just assume that what we are feeling must be someone else’s. After all, our emotional lives can get so clouded by our empath gifts – because we feel so much anyway, it can all get a bit confusing!
But here’s the problem with that: by repressing our emotions, as empaths we are actually prolonging our emotional discomfort or pain, because when we avoid our negative emotions, we experience more of whatever emotion (anger, sadness, anxiety) that we are repressing in ourselves. And as a result, we may find ourselves in a painful cycle of attracting the same emotional gunk over and over, until we reconnect with what we are really feeling. You can’t heal what you can’t feel.
Or put another way: what you resist, persists.
Therefore empaths have to become skilled in the art of letting their emotions flow through them, including difficult ones such as sadness and anger.
I talk more about this in my book.
Karla Mclaren’s book The Language of Emotions: What Your Feelings Are Trying to Tell You, is also a good resource for empaths.
This is an article about empathy. So why am I talking about past lives now? Well, something I have found among my empath clients is that they are often carrying trauma and pain from their past lives. And the more past life trauma they are carrying with them, the more overwhelmed they can become with their empath gifts. Therefore, I recommend that overwhelmed empaths give past life regression a try.
If you’re interested in reading further material on past lives, Healing Your Past Lives: Exploring the Many Lives of the Soul is very good, not only because it was written by the man who created a really excellent technique (Deep Memory Process) for past life regression but also because it comes with a CD to get a taste of what a regression is like.
Brian Weiss’s book Many Lives, Many Masters: The true story of a prominent psychiatrist, his young patient and the past-life therapy that changed both their lives is very interesting, too.
Honing Your Empath Gifts
An Intuitive Experiment is an exercise I offer periodically on my blog, where readers can use their empathic abilities to practise reading people in the public eye (using a photo of the person.) Anyone can take part in these experiments, but empaths tend to be rather good at them, because they have the extra ability of putting themselves in the shoes of another person and extra-sensory information tends to come to them more easily.
Free Intuition E-Course
Did you know that empaths also have a real head start in developing their intuitive abilities in order to access their intuitive guidance? If you are interested in developing your intuition, check out my free e-course, which can help you with that. You can find it here.
Space Clearing for Empaths
My book, the Empath’s Toolkit, teaches the reader all about how to clear 5 types of negative energy from the aura that empaths commonly pick up from other people. It also teaches people how to strengthen their energy field from the inside out so that they are less affected by other peoples’ energies.
However, clearing my aura and strengthening my energy field is not the only energetic practice I engage in as an empath (and recommend others do, too.)
I also make sure to clear my space regularly and spaces that I frequent on a regular basis.
This is because as empaths there are 10 types of different negative energies that can end up in our spaces and which affect us energetically.
If you’re interested in learning to identify, clear and protect your home from all types of negative energy, I recommend checking out my Energy Clearing for Spaces Course.
Happy New Year to all my lovely regular readers!