Empaths & HSPs: 5 Helpful Tips for Managing Sensitivity

I was reminded last week that it can be hard being an empath and a highly sensitive person, especially when we’re exposed to the 24-hour news cycle which comes to us via many outlets, such as television, newspapers and social media.

I don’t think that you can become less sensitive as an empath to the point of changing your personality and who you are, but I do think you can learn to honour and use your sensitivity in a constructive way. Below are a few of my tips to help you to do this.

1. Know when to set limits on how much you’re affected by other peoples’ pain

Empaths have a lot of space in their hearts for pain and sorrow that is not theirs. They can wallow in it and sometimes feel like that’s OK, because they’re sharing in someone else’s pain.

As empaths, we do need to set limits.

Here’s how you can do this: when you’re feeling the world’s pain, ask yourself: Is there anything I can do about this? Can I help in some way? Can I send a donation, prayers or good energy?

Here’s a simple visualization you can use to send someone good energy:

Choose a type of energy you’d like to send to someone else. For example: love, strength or peace. Then ask Source for some of this energy. See the energy coming down from Source and see an angel put it into a gift wrapped box or a bag. Then ask the angel to deliver the energy to the person you’d like to help. See them being showered with this good energy.

(Don’t believe in the power of prayer? You might like to read this amazing anecdote from a psychic-medium about her experience with visualization and prayer.)

Once you’ve done what you can (even if that happens to be nothing), shift yourself into a different state of being.

If you can’t, then you might be dealing with some of your own emotions.

After the singer Amy Winehouse died a few years ago, I cried for a few weeks on and off. At first I thought I was being empathic, then I realized I was grieving because she died of alcohol poisoning, and I still hadn’t resolved dealing with one of my family member’s alcohol dependence issues.

So, sometimes we don’t always recognize what we’re feeling or why, and occasionally we empaths mistakenly think it’s someone else’s energy we’re holding.

2. Cut psychic ties when you feel bothered by other peoples’ emotions in an ongoing way

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Psychic ties are small connections that form between you and another person when you interact. They look like tiny threads, akin to webs of energy communication that form between us. They are created when you interact with someone else – this could be in person or at a distance. You can even form ties to people you watch on TV and those you read about in newspapers.

These little psychic connections exist on the astral (or unconscious) level. This can lead to being hooked into another person’s emotions or thoughts, in a very subtle but impactful way.

I recommend cutting these ties regularly. Here’s how to do this:

Ask Archangel Michael to be with you.

Take three deep breaths.

Then say: “Archangel Michael, I ask you to clear all the psychic ties that may have formed between me and anyone I’ve engaged with in the past 24 hours/3 weeks/ over the course of my lifetime (depending on when you last did this.) Please bring in new love, truth, light and power to me. Thank you.”

This is very cleansing energetically.

3. Clear your energy on a regular basis

This is very simple – no elaborate rituals are needed. Just call on Archangel Michael to “remove from your aura anything that is not your burden to carry” and ask to be filled with love, peace, light or whatever it is you would like.

4. Have a nightly routine that involves cocooning yourself away from the rest of the world

This is important for all HSPs and empaths.

Leave the smartphone outside of the bedroom.

Cut psychic ties and clear your energy before bed. I also find having a bath or shower cleansing energetically.

Some people have told me they like to do my Chakra Meditation before bed.

5. Baby, you were born this way

Your sensitivity can be managed using the tips above, and even used to your advantage (and other peoples’) so that it does not feel like a curse.

There are many professions where sensitivity is a real plus, including teaching, all forms of healing, translation (which involves being extra sensitive to the nuances and energies behind words), creative writing, parenting, making art and music, marketing and business (aka being tuned into what people need and want, and giving it to them in a way that appeals.)

Empaths can excel in any area that is about meeting other peoples’ needs.

Empathy is also a beautiful gift to have in your personal relationships.

I hope you found these tips helpful.

I have a question for empath/HSP readers: how do you manage your sensitivity?

Are you an empath who feels like your empathy gift is more of a curse than a blessing? If so, I invite you to download the free preview of my book The Empath’s Toolkit: A Guide to Recovery for the Overwhelmed Empath below!

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of Anna’s Book The Empath’s Toolkit…

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Meet Anna

Hi, I’m Anna Sayce! My purpose here on this website is to provide practical techniques and information to help empaths to understand, and fix the root of their energetic overwhelm & also to help sensitives to embrace and develop their intuitive gifts. I believe that developing our spiritual & intuitive side is very powerful and allows us to improve our own lives, and if we wish, even make the world a better place for others. Discover more >

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17 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Hi Anna,
    Thank you for the article and the reminder to cut psychic ties which I was forgetting to do.

    My favorite tool for managing my sensitivity is a spacial grid that I find really helpful. I use it in my personal places and even in public places, like a movie theater.

    Gratitude,
    Alexi.

  2. Avatar

    I’m still figuring out how to manage my sensitivity. It took me a while to figure out why I would all of a sudden feel crushing anxiety and stress until I finally pinpointed that it only happened when I was in the same room with a certain person. I married a man who is very even-keeled emotionally, and that helps a lot.

  3. Avatar

    The pre-bed cocoon is so important for me, particularly as I absorb the impact of the recent loss of my parents from this realm. It’s a big part of my “coming back to life” – & honoring the enormous amount of energy it takes.

    Putting time/space between emotionally stimulating stuff/contacts really helps to assimilate and appreciate. 🙂

    Thanks for the reminder about the tie cutting. I would like to do it more often!

  4. Avatar

    I think it’s great Anna included an invocation to do with the angels to help clear and protect a person. I have been using invocations like that too and they work wonders. One more thng that has helped me, since I’m a very sensitive person is the rejuvenizer pendant. In fact it works better than I thought it would to protect me and also center me, you can find it here, I don’t sell these pendants and make no money from passing this on, it’s just a great pendant that I like a lot! Also, I checked with my angels and the said it would be the best pendant out there for me…http://www.lighthealing.com/purchase-rejuvenizer.aspx

  5. Avatar

    I use meditation a lot, and there are certain crystals I like to carry around (and even sleep with) that help keep me calm and happy. Even though I like people, I’m careful to limit my contact with them somewhat, because I need plenty of time to myself to recharge. I keep my apartment simplified and super tidy, because that helps reduce visual input overall.

    I stick to a low-carb diet, because carbs are way too stimulating, and use methods like EFT and certain eye movements to keep myself closer to alpha state most of the time.

    It all takes a bit of monitoring and discipline, but it has really improved my health and energy levels dramatically over the years, despite being a highly sensitive person. Well worth the effort! 🙂

  6. Avatar

    Two blessings I received from reading this. First, a gentle reminder that as an Empath, I’m prone to pick up energies that I may not be paying attention to until my shoulder is giving me fits. I tend to carry others pain in my left shoulder. I’m not always aware that I have picked up their pain, any portion of it, to carry for them until my physical body alerts me that I have. Sometimes I have to back-track to figure out where I picked it up.

    Second, a gentle reminder of a practice that has supported me in the past and is sometimes set on the shelf when I’m feeling well.

    Just like practicing any behavior in life that is therapeutic like massage, acupuncture, meditation, prayer, giving and gratitude, cutting the chords and ties that bind is essential to the therapeutic release of any ties that bind.

  7. Avatar

    Hi Anna,

    This article has come at the right time. I find myself connecting very sensitively to children’s pain, whatever the type. I was not abused or neglected as a child, so I guess this comes from a previous life, maybe. I am into one of the professions you mention, and I never thought that may play a role as well. I do not have a special technique to cut psychic ties or not tuning so much into other people’s pain, so this is exactly what I needed. Thank you so much, Anna!!!

  8. Anna

    Doris – glad you found this helpful 🙂

  9. Anna

    Noel – Totally agree! Thanks for your comment.

  10. Anna

    Jennifer – wow, that sounds very disciplined! That’s great you’re reaping the benefits.

  11. Anna

    Carol – Sorry for your loss. It’s good that you are taking care of yourself!

  12. Anna

    Elly – That’s good you managed to work out the root of those feelings!

  13. Anna

    Alexi – glad you’ve found something that works for you, thanks for sharing!

  14. Avatar

    I had an interesting day yesterday that let me know I need to work on this about 60 times more than I already have been. =}
    Almost everyone that normally sits around me at work were off in training and part way through the day I realized just how calm and easy the day was going…getting lots of work done, no random emotions and thoughts popping up and at the end of the day I went home not tired like normal. Today after they were done and all came back into the office it was sudden bombardment with all that again. While I am doing a lot to keep it from affecting me, I guess I still feel and pick up a lot more stuff than I realized. Wow!
    Just my random observation of yesterday…

  15. Avatar

    Once I realize whether my feelings are my own or someone else’s, I find that visualizing myself outside on a pleasant day, on one side of a river. I can see others (or the specific person I’m feeling) but they are across this river and cannot get to me.

    I found your site while looking up automatic writing. I’m an artist/high school art teacher. Being empathic has helped me as a teacher (though being surrounded by teenager’s emotions takes it’s toll) and mentor, but I am completely blocked creatively regarding my own art. I do clearing regularly and I’m not sure if it’s about being empathic or not. I was considering automatic writing but I’m not sure if this is how I should proceed. Do any of you have experience with removing blocks? How did you do it?

  16. Avatar

    Anna, thank you so much for these tips. They seem so easy to implement, and I already feel a kinship with Michael, so all the better. I’m going to give these a go right away! It’s difficult to manage my empathy at times. I have to shield myself from the horrible daily events via the news, as sometimes it is too much to bear. Total strangers seem to gravitate toward me when I’m out shopping and start telling me their problems. Afterward I feel drained, and wonder when my time will come for someone to listen to MY PROBLEMS for a change. I find that if I don’t protect myself properly, I can suffer from some mood swings.

  17. Avatar

    I have no idea why, but the last several years I have become an empath. I get what I can best describe as an electric shock through my body when I watch accidents, see photos of someone getting hurt, or even shaking hands with someone. It used to make me jump (because of the jolt) but now I can take the jolt, I have never done a clearing of energies, but plan to try it this evening when the house is quiet. I know have have taken on others pain because I am feeling pain constantly, doctors have said its “fibromyalgia”. But I know different. I signed up for the newsletter and e-course to help me develop my abilities, and learn to manage the energy from others so it doesn’t become mine.

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