Empaths possess higher sensitivity towards their surroundings. They take a lot of effort and care to feel these things. So thriving as an empath is tough. Psychologists use the word empath for a person who carries enough empathy. Empaths take the emotions and energies of others without distinguishing them as good or bad. I have discussed how to survive as an empath in this blog. I have listed some notable symptoms of empaths below.
- Romantic relationships are a challenge for empaths because they avoid close contact. Spending too much time with someone can overwhelm empaths. It leads to stress as they fear losing them.
- Empaths like to spend time in nature as it comforts their overwhelming emotions and feelings. Remote and natural areas attract empaths.
- Empaths absorb the positive and negative energies of people. It magnifies when they are present in busy places. Empaths can also pick physical distress from the crowd, which makes them physically unwell.
- As an empath, you avoid conflicts. You get hurt by the remarks of other people. Even slight criticism can cut you more deeply.
- Empaths heal themselves by isolating themselves. It is a way to recover from overwhelming emotions. Prolonged isolation thus can affect your mental health. Empaths meditate outdoors in a quiet park or garden, walking in the rain and long drives to restore themselves.
- Boundaries are essential in relationships. You can’t stop giving in to relationships. You find it hard to set boundaries.
- Deeper emotions can increase your connection with the world.
Thriving as an empath
Empaths often find it difficult to relate to others. As they struggle to absorb the feelings of others, it causes distress. Ultimately, they try to avoid others and talk less. It leads them to become more private. Sometimes, it becomes difficult for empaths to overcome emotional overload. It affects their quality of life. Empaths feel the pains of other individuals, which drains them. They should practice saying no. It is a crucial step in thriving as an empath and succeeding. As they are exhausted, they need time to recharge themselves. I have mentioned some techniques on how to survive as an empath in this section.
Empaths sense and feel the emotions of others as their own experience. They take the pain and happiness of others as their own. Empaths are sensitive to the sentiments of men and the world. Profound fragrances and odors can affect empaths. Jarring sounds and certain sounds can also trigger empaths. Empaths feel deeply for other people. It means empaths want to do something for people when they absorb their emotions. They are always ready to help. They become disappointed when it is not possible.
- By freeing yourself from the past.
- By overcoming early childhood fears and traumas.
- 3. Retrieve your inner wounded child.
- 4. Release yourself from emotional setbacks.
- By handling feelings of anger, fear, and self-doubt.
- Stick up for yourself.
- Set clear boundaries in relationships.
- Meditation for relaxing your mind, body, and soul.
- By practicing self-compassion
- Breathing exercises to counter negative emotions.
- Move aside from the source, disturbing your emotions.
- Identify your own emotions and symptoms, not affected by others.
- Limit physical contact to avoid discomfort while interacting.
- Find alone time to clear and process your thoughts.
Challenges for empaths
Negative emotions of others easily influence empaths. It can make it hard to hold space for others because they are going through the same feelings. So, it is crucial to learn how to survive as an empath and make it through. Empathy is a gift, but too much of it creates suffering. It can also cause a lot of distress and discomfort. Empaths can experience depression, anxiety, fatigue, and panic attacks. Some physical issues sometimes accompany it, such as headaches and increased heart rate when they face stressful emotions. It’s mainly because of their habit of taking the pain and emotions of others as their own. While thriving as an empath there are different struggles and challenges. I have mentioned them below.
- You are constantly fighting emotional exhaustion and fatigue.
- Humanity sometimes becomes a burden for empaths, but they cannot shut it off.
- You need plenty of alone time to process your thoughts and emotions and get a break from absorbing the emotions of human beings.
- You need time to recharge, but everyone around you does not understand.
- You need a lot of time to transit from a high-stimulus environment to a low-stimulus environment and vice versa.
- You struggle a lot with your mental health. Because of higher sensitivity, you feel anxiety and depression.
- You always notice when someone is in need and feeling off, while no one other notices.
- People sometimes take advantage of you because of your sensitive nature.
- Small things in nature and surroundings can deeply upset you.
- Because of your listening powers, you sometimes forget to leave space for yourself.
- Saying no is hard for you.
- Violence and horror can disturb you.
- When empaths constantly absorb others’ feelings, they sometimes ignore their emotions.
Scientific explanations of empathy
Empathy requires significant compassion for people. They feel what is happening to others in their inner selves. They internalize these feelings, which makes thriving as an empath hard. Empaths have a powerful intuition towards things that seem off. It’s easy for them to know when something is wrong. They can easily read the thoughts of others. They are excellent listeners. In this way, people feel comforted by them and tell them about their problems. There are many scientific approaches to better understanding the powers of empathy.
According to this finding, many people pick up the emotions of others around them. They take these feelings as their own and raise an important question. The phenomenon of emotional contagion helps us better understand how to survive as an empath and the empaths on the whole.
There is a specialized group of brain cells called mirror neurons that mirror the emotions of joy, fear, pain, and sorrow of others. Mirror neurons handle compassion, so empaths carry hyper-sensitive mirror neurons.
The brain and heart generate electromagnetic fields. According to another finding, electromagnetic fields transmit information about people’s feelings, thoughts, and emotions.
- Increased Dopamine Activity
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that increases the activity and functioning of neurons associated with feelings of pleasure. Empaths have a higher sensitivity to dopamine than others. They need less dopamine to make themselves happy. These are the reasons that empaths feel contented alone. They like to read, meditate, and require less from social gatherings.
Dangers of excessive empathy
Excess of everything is bad for you. Similarly, excessive empathy can bring certain behaviors. Thus, thriving as an empath is a challenge. I have mentioned them below.
- You are at a greater risk of negative experiences.
- People take advantage of you, which is wrong. You will not let it happen once you learn how to protect yourself as an empath.
- You experience physical burnout.
- You are emotionally exhausted.
- You are at a greater risk of taking on others’ problems.
- You possess a powerful urge to help others with your suffering.
- You easily fall prey to people lacking manners and etiquette.
- You are at significant risk of entering relationships with narcissists.
Written by: Dr Tahira Rubab Hafeez
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