Being An Empath In An Over-Stimulated World
For those that identify as an Empath you’ll completely understand and relate to this article.
For many others you may never have heard of the word Empath, and if you have you may still not be clear on exactly what that means.
So, let’s start by first identifying what an Empath is, and then we’ll expand on the affects of being an Empath in an over-stimulated world.
An Empath is someone who feels and experiences the world a lot more deeply than those around you. Occurring in an estimated 5% of the population, Empaths in a sense personify empathy being able to physically, emotionally and psychologically experience the feelings of other people on a daily basis.
Although an Empath has finely tuned intuition, compassion and listening skills, they often experience a variety of negative side effects from their gift. They frequently fluctuate in mood, and they are prone to develop a variety of illnesses from the multitude of emotions they carry around within them each day.
Nevertheless, Empaths are greatly valued and cherished by their friends and family for their willingness to listen, comfort and counsel those in need. In a sense, Empaths play the role of the “sacrificial lamb”, putting the needs of others above their own because they are made the most happy when others are happy.
One of the best ways for an Empath to create peace within themselves, is spending alone time in nature. Although Empaths often wrestle with allowing themselves alone time to recharge and balance their own energy because they feel such a need to serve others.
Now lets move onto being an Empath in an over-stimulated world.
The daily stress we deal with in the 21st century lifestyle plays a major role in our ability to function as healthy Empaths. Overeating, under-eating, excess caffeine, binging on Netflix, movies, video games, using both recreation and prescription drugs and alcohol are modern habits that bombard both our mind and body with too much stimuli. The more stimulated we are, the less connected we are to ourselves.
In fact, we tend to use these stimulants as a mode of escapism. Why? Because this overwhelming sensation of FEELING things so deeply makes us want to escape reality.
Without placing blame or judgment, most of us have not been taught how to embrace or manage our sensitivity in a healthy manner. In fact, as children we may have quite possibly grown up in emotionally dulled or wounded families that punished or shamed us for being ‘too sensitive’.
In a 'perfect world' neither shame nor guilt would abide, but we didn’t incarnate to a perfect world. We elected to incarnate into this beautifully imperfect world for the purpose of experiencing a multitude of things.
Nonetheless, these unfortunate events that transpired in our early formative years caused us to block out and suppress that vulnerable, but gifted, place within ourselves to fit in. As challenging and painful as those events may have been, they did serve as a necessary survival mechanism to help us adapt to our surroundings. However, at some point we must learn to move beyond survival mode to fully functioning and healthy living mode.
In so doing, it’s important to learn how to establish boundaries as well as allow yourself permission to consciously process uncomfortable stimuli. This is crucial in order to not let it collect and stay with inside you. Stagnation and lingering of any unpleasant emotion over a period of time can result in dis-ease in the physical body.
It’s quite understandable that you are hiding from the world due to your intense sensitivity. In fact, it’s very likely you feel skeptical, cautious and unconvinced as to the necessity to “open up” to your sensitivity. I get it! Who the hell wants to open that Pandora box of pain, rejection, and unresolved wounds?
Simply put – without consciously allowing yourself to be vulnerable, you will endlessly live in a state of emptiness. Your true nature is of that of an Empath, and to shun, deny, and pretend it doesn’t exist will cause an insipid, lackluster, numb existence.
Before proceeding further, it’s imperative we look at the unknowing ways we suppress our sensitivity. Below is a list of possible suppressing and blocking techniques. Note: this list is not all-inclusive.
PHYSICAL FORMS OF EMPATHIC SUPPRESSION
Addictions, e.g. to sugar, caffeine, food, alcohol, smoking, drugs, sex, adrenaline
Emotional eating, i.e. eating to soothe your anxiety, anger or boredom
Binge-eating or under-eating, i.e. eating a lot in one go, or depriving yourself of food
Avoidance of certain people or situations
Chronic Fatigue, unexplained
Fibromyalgia (chronic aching muscles)
Headaches and migraines
Constant colds and flu
High blood pressure
Knots in stomach/butterflies (frequent)
Desire to scream
Over-sleeping or insomnia
EMOTIONAL FORMS OF EMPATHIC SUPPRESSION
Adopting the role of care-taking martyr
Exaggerated emotional reactions to the losses or traumas of acquaintances, strangers, fictional characters or animals
Inability to express emotional vulnerability
Decreased empathy and heightened self-centeredness
Persistent anger issues or rage
Apathy or lack of emotion (“numbness”)
MENTAL FORMS OF EMPATHIC SUPPRESSION
Neurosis or obsessive compulsive behaviors
Deeply ingrained cognitive distortions
Inability to concentrate
First, it’s essential to understand having a few of these symptoms doesn’t necessarily prove you’re an empath in hiding. It also doesn’t prove you’re emotionally or sensitively repressed. However, if you resonate with a lot of this writing, perhaps now would be a good time to do gain some guidance and support.
As a highly sensitive empath myself, it took a number of years to finally embrace this gift as something precious and extremely useful in my daily living. I can also tell you denying it, numbing it, and flat-out trying to ignore it caused me far more emotional and physical pain than I’d care to recant.
Being told things like, “you’re too sensitive”, “you wear your emotions on your sleeves”, “you need to suck-it-up buttercup”, or my favorite “stop being so sensitive”, NEVER and I mean NEVER HELPED O-N-C-E in my life. If anything it intensified the matter, resulting in feelings of inadequacy, shame and guilt because I couldn’t stop FEELING.
Empaths, your time is NOW my darlings. Is it any wonder we are seeing more and more outbursts around us. More and more individuals looking like they are losing their ‘shit’. More and more children coming into the planet that exiting older humans ‘don’t quite get’. Their sensitive nature alone makes others feel uncomfortable, resulting in the uncomfortable one projecting onto the sensitive soul.
How has anything that has been perceived as different been handled over the millennium? You, who are perceived as different, MUST conform in order to make the rest of us comfortable to be around. INSANITY at its finest!
Tangent--Introverts are great at recognizing, acknowledging, and even accepting Extroverts as being 'different'. On the flipside, it's been my experience, that Extroverts for the most part don't get Introverts. Yes, both 'verts' can feel uneasy around the other, and prefer their own 'type', but introverts tend to remain quiet about the matter where as extroverts will perceive there being something wrong with an introvert. Tangent over-- back to the article at hand.
Empaths, we may not be the most flamboyantly boisterous creatures on the planet. And we may not be the pushers and shovers of conforming change, but we are like a river of water……the surface is gentle and flowy, while the depth of our undercurrent (Empathetic gift) remain unseen to the physical eye. We can remain soft and gentle while we effectuate change through persistence rather than through brute force. Our sensitive nature is our POWER.
If you would like to know more about being an Empath, I teach classes on the subject matter and said classes can be found in my closed Facebook Group, Be your Own Hero.
If you resonate as an Empath, and need some clarity or guidance on how to best manage it, please get in contact with me for a free breakthrough session.