Updated: Feb 10, 2022
The gifts of being an empath
If you're like me, you're probably wondering why so many people around you have anxiety, depression, or are plain just stressed the F out. As an empath, I not only have to feel and express my own emotions, but I also feel and have to release the emotions of others. This becomes more intense if people repress their emotions rather than express them. Bizarre, I know, more like obnoxious. Trust me. You're not telling me anything I don't already know.
For this reason, I have learned not to spend my time with people who can't take accountability for their own emotions. But, of course, there are exceptions and certain circumstances I can't avoid with those I love. You know what I'm talking about. Empath or not, we all have people we can't avoid, even though we wish we could! Also, Empath or not, we ALL feel the energy to some degree.
I have tried to get rid of or ignore these lovely abilities I possess. However, many have told me it's a part of my life's purpose.
Wait? Excuse me? Why is it my purpose to feel the emotions of others who can't take responsibility for it themselves? Trust me, Ignoring them only makes it worse too. When I ignore them rather than acknowledge them, it manifests in my body as physical pain. I am still learning the hard way when I'm too busy to deal with it.
Stress, anxiety, and depression on the rise
So what's up with the increasing anxiety in everybody these days? Well, consider that virtually EVERYTHING is energy, so every interaction with humans and animals especially leaves an imprint. Then take into account the mass awakening that's been taking place in Western Culture with yoga, meditation, and spirituality over the last how many decades. Oh, we also have a global pandemic that is causing people to lose their damn minds! However, if we want to make lemonade, the pandemic has brought many people back to their roots, back to their families, back out in nature, etc. People are regaining a connection to something that was long lost and forgotten.
We must acknowledge that with these connections comes a wave of emotions. When we reconnect to something that was lost, it shakes us. It moves energy from our core out into the world. A world that has taught us for generations that it's not okay to express our emotions. For men, you might be considered weak. Women, already regarded as weak, are considered even more vulnerable, or worse if they become emotional. Imagine not having seen your spouse for months and the flood of emotions that would arise once you're reconnected. That's normal.
If we consider all of the things opening us up to energy... could more and more of us be empaths? I would say that's plausible. But then consider the lack of emotional acknowledgment and resources to manage it. It's no wonder why people can't chill the F out!
So how do we fix this?
How to reduce Stress, anxiety, and depression
Acknowledgment. Acknowledging emotions when they arise and finding a constructive way to express them is vital. It doesn't matter whether it's done through journaling, music, dance, crafts, exercise, or other outlets. Find one that works for you.
Disconnect. This could mean a disconnection from technology, things, or people that stresses us out. I know disconnecting from technology is tough given everything is virtual today, but unplugging from everything for at least 30 minutes a day is rejuvenating. When you're constantly "plugged in," you're guaranteed to have a power surge. You know those times your phone starts going berserk, and you realize you haven't shut it off for six months? That's exactly what happens to us. We need a reboot. So do you and your phone a favor and shut it off.
Reconnect. Not to your phone. Do something to get your mind off the daily noise and reconnect with yourself and with nature. Start your day with meditation, a workout, or a walk. Ground yourself. Allow yourself to find peace and reconnect with your roots. Maybe you do this at lunch to re-energize yourself. Or create an evening routine with a cup of tea, reading a good book, or journaling. Do whatever speaks to your soul.
Focus on you. Much of our days are focused on anything but ourselves, so it's essential to nourish the body with good food and hydration. Listen to your body. If you're tired, go to bed early. If your skin is dry, hydrate yourself. If you're bloated and sore, take an Epsom salt bath. If you're stressed out, workout. These little things make all the difference, and it's often the simple things that are forgotten.
I recently went to the doctor for my annual check-up. As usual, they have you fill out a health history questionnaire that has gone from one page to about five in the last 20 years. Sometime in the previous decade, they've added another questionnaire. This one asks about your tobacco, drug, and alcohol consumption and asks extensively about your mental state. However, there were no questions about diet, exercise, and overall health. That seemed odd to me when these factors tremendously impact our mental state.
My point exactly, Rip!
If you read my post, Why Our Mind-Body Connection Is So Important, you'll understand why there isn't much focus on those questions. If you haven't read it, you can click the link to read it now.
I hope this post helps you to chill the F out. Let me know in the comments what works for you!
What's your ammo?