Do you feel other people’s emotions easily? Are you able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and understand where they are coming from? Do you often get so caught up in other people’s feelings and needs that you forget to also focus on your own needs? If so, then you might be an empath. In this article, we will explore what being an empath means, what you need to be aware of, and how to embrace your empath identity.
What Does It Mean To Be An Empath?
An empath is a person who is highly sensitive to the emotions of others. If you are an empath, you can feel other people’s emotions. Without realising, you can absorb the emotions and energies of other people, and feel extremely energetic or drained, happy or sad, angry or calm depending on the people around you. Empaths are often introverted and have very strong intuition.
They are highly perceptive, sensitive to changes in other people’s moods, and have vivid imaginations. Empaths love deeply and feel compassion for others. If they honor their sensitivity and needs, and practice good boundaries in their relationships, empaths can enjoy life profoundly. However, when they neglect their needs, they can become very stressed and act in ways that are unaligned with their true nature.
Why It Is Important to Know If You Are an Empath
To live healthy and happy lives, we need to understand ourselves and our needs. It can be difficult to know ourselves in a society that encourages conformity with external expectations and standards. It is easy to judge ourselves and try to conform instead of honouring our true needs. Living for long periods of times in ways that are unaligned with our true nature, we create habits that do not reflect our true needs. Empath is a helpful identifier to help you gain more awareness about who you are so you can honor yourself.
Because empaths are so sensitive to other people and they love to make other people happy, they can follow along without paying attention to their needs. They can simply find it natural to go along with what others want or need. Saying yes too often for too long, they can then feel drained, stressed, oppressed, resentful, angry, powerless, victimised. In the process, they might also forgo their own talents, gifts and desires.
With awareness, empaths can turn their sensitivity into a true superpower. They can learn to protect their energy; observe without absorbing; honor their needs while loving others; and pursuing their own interests without guilt.
How Do You Know If You Are An Empath?
Self-reflection and self-observation will help you understand if you are an empath. This may not be easy at first if you are not used to paying attention to yourself. Mindfulness practices can help you sharpen your self-perception.
Here are some questions to consider:
Do you often feel overwhelmed by the thoughts or emotions of others?
Do you feel like you are taking on other people’s problems as if they are your own?
Do you feel the energy of a room, movie, person, etc?
Do you feel a deep need for peace and quiet to recharge?
Are you exhausted after you spend some time in busy public places?
Do you have a need to help others whenever they present you with a problem?
Can you easily “walk” in another person’s shoes and connect with their problem?
Empaths are very perceptive. Many empath tests will also suggest that being able to tell when someone is dishonest is one of their traits. However, if you have experienced many situations or experiences that caused you to doubt your own perception, you might not feel like this is true anymore. You could look back to times in the past when you had a clear sense of someone’s agenda, intentions, or personality.
What It Means to be An Empath
Empaths are very caring and loving people. They feel deeply and they love to help. They are able to understand others on a deep level, which makes them good listeners and compassionate partners. However, like all other people, they can develop negative mental, emotional and behavioural patterns.
When empaths learn to honour their needs and boundaries, communicate well, and embrace their abilities, they can find a lot of fulfilment in life. They are wonderful partners, friends, or co-workers. They do well in work environments where they can have some control over their routines and space.
How To Honor Yourself
While honouring your empath nature might require some adjustments, it is a wonderful gift to be embraced.
Embrace your sensitivity – Your sensitivity is a superpower because it allows you to embrace life in profound ways, and understand and connect with others deeply. To celebrate your sensitivity, discover what nourishes your soul and give it a place in your life. For example, you might love a form of art, working with animals or volunteering. Be open to exploring.
Practice mindfulness – Being an empath you can easily absorb emotions and energies. Mindfulness will help you stay anchored within. In this way, you can learn to observe rather than absorb. For empaths, mindfulness practices are a necessity.
Emotional release – Because you perceive so much and feel deeply, you can accumulate a lot of emotions. It is important to know how to connect to your emotions and release them regularly. If your job entails working with a lot of people, you likely absorb a lot during your workday. It is important to check in with your emotions often and learn how to release them.
Honor your boundaries – Whether you need to spend a lot of time on your own to recharge or you want to avoid crowded places, honor what you need. Others might take some time to adjust, but if they love and respect you, they will respect your boundaries.
Pay attention to what you want – If your tendency is to go along with others, try pausing before saying yes. Take a deep breath and ask yourself what it is that you actually want to do. Then choose what you actually want to do. It is important to check in with yourself and know what you want.
Exercise – Movement helps clear the energy. Yoga alongside another form of exercise that is more vigorous can help you release stuck energy.
Empaths are able to deeply understand and relate to others, which is why they make great partners, friends, employees or leaders. However, being so perceptive can also be challenging. The more you pay attention to what you truly need and honor it, the more you can thrive and fully enjoy your empath nature.
If you want to understand yourself better and dive deeply into what it means to be an empath, I would love to support you. You can book an intuitive reading with me or a free exploratory coaching call.