You hear the term “Empath” thrown around a great deal these days, especially in spiritual groups. But what does this term actually mean? And if we identify ourselves as an empath, how do we go about embracing the positive attributes rather than feeling like it is a prison sentence? With the amount of clients and students I have seen coming through my doors who identify with being an empath, I thought this would be a good topic to explore over a number of articles.
Believe me, as an empath myself, I found that half the battle was in having an understanding as to why I feel the way I do with certain people and places and why I seem to pick up on things that others don’t seem to! There is no denying that there are people in this world that are more highly sensitive to the needs and emotions of others. I believe we all have psychic abilities to some degree, abilities we can choose to deny and block or abilities we can celebrate and choose to grow. Being an empath is hard to define by itself, as those who are empaths often have other psychic channels that are also working for them, so the lines can blurr as to what is connected to being an “empath” and what is connected to other working psychic channels.
So in this article I thought we could start by taking a look at what I see as some of the more common traits of an empath which will help you to identify if this is something you might be yourself:
- Empaths have a habit of picking up on other people’s emotions and taking them on as our own. We often don’t realise we are doing this and can really struggle to determine what is actually our own “stuff” and what is someone else’s. This means that places like shopping centres, supermarkets, hospitals, or anywhere that lots of people tend to frequent can overwhelm us. Sometimes this is because we are picking up on the people around us and sometimes we are picking up on the energies left behind (or both!).
- Empaths pick up on physical and emotional issues of others. An empath can develop the physical illnesses of a person near them and will especially pick up on their physical pain. We are also influenced by the emotions of those around us – so can find ourselves feeling happy when with happy people or feel depressed when someone depressed is close by. This is especially so for those closest to us – somewhat like sympathy pains.
- Watching or experiencing violence, cruelty or tragedy can be very unbearable for an empath. The more attuned we become the worse this can be. We tend to be able to feel what is taking place before us even though nothing is actually occurring to us personally.
- Others have a tendency to want to offload their problems on an empath – even strangers! Empaths often become that ‘shoulder to cry on’ for those going through challenges in their life, and we tend to get labelled ‘good listeners’. If an empath isn’t careful they can take on the emotions and pain of others as their own while being that support person. Because of this empaths can often get drained of energy and become fatigued from taking on too much from others.
- Empaths are usually drawn to healing, holistic therapies and all that is spiritual and natural because of a deep want to help others. We often have a natural ability for being healers too but sadly some can end up turning away from this path due to a tendency to take on too much from those they are trying to heal which can simply become too overwhelming.
- Empaths have a strong need for solitude. It is not that we don’t like people, we certainly enjoy being around others, but we tend to go crazy if we don’t get regular alone time too. We are often very happy to spend time in our own little world!!
- Empaths love being out in nature and connecting with animals. Regular time outside in nature is an essential part of our routine and many empaths not only love animals but have their own animals too. Some even find they connect with and are drawn to spend more time with animals than they do with people.
- Empaths can appear moody, shy and disconnected, are often prone to mood swings and if we’ve taken on too much negative energy we can appear quiet and unsociable – sometimes even miserable! This is often just our way of trying to process what we are picking up on or trying to shake what is not ours. Mood swings will tend to be worse in those that don’t realise they are empaths, as they can get overwhelmed and lost in emotion more easily.
- Empaths have a tendency to carry excess weight without necessarily overeating and can find themselves turning to things like alcohol or other substances as an unconscious form of protection to try to block out what we are feeling or picking up on from others. Sometimes it seems easier to bury our head than try to understand what is going on for us!!
- Empaths often seem to have fairly strong claircognizance. This is a psychic channel which gives us the ability to know things without being told or even understanding how we know this information! These two abilities seem to go hand in hand. This will often also give the empath an ability to sense when someone is being dishonest with them or when “something is off” in a situation.
From this information you should have a good sense if you are an empath. I would say that if you can identify with at least 75% of the above points that you are most certainly are. Remember that you will likely also have other traits that you recognise in yourself which I have not mentioned here. They are likely to be connected to your other psychic channels, which we can explore in another article.
I am also personally seeing lots of empaths with digestive disorders, lower back problems and menstrual issues. I believe this is an issue especially connected to the naval and solar plexus chakras. Both of these chakras are located in the abdomen and are associated with how we feel, process and store incoming emotions. Consistent overload of these chakras can weaken them and lead to physical ailments like endometriosis, indigestion, stomach ulcers, bowel issues, back pain, physical aches and more. This is something I am still exploring more fully for myself, but we might explore in a later article as well.
In my next article we will look at some of those things that empaths need to be aware of which help to improve our lives and help us feel more empowered and in control instead of constantly overwhelmed. Until then, sending out many positive rainbow blessings to you xx”
Article written by Amanda Godfrey, White Witch and Mystical Dragon’s College Principal. She has developed much of the training available at Mystical Dragon College, teaches a variety of the courses, leads Mystical Dragon’s Open Circles, and writes regular Energy Updates in our newsletter that cover astrological influences offering magickal suggestions and intuitive insights. Amanda sees clients for healings, mentoring and readings and shares regular insights, positive messages and energetic updates on Mystical Dragon’s facebook page. You are encouraged to follow her there.
© Copyright to Amanda Godfrey, but this article may be reproduced and distributed provided the author is acknowledged.