When people are too sensitive or emotional, they get labeled. Maybe it is overly sensitive or too high strung. The labels don’t tell the truth of who a person is in totality. This unhealthy view of them can cause a struggle in a person’s mind or body. Empaths tend to be both emotional and sensitive, but that is how they are created. Women are more often empaths than men because they are highly emotional anyways and sensitive to their surroundings. Empaths have lots of unique abilities and sensibilities. Learn more about empaths and why it is important to be healthy emotionally and spiritually.
Empaths are sensitive people who have the ability to see, hear, and feel what people around them are thinking and feeling. Therapists use the term ‘empath’ to describe them. The term empath may also include a spiritual term that describes people with special abilities to sense other people’s energy. The psychological aspects of being an empath are clear. There are benefits and drawbacks. To find a healthy way forward, empaths have to strike a positive balance. They do not want to give into feeling too much energy from others, but they do want to remain sensitive and compassionate to how people are feeling. Healthy empaths learn boundaries and ways to keep others from entering their emotional space or draining their energy. To live an abundant life that is not filled with caring so much for others emotions, they can learn to balance it with the right tools.
Benefits of Empathy
Empaths are excellent perceivers of their environment. They look around and see what is happening. They listen well and show up for people in need. When they want to, they can be very connected to others and sense when they need help. Empaths tend to be emotionally intelligent, figuring out other people in the environment and being curious about surroundings. Some unique qualities that make empaths good friends also make them hard on themselves. They feel what friends are going through. They can become overwhelmed by emotions. It is common for empaths to feel drained after spending time around people. Empaths are usually introverts and require a certain amount of time alone to recharge. Crowds may feel overwhelming for them and they may not like lots of noise or chatter. They love being in nature where it is quiet and they can find rest.
When an empath is feeling something, they have to learn how to discern whether it is from themselves or someone else. Someone in the environment can have a crisis and the empath will feel it, too. Some key things to think about when discerning whether or not a person is an empath:
- Being labeled too sensitive or emotional
- Feeling other people’s feelings of pain or discomfort
- Getting feelings hurt very easily
- Drained by crowds and needing time alone to heal
- Nervous by nature, especially around noises, smells, or too much talking
- Eating too much to deal with stress
- Coping mechanisms are used to ‘numb’ or ‘quiet’ out the noises
- Struggles with personal boundaries in relationships
Recognition of empath tendencies is a good thing. Empaths are a great resource for people. They listen well and provide great advice. When they come from a healing space, they offer great companionship. As empaths in an unhealthy space, they might overreact to circumstances, numb out painful experiences, or become lost inside relationships.
Healthy Empathic Boundaries
Boundaries are a big component of being healthy with empathic tendencies. To set healthy boundaries, it takes some focus and intention. Naturally caring for others leaves less space for self-care. This means spending less time giving to others and giving back to yourself, instead. Set clear boundaries and expectations to avoid being used by others. Other healthy tips can prevent negative feelings towards others:
- Be mindful: focus on the breath to quiet the mind and center the body. Don’t let yourself get lost inside other people and their troubles. Focus on yourself first and worry about caring for others later
- Ignore the inner voice: the inner critic can tell you that you are too sensitive, too vulnerable, too much of anything. If this happens, use the tools you have to turn off ‘the tapes’ and start to rewind them so you feel less vulnerable to self-criticism
- Give compassion to yourself: it is hard to do this but it is simple once you start. Practice this because it will get better. Notice where you suffer, be kind in response to it, and remember you are a work in progress. Don’t let others take you down because they don’t see the real you
Nature is also cathartic for people with empathic tendencies. Get outside and go for walks. Be with animals, talk to the birds, and watch the moon and stars. Pay attention to what brings joy and do more of that. Think less and just be more present. When you are able to be with yourself, you can find more joy and playfulness than when you get stuck in your own head with self-criticism. Learning to love yourself is a process and, on the journey, you will learn how to do it better with time and practice.
Casa Capri is designed for women who are struggling with addiction to find hope and a purpose. We provide a holistic treatment model that helps women be vulnerable in a small, intimate community with other women looking to heal. Our therapists are trained to support trauma-informed care and nutrition is a key part of our recovery model. If you are looking for community and connection in rehab, call Casa Capri today: 844-593-8020
Melissa Holmes Goodmon is the founder and CEO of Casa Capri Recovery, a leading California addiction treatment center created just for women—by women. Melissa is a licensed clinician and has stayed on the cutting edge of women’s treatment since 2006. Because of her own beautiful recovery story, she is proud to be among a small group of trailblazers since founding Casa Capri Recovery for Women in 2011, leading the way for other women to join them in this otherwise male-dominated industry. She is considered an advocate for the recovery community in the truest sense, standing up to discrimination and legally fighting for the rights of sober people in recovery to live in peace. To learn more about advocacy or if you’ve experienced discrimination, you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out casacaprirecovery.com for more information on our program, or please give us a call at 844-207-4880.