I received an important comment the other day, asking about ways to deal with the heightened emotions that are triggered when coming out of lockdown. Because I know this is a situation affecting many Empaths, I thought it a good idea to address the subject through a post.
The majority of the population has been locked away for the best part of 5 months. Even though we have been allowed outdoors, we are only just starting to return to some sense of normality in regards to ‘people gatherings.’
However, many Empaths will have found when around people they are affected worse than before lockdown. Why is this?
The thing is, we are not returning to what we once knew, in that the world is now filled with raging fear and other heightened emotions.
Also, it is my theory that an Empath’s reactions to other people’s emotions can work in a similar way to an allergy, and this is why you may be experiencing more ‘emotional trauma’ than ever before when around people.
I’m not sure how much you know about allergies, so let me briefly explain: If you suffer with non-life-threatening allergies and you come into contact with something you are allergic to on a daily basis, you normally suffer mild symptoms (I say mild, but that is not to say they are not uncomfortable). These symptoms could range from anything from a stuffy nose to skin irritations. However, if you spend time away from these allergens, and then come back into contact with them, the allergic reaction will be much more severe.
In fact, one way a food allergy is determined is by avoiding common food triggers for a period of time, then reintroducing them one at a time. When an allergy is present, and the food is reintroduced, the reactions are always heightened and experienced far worse than when including the food group every day.
So, this is how, I believe, for many Empaths, people’s emotional energy can act like allergies. When around people every day we might have ‘milder people-energy reactions.’ But now, because we have been kept in isolation for so long, the emotional impact, when venturing into peopled places, may be felt far worse.
The most common symptoms being experienced are fatigue, depression, anger and general heightened emotions (that’s not to mention the sense of impending doom that is lingering in the air).
Coming out of isolation might also trigger stomach discomforts, especially around the solar plexus area (the seat of emotions). Anything from indigestion to cramps can be induced by the stress and anxiety triggered from suddenly experiencing too much emotional energy.
The good news is there is a certain hormone that acts like an ‘energetic antihistamine’ in the way it helps soothe the emotions. It is a hormone that can be released by taking some simple measures, and it goes by the name of oxytocin.
Oxytocin is a powerful hormone and neurotransmitter. It has many incredible benefits. It is known as the love hormone, for the reason it plays a big role in the emotional bond between mother and child, but its benefits go way beyond that.
Oxytocin affects the function of the brain and nervous system and greatly impacts the emotions.
Low levels of oxytocin are connected with conditions such as: heightened emotions, depression, anxiety, social phobias, PTSD and more.
Studies suggest that by increasing oxytocin it reduces stress and anxiety and instils a sense of calm serenity. Exactly what we need, as Empaths, right now.
Although there are several ways in which oxytocin production can be induced, here are some incredible science-backed ways that are super beneficial for an Empath:
1, Aromatherapy Oils:
I use all three and can vouch for their effectiveness, especially for lifting the mood and clearing anxiety and fearful emotions. In fact, they are on my list of essential oils for an Empath.
(When purchasing essential oils always make sure they say 100% pure essential oils.)
2, Take a Bath:
Researchers have found that hot environments, warm temperatures and increased sweating activates specific oxytocin-producing parts of the brain. Taking a hot bath is a perfect way to increase body temperature.
Here is one of my favourite bath time recipes that includes Clary Sage:
The above combination works in so many ways. It helps soothe the emotions. Clary Sage mixed with Lavender works in being both sedative and euphoric. It’s a combination that is soothing to the soul, the senses and the skin. The Hematite works in being grounding. The Amethyst pulsates a powerfully cleansing energy through the bath water which not only clears the aura but also frees the mind of unnecessary thoughts and mind clutter. (When using crystals in water be sure they are water safe. The majority of quartz stones are usually fine.) And the salt is excellent to clear negative energy and restore health for an Empath.
3, Enjoy a Cup of Tea
Drinking herbal teas, such as chamomile, are an easy way to enjoy the herb’s many healing benefits. Chamomile is a medicinal herb that has been traditionally used for its calming and anti-inflammatory properties; it has also been proven to help you produce more oxytocin.
I regularly drink chamomile tea, more so recently, with fresh ginger added. Ginger is a powerful anti-inflammatory herb that has many healing benefits and is particularly good for digestive issues. Simply pop a chamomile tea bag into a mug, add an inch of fresh ginger, and fill with boiling water. Infuse for a minimum of 5 minutes. Enjoy.
5, Boost Your Nutrients
We all require vitamins and minerals in our diet to stay happy and healthy. However, there are three nutrients known to increase oxytocin production in the brain. They are magnesium, vitamin D and vitamin C.
Magnesium is essential for the proper functioning of our nervous system and neurotransmitter activity. Researchers have found that the oxytocin receptor requires magnesium to function properly, and magnesium increases the action of oxytocin at the receptor.
So, basically, if we don’t have enough magnesium, the oxytocin cannot do its work.
Some foods containing magnesium are: dark chocolate, bananas, almonds and avocado.
Vitamin C is another incredible essential nutrient. Researchers have found that vitamin C not only optimizes and increases levels of oxytocin, it also stimulates the secretion of oxytocin. This powerful vitamin, found in many foods especially citrus fruits, also plays many important roles within the body, such as keeping the immune system strong. Vitamin C is also known to decrease stress and improve the mood.
Vitamin D is known as the sunshine vitamin, because the sun is the best source. Research shows that oxytocin is directly activated and controlled by vitamin D. This makes it understandable why so many people suffer with seasonal affected disorder (SAD) during the winter months. Spending twenty minutes a day in the sunshine is a great way to increase the vitamin, but supplements also work.
Getting more of the above nutrients, through diet or supplements, can help boost oxytocin levels. Read more here how Empaths benefit from supplements and why they are at risk from vitamin and mineral deficiency.
5, Sleep in the Dark
I have written about the importance of Empaths sleeping in the dark, both in books and in articles. Spending time in darkness is important for the production of oxytocin by boosting melatonin.
Melatonin is known as the anti-ageing hormone, produced by the pineal gland (area of third eye) in the darkness. It is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory and helps prevent, and treat, many illnesses including cancer. Melatonin significantly increases secretion of oxytocin.
Simply keeping the bedroom pitch black, by using black out blinds or curtains, can help boost oxytocin levels.
This post gives an easy way to produce more melatonin and thus oxytocin.
6, Finding Balance
As well as increasing oxytocin, there are several other simple ways to activate the ‘energetic antihistamine effect’ for an Empath. All forms of Grounding will work for protection, but especially Forest Bathing and Earthing. Click on the links to find out more.