Surviving Christmas: A Guide for Empaths & HSPs

tree_2As you may have already noticed, it is getting ever closer to that dreaded time of year… Christmas!

For some of you, Christmas may be a much enjoyed time that you look forward to. I wish I could make that claim. Unfortunately, for many reasons, the festive season is one my least favourite times of the year.

When I was a younger (child to mid-twenties), I used to love Christmas and everything it stood for. But as the years passed the month of December became harder and harder for me to cope with.

Without fail, every year, at the end of November or beginning of December, I would start to feel low. My energy dropped; I would feel like I was coming down with a bug, I would be tense or harassed and just feel plain awful. On around December 28th I would strangely go back to feeling better.

In my mind I would always find a reason for feeling so bad: being extra busy at work, having an incredibly busy social life, eating unhealthily, drinking too much alcohol, not having enough sunlight, not doing enough exercise etc.… And so, over the years I tried many different approaches to make December more bearable for me: I made changes to my diet, I exercised, stopped going out, stopped drinking, went on a sunshine break, but nothing changed. I came to dislike Christmas so much (for many reasons and not just because I felt bad) that I simply opted out of the whole thing! But still, there was no change in the way I felt. Continue reading

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Could This be a Cure for Social Overwhelm for Empaths?

I think you will probably all agree that, for the Empath, there certainly seems to be never ending hurdles to overcome when it comes to wellbeing.

Like many of you lovely Empaths out there, I consider myself to be somewhat introverted. And living in this extrovert world can often make me feel like I’m a large square peg being pushed into a small round hole.

And as is typical of an introvert, the thought of going out in busy peopled places or having to attend bustling social events sometimes ignites a bout of ‘social dread’ for me.

So, when I recently came across a condition that causes unnecessary social anxiety and excessive introversion, it immediately caught my attention.

The condition is called Pyroluria. and is caused by a lack of vitamin B6 and the mineral zinc.

Vitamin B6 and zinc are stripped from the body when under a lot of stress. As most Empaths suffer with high levels of emotional stress, they have to consider their nutrient levels may be low.

Continue reading

Still the Empath Mind with Ancient Yoga Techniques

Empaths often spend years trying to get in control of their emotions. It is after all their emotions that determine their levels of happiness. But one thing many turn away from, in their pursuit of balance, is yoga. This is unfortunate as there are many yoga techniques that work brilliantly for stilling the Empath mind, and  their emotions, which in turn helps build a strong energy field.

The mind is incredibly powerful. Most are unaware of just how much it shapes their world. When you don’t have control of it, your mind will shape a reality plucked straight from your worst nightmare.

Many illnesses, born from stress, fear or anger,  start in the mind. But the mind also has the power to heal them. In some cases, in an instant.

You may have heard about this in the placebo effect. For example:  when testing the effectiveness of pharmaceutical drugs, trials are often done on 2 test groups. One group are given the real drug being tested, and the others a fake (placebo). There are many cases when those given the placebo healed from their ailments. Their mind believed it was given the authentic drug and it set into motion the healing process.

There are also cases where groups of volunteers were given placebo operations for things such as knee or hip injuries. A placebo operation is where the volunteer is anesthetized but only an incision is made on the place of injury, and nothing more. This gives the patient the belief they had had the procedure.   And the mind, believing the injury has repaired, instructs the body to heal.

Every Empath eventually comes to understand the power of their mind. It is capable of creating such beauty but also the worst type of inner turmoil. Especially when thoughts are on overdrive. The mind could speed up your heart rate just by envisaging a scary scenario, or make you angry by pondering an injustice. The more innovative the mind the more possibilities. One can only imagine what damage is done, within the body, by those who have creative imaginations. And guess who own incredibly creative imaginations…? Yup, the Empaths.

An Empath can sit for hours happily staring into space with just their thoughts for entertainment. Whilst this is a lovely past time, when thoughts are happy and positive, it is not so much when they are dark, and brooding.

Happy thoughts uplift, inspire, balance and nourish the body and mind. The opposite is true for turbulently-vexed thoughts. They negatively impact the body and create angst within the solar plexus (mid-stomach area). Because thoughts feed emotions and emotions feed thoughts, negative thought patterns become an encumbering repetitive cycle for many Empaths.

When Empaths pick up the emotions, or thoughts, of those around them, they often claim them as their own. Before they know what’s hit them, the Empath is caught up in a tornado of torrid, angry thoughts that don’t belong to them.

The mind has its own way of interpreting energy. Sometimes it makes it into a story and sometimes it makes one feel physically ill or drained. Our own programs decide how we read energy. When I say programs, I mean our lineage and personal history. We inherit more than just our physical appearance. 

You may have a different personality than your grandparents, parents or siblings but as you are made from the same stuff there is a likelihood you will carry similar emotional debris, beliefs and insecurities (which becomes your programing).  Your personal history is an accumulation of the events that happened throughout your life, good and bad. Both factors determine how your programs run and thus how you show up in the world. But just because you run a particular program, doesn’t mean it can’t be changed. 

If you find negative emotions are ruling your life now is the time to set a new program. This means taking control of your mind. If this is something you would like to do then my recommendation is to start practicing some type of yoga technique.

In my quest to quieten my mind and heal my body, over the years, I tried many things, but the one constant I have always come back to is yoga and the many branches thereof. After years of study and practice I have a greater insight into the roots of yoga and an understanding why it is such an incredible elixir to the Empath.

Yoga has been around for thousands of years and originated in India. For all the many benefits yoga has to offer the body, it was primarily designed to still the mind. It is only when the mind is quiet that we truly find peace.

The ancient yogis knew you could not keep a quiet mind with a body in pain. The yoga poses (asana) were designed to strengthen,  heal and soothe the body. The poses also act as a distraction for the mind. It stands to reason that when the mind is focused on overcoming an obstacle, such as a challenging yoga pose, it cannot be filled with riotous thoughts.

Yoga also teaches us to control the breath either through dynamic yoga (flowing in and out of postures), or through pranayama (regulation of breath though certain techniques and exercises).

Not only are the different yogic breathing techniques energizing and uplifting, they are also calming, relaxing and rejuvenating. From an Empath perspective, pranayama also helps block  the negative energy of others and helps build more powerful energy field (aura) which, amongst other things, protects against psychic attack and other low thought forms.

In these challenging times, yoga and the yogic breathing systems are a blessing to the Empath and should be part of every Empath’s life.

Below is a list of breathing exercises and links to their demonstrations on YouTube.

Nadi Shodhana (alternate nostril breathing) is a technique that quietens the mind and blisses you out. It is great to do before bedtime, especially if you have a wired, monkey mind. It also balances masculine and feminine energies within the body. For an instructional video click here.

Kapalbhati (bellows breath) a brilliant energizing breathing technique that also works and strengthens the core stomach muscles. It is best to do in the morning (always on an empty stomach), or when one needs a quick energy boost. It is a fabulous practice for eliminating excess emotions held around the solar plexus area (seat of emotions). After performing a few rounds of  kapalbhati, you are left with a quiet, yet energised, mind. For an instructional video click here.

 Ujayi (victorious breath) is commonly used within yogic asana practise to create heat within the body. It keeps the mind focused and helps remove toxins. I find this technique great to use when in places such as supermarkets, where there are lots different ‘people’ energies swirling round. Ujayi helps block out any incoming energies and keeps you centred . For instructional video click here

Dynamic Asana Practice: This is a flowing yoga practice that moves with the breath. Instead of holding poses static, for a certain length of time, you move in and out of the postures with the rhythm of your breathing. Again, brilliant for quietening the busy Empath mind, but also great for alleviating tension, and building strength and flexibility within the body. (I have not attached a link to this as it’s best to learn under a qualified instructor).

To reap the greatest benefits of any yoga breathing techniques you should try to practise every day, if only for 5 minutes. Any yogic breathing system should be approached gradually. When first attempted they may cause dizziness or sometimes anxiousness. This, however, quickly passes so don’t be put off.

Hope this helps on your Empath journey.

If you want to discover more about being an Empath click here.

Until next time…

©Diane Kathrine at Empaths Empowered



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At A Glance: 30 Traits of an Empath

By Diane Kathrine

1.     Knowing: Empaths just know stuff, without being told. It’s a knowing that goes way beyond intuition or gut feelings, even though that is how many would describe the knowing. The more attuned they are the stronger this gift becomes.

2.     Being in public places can be overwhelming: Places like shopping malls, supermarkets or stadiums, where there are lots of people around, can fill the Empath with turbulently vexed emotions that are coming from others.

 3.     Feeling others emotions and taking them on as your own: This is a huge one for Empaths. To some, they will feel emotions off those near by and with others they will feel emotions from those a vast distance away, or both. The more adept Empath will know if someone is having bad thoughts about them, even from a great distance.

 4.     Watching violence, cruelty or tragedy on the TV is unbearable: The more attuned an Empath becomes the worse it is and may make it so they eventually have to stop watching TV and reading newspapers altogether.

 5.     You know when someone is not being honestIf a friend or a loved one is telling you lies you know it (although many Empaths try not to focus on this because knowing a loved one is lying can be painful). Or if someone is saying one thing but feeling/thinking another, you know.

 6.     Picking up physical symptoms off another: An Empath will almost always develop the ailments off another (colds, eye infections, body aches and pains), especially those who they’re closest to, somewhat like sympathy pains.

 7.     Digestive disorders and lower back problems: The solar plexus chakra is based in the centre of the abdomen and it’s known as the seat of emotions. This is where Empaths feel the incoming emotion of another, which can weaken the area and eventually lead to anything from stomach ulcers to IBS (too many other conditions to list here). Lower back problems can develop from being ungrounded (amongst other things) and one, who has no knowledge of them being an Empath, will almost always be ungrounded.

 8.     Always looking out for the underdog: Anyone whose suffering, in emotional pain or being bullied draws an Empath’s attention and compassion.

 9.     Others will want to offload their problems on you, even strangers: An Empath can become a dumping ground for everyone else’s issues and problems, which, if they’re not careful can end up as their own.

 10.    Constant fatigue: Empaths often get drained of energy, either from energy vampires or just taking on too much from others, which even sleep will not cure. Many get diagnosed with ME.

 11.    Addictive personalityAlcohol, drugs, sex, are to name but a few addictions Empaths turn to, to block out the emotions of others. It can be a form of self-protection in order to hide from someone or something (external emotions).

12.    Drawn to healing, holistic therapies and all things metaphysical: Although many Empaths would love to heal others, they can end up turning away from healing (even though they have a natural ability for it), after they’ve studied and qualified, because they take on too much from the one they are trying to heal. Especially if they are unaware of their empathy. Anything of a supernatural nature is of interest to Empaths and they don’t surprise or get shocked easily.

 13.   Creative: From singing, dancing, acting, drawing or writing an Empath will have a strong creative streak and a vivid imagination.

 14.    Love of nature and animals: Being outdoors in nature is a must for Empaths and pets are an essential part of their life.

 15.    Need for solitude: An Empath will go stir-crazy if they don’t get quiet time. This is even obvious in empathic children.

 16.    Gets bored or distracted easily if not stimulated: Work, school and home life has to be kept interesting for an Empath or they switch off from it and end up daydreaming or doodling.

 17.   Finds it impossible to do things they don’t enjoy: As above. Feels like they are living a lie by doing so. To force an Empath to do something they dislike through guilt or labelling them as idle will only serve in making them unhappy. It’s for this reason many  Empaths get labelled as being lazy.

 18.   Strives for the truth: This becomes more prevalent when an Empath discovers his/her gifts and birthright. Anything untruthful feels plain wrong.

 19.   Always looking for answers and knowledgeTo have unanswered questions can be frustrating for an Empath and they will endeavour to find an explanation. If they have a knowing about something they will look for confirmation. The downside to this is an information overload.

 20.  Likes adventure, freedom and travel: Empaths are free spirits.

 21.  Abhors clutterIt makes an Empath feel weighed down and blocks the flow of energy.

 22.  Loves to daydream: An Empath can stare into space for hours, in a world of their own and blissfully happy.

 23.  Finds routine, rules or control, imprisoning: Anything that takes away their freedom is debilitating to an Empath even poisoning.

 24.  Prone to carry weight without necessarily overeating: The excess weight, especially around the belly area, is a form of protection to stop the negative incoming energies having as much impact.

 25.  Excellent listener: An Empath won’t talk about themselves much unless it’s to someone they really trust. They love to learn and know about others and genuinely care.

 26.  Intolerance to narcissism: Although kind and often very tolerant of others, Empaths do not like to be around overly egotistical people, who put themselves first and refuse to consider anyone’s feelings or points of view, other than their own.

 27.   The ability to feel the days of the week: An Empath will get the ‘Friday Feeling’ if they work Fridays or not. They pick up on how the collective are feeling. The first couple of days of a long, bank holiday weekend (Easter for example) can feel, to them, like the world is smiling, calm and relaxed. Sunday evenings, Mondays and Tuesdays, of a working week, have a very heavy feeling.

 28.   Will not choose to buy antiques, vintage or second-handAnything that’s been pre-owned carries the energy of the previous owner. An Empath will even prefer to have a brand new car or house (if they are in the financial situation to do so) with no residual energy.

 29.   Sense the energy of food: Many Empaths don’t like to eat meat or poultry because they can feel the vibrations of the animal (especially if the animal suffered), even if they like the taste.

 30.   Can appear moody, shy, aloof, disconnectedDepending on how an Empath is feeling will depend on what face they show to the world. They can be prone to mood swings and if they’ve taken on too much negative will appear quiet and unsociable, even miserable. An Empath detests having to pretend to be happy when they’re sad, this only adds to their load (makes working in the service industry, when it’s service with a smile, very challenging) and can make them feel like scuttling under a stone.

 

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If you are new to discovering you are an Empath be sure to check out: Grounding Techniques for Empaths and Sensitives and Stop Empath Overwhelm Instantly 

For a more in-depth look at 30 Traits of an Empath‘ and to discover what type of Empath you are.

There are many tried and tested techniques on this page that will help you better deal with your gift. Also, check out these 12 quick questions, you may also find the following posts helpful:

Transform Your Life!

Why Empaths Freeze around Inauthentic People

It’s Time to Let go of Toxic People

Supplements to Heal the Empath

An Empath’s Life Guide

This above list has been compiled as a guide to help the unknowing Empath recognize his/her gift.

Empaths may carry many of the same traits but not all of them. One Empath may be able to eat meat whilst another may love being around antiques… we are all different.  Some can override or block certain traits and some traits will come and go over the years (strengthen or weaken) as life circumstances change.

Hope this helps you on your path.

Diane

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©Diane Kathrine at Empaths Empowered



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