Why are Emotional Reactions in Empaths on the Increase?

Being an Empath means having emotional reactions is part of everyday life. Whether that be having a reaction to someone else’s emotional energy, having a reaction to what someone said or did, or just being triggered by what is going on in the world at large. But when emotional reactions become excessive and controlling, to the point of ruling our happiness, thoughts and decisions, we need to take back control.

What is an Emotional Reaction?

Emotional reactions can be both good and bad. Feeling incredible joy and happiness are of course emotional reactions. But the type I am referring to, that seem to be on the increase, are the all-consuming darker emotions such as: anger, rage, hurt, etc. All of which can lead to an anxious state or depression.

Having emotional reactions is part of human nature. They are a huge feature on the journey of life. However, having near constant negative emotions, triggered by our own reactions, not only makes us unhappy, it can hold us back from reaching our true potential. We can become so wrapped up in all that we feel that life passes us by. We miss out on so much joy and we become a slave to our thoughts and emotions.

Something I have noticed in recent years is that as humans we are not handling life well. And I am not just talking about Empaths and HSPs. As a species, we seem to be in more emotional pain than ever before. We are offended and upset over things that might not have touched us at one time. People are struggling with mental health issues such as depression, panic attacks and anxiety to such a degree that it is ruining lives.

The Epidemic

A couple of weeks ago, whilst out and about, we bumped into a friend of my husband who has worked in the fire service for over twenty years and is coming up for retirement. He was telling us about how many ex-servicemen, whether that be the forces, police or fire brigade, are struggling with mental health issues and PTSD, especially after retirement. He also noted how twenty years ago this was not the way. Stress related illness was hardly heard of within the services. Now it is rife. I asked whether this was because people didn’t talk about their issues all those years ago. He disagreed. Apparently, after leaving the service most just got on with life and enjoyed retirement. Now they are dreading the time when they come to step down.

‘Over-feeling’ certainly seems to be a modern-day curse. That is not to say mental health issues are a recent thing, but it is obvious people aren’t coping well with life. Is this because times have got harder? I’m not so sure.

We don’t have to go too far into our history books to see how difficult our ancestors had it. Even looking at the history in my local area there were extremely difficult living conditions such as: dangerous working environments in coal mines and cotton mills for both adults and children, a scarcity of food, poor sanitation, extreme poverty, etc. Many women died in childbirth. Workers would die young because of work-related illness. Young men lost their lives in wars and witnessed atrocities that scarred them for life. Sufferings existed back then that most in the modern Western world will never know.

When we study our past, it makes modern day problems pale in comparison. With all the technological advancements and wealth we have today you would think we were living in a golden era compared to one-hundred years ago, but it has not bought happiness and balance with it.

What is Happening?

Trauma, in one shape or another, is something humans have faced for an eternity. Why is it now we are not handling it? Clearly, something has shifted.

There are obviously a number of explanations for the current unsettled mood epidemic. Hormonal imbalances caused by diet, plastics and environmental factors play a part, as do having too many choices, social media toxicity, not being in touch with our truth, not knowing what we are here for, feeling alone and losing faith. Also Earth changes.

I have discussed Earth changes over the years, moving from one epoch to another and how these changes impact humans (read here, here and here). I do believe that the ascension process is also a major reason behind what we are seeing today. Almost like a mass hysteria triggered by ‘the shift,’ as we adjust to the rules of a new reality. There are many others out there who write about Earth changes and the ascension process. I prefer to focus on offering the tools that help make transitions easier.

But whatever is causing this dark emotion epidemic, I think you would agree that people have suffered enough. It’s time to take back control.

We have to take part in making positive changes happen, by getting back in control of how we each experience life. The problem is, people are too busy trying to change others and their way of thinking, instead of working to change and accept themselves.

Change the Inside to Change the Outside

When we work on our inner-world our outer-world reflects this. It has a knock-on effect. Not only do we become better people, able to cope with life’s ups and downs, but those around us are also impacted in a positive way.

We have the power within to master ourselves and work to train ourselves out of excessive emotional reactions. Much of the information I put out on this blog are ways to do just that.

A couple of posts ago, I discussed some ways to prevent or handle anxiety and panic attacks (21 in fact) through numerous holistic techniques and lifestyle changes. All of which will also help with overcoming excessive emotional reactions and other Empath afflictions. (Read more here)

Distraction

Distracting the mind from engaging in destructive thoughts helps stop it from going into overdrive. Now, when I say distraction, I do not mean suppression.

Distraction is taking away our mind from unnecessary repetitive thoughts. When we distract our mind and body from feeding emotions it helps prevent unnecessary emotional reactions. Suppression is burying something that needs to be addressed.

When we bury what needs to be faced or don’t deal with things we should, the stress lingers within the body and comes up as something else, often physical symptoms or anxiety.

We supress when we do not know how to handle the memory caused by a trauma or betrayal. We stuff the pain away and put it under lock and key. Hoping it will stay buried. But the body does not want the trauma stored within its cells and it will try to release it, often through emotional reactions.

This is where talking helps.

Talking

People often heal when they feel heard. Discussing your emotional pain with someone you trust can make a big impact on lightening the load. However, talking is not for everyone.

We might not want to talk about our trauma and pain because of the emotional memories that get stirred up. For some, talking about their past traumas can ignite anxiety or panic attacks.

If you are not ready to talk about what pains you, writing it down helps. Write down all your troubles and woes. Write what you want to say to another, tell them how they hurt you. Write down who you think you are or who you want to be. Write down what you feel needs to be released. Then burn the paper after. These words are not to be read again. It is a way of releasing them from within. Not something to fester on. Burning the words somehow helps to clear the emotions attached.

Taking back control of emotions is no easy feat. As Empaths we have to work daily on this, even when we feel ok. By taking preventative steps every day, it means we can stay in control of how we feel when the going gets tough.

For more ways to stay in control of emotional reactions see here and here.

Until next time.

Diane

©Diane Kathrine

 

Prevent Panic Attacks and Anxiety: A Guide for Empaths & HSPs

If you have ever experienced a panic attack you will know only too well that they are not something you would wish on anyone. They create the kind of dread and sense of impending doom that are beyond comprehension.

Because Empaths and HSPs feel everything so intensely, it is often the case that they are more prone to experiencing anxiety and panic attacks.

Not Feeling Safe

Going through life over-feeling emotions and the emotional energy of others can create the perception of being unsafe, especially when out in public or around certain people. Feeling unsafe can put the body into fight-or-flight mode which is a response of the sympathetic nervous system. When the body is in fight-or-flight it is in a constant state of stress.

We often experience a sense of not feeling safe when we have experienced past traumas, especially bereavement or physical or emotional abuse, and not dealt with them.

Another issue many Empaths and HSPs face, which can affect our perception of safety, is feeling misunderstood. When we feel misunderstood it often creates an inability to truly connect with others. Which often leads to a sense of isolation, and is a catalyst for repetitive dark thoughts.

Research has shown that negative thought patterns can be inflammatory. They create problems within the body and mind and keep us in trauma mode.

We all have good and bad within us, light and dark. When we are suffering or in pain, as in with anxiety or panic attacks, it is often because we have inadvertently been feeding the darkness. We allow our pain to dictate our lives. That said, we don’t necessarily have to have been suffering to experience panic attacks. Sometimes external factors, certain foods or hormonal changes can be the trigger.

Being aware of triggers, as well as having knowledge of what we can do if we start to suffer with anxiety or panic attacks, can ensure we don’t needlessly suffer. The following are some simple steps to help prevent anxiety…

1. Use meditation and breathing exercises:

Breathing and meditation practices help cultivate more positive thoughts, help balance the stress hormones and instil calm. However, some people find meditation too stressful to perform when experiencing panic attacks or anxiety. The stillness can become unnerving. In these cases, moving meditations, such as yoga with the breath, or deep breathing is massively beneficial.

The Whisky Breath is a quick breathing exercise which can offer instant relief. Simply inhale for a count of four and then exhale for a count of eight. Continue for as long as you need. This exercise switches on the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps to prevent or stop panic attacks.  The three-minute meditation performed daily, after doing the Whisky Breath breathing, will help keep the mind positive and anxiety at bay.

There’s more information on breathing exercises and yoga here and here.

2. Keep away from people who make you feel unsafe:

If you don’t feel safe, or have trust issues with certain friends or family members, or if you don’t feel they have your best interest at heart it can cause emotional trauma. It is wise to avoid those who create safety issues for the health of your body and mind, which in turn can prevent anxiety.

3. Check your diet:

Are you eating chemical-laden foods, or foods that are known to trigger autoimmune conditions? Anxiety can sometimes be a warning from your body, telling you to pay attention. If you suspect your diet is activating anxiety or panic attacks, keeping a food diary can help you pinpoint the triggers. Read more on this post.

4. Supplement wisely:

Even with the healthiest of diets it is difficult to know we are getting, or absorbing, a full range of nutrients. We often eat anti-nutrient foods without realising (foods that block or hinder nutrient absorption), which means the good stuff we do take in doesn’t get chance to do its job. Vitamin and mineral deficiency can be a big trigger for anxiety. A basic supplementation regime can help in regards to anxiety and panic attacks. This post gives more info.

5. Take Valerian Root:

Valerian root is a natural herb used for treating anxiety and insomnia. Similar to melatonin, valerian root puts you in relaxed sleepy state. Valerian contains a neurotransmitter called GABA, that is known to have a powerfully calming effect on the mind.

6. Do therapeutic exercise:

Yoga and walking are probably two of the most therapeutic forms of exercise. There is a type of yoga to suit everyone, but it has to be practised regularly to see results. Walking is easy and super beneficial for the body and mind. Also, high intensity exercise, which helps release human growth hormone, can be beneficial for stopping panic attacks.

7. Use crystals:

There are many different types of crystals that can help with anxiety. Rose Quartz in particular is a lovely stone to help with panic attacks. It is a love stone that really helps calm the emotions. When choosing crystals for anxiety it is best to see them in person (instead of ordering online). If gazing on a certain stone makes you feel calm inside it is generally a good choice.

8. Salt therapy:

Taking salt baths can be incredibly calming and soothing for the body and mind. Even better, if you live near an ocean taking a daily dip can work wonders for soothing anxiety. This post gives more details.

9. Check your water levels:

If you are dehydrated, even just a little, it can trigger anxiety and panic attacks. This post gives more information.

10. Reduce wireless air time:

More research is coming to light showing how WIFI is a major cause of anxiety and panic attacks, especially when spending a lot of time wirelessly downloading on the internet (Youtube, etc.). Give yourself a few days away from WIFI and see what effect it has. Switch your phone to aeroplane mode when not in use and limit your time on the internet. This post explains more.

11. Keep your bedroom as a calm zone:

Quality sleep is important for preventing anxiety and panic attacks. Don’t keep electrical gadgets, especially WIFI gadgets, in the bedroom. Keep your bedroom well aired and clean. Use black out curtains to ensure a solid night’s sleep.

12. Use essential oils:

Essential oils are perfect for instilling calm. Lavender being one of the best allrounders, but other good ones are Basil, Chamomile or Geranium. You can normally feel the calming effects of these essential oils within ten minutes of application. Simply massage a few drops, mixed with a teaspoon of oil, into the soles of your feet. Or use them in your bath, add them to your body oils or put a few drops on your pillow before sleep time. Check this post out for more essential oils and their benefits.

13. Avoid caffeine:

Caffeine is one of the worst things for triggering panic attacks and anxiety. It is found in coffee, tea, chocolate and colas. Avoidance will go a long way to keeping anxiety and panic attacks at bay.

14. Avoid stimulants:

Alcohol and recreational drugs can be another big trigger of anxiety. Many people assume alcohol is a relaxant, but it is when the effects wear off that the problems start.

15. Avoid chemicals:

If you are Sensitive, it often means you will be sensitive to chemicals in products and scents, which can trigger many unusual physical reactions and stress within the body. Keep your products as natural as possible, including laundry detergent, household cleaning products and personal hygiene products.

16. Listen to soothing sounds:

There are some incredibly soothing sounds that can help reduce anxiety and prevent panic attacks. Ocean sounds, angelic harmonies, thunderstorms, gentle chimes, etc. are incredibly calming to the body and mind. Try to avoid live music downloads (such as on Youtube) as the WIFI can trigger more anxiety. Perhaps buy a CD and listen through headphones.

17. Don’t eat late at night:

Eating late at night can be the trigger for sleep anxiety and panic attacks. Try to have your last meal at least three hours before bedtime to ensure it is digested.

18. Get out in Nature:

This is a perfect remedy for anxiety and panic disorder. Even listening to the birds singing is beneficial. Read more here on the benefits of nature for an Empath.

19. Massage and reflexology:

Massaging body treatments work wonders for helping with anxiety, especially reflexology, which works on the reflex points on your feet. Schedule in time for yourself and book in a weekly treatment to help soothe your body and mind.

20. Talk to a specialist:

If you know you have supressed past trauma such as a bereavement, emotional or physical abuse, or unresolved issues, it might help to talk to a trained therapist. Supressed trauma is often reignited in times of stress, which often triggers panic attacks.

21. Have your hormones checked:

This is a big one, especially for women. If you are going through any kind of hormonal transition, such as perimenopause or menopause, it can be a big trigger for panic attacks. Perimenopause often starts from the late thirties onwards and can create many unusual and uncomfortable physical and mental symptoms.

So, there you go. Hopefully, you will have found something on the list that will help if you suffer with anxiety or panic attacks. But even if you don’t suffer with anxiety now, it is always good to have this page bookmarked for future reference. Anxiety can be triggered at any point in life, sometimes with no known cause. Having a reminder of what steps to take to combat panic attacks can avoid a lot of unnecessary suffering.

Until next time.

Diane

©Diane Kathrine

 

 

 

How to Get Back in Control of Your Empath Life

Last month, I happened across a great piece in The Guardian about depression and mental health, that really struck a chord with me.

Basically, the article said that depression is not just about chemical imbalances, as it has been touted by the scientific and medical communities for many years, but more about power imbalances and a lack of control. (Even though it was not written with the Empath in mind, I recommend it. It’s quite enlightening.) Here is a link to the article:

Most Empaths and Sensitives are prone to having bouts of depression or low moods. Although we can often link these gloomy periods to spending time with overly negative people, being around those who act as trauma triggers, or eating unsuitable foods, etc. but power imbalances, and a lack of life-control is something we should also consider.

A lack of control being linked to depression makes total sense. Not having power in one’s life also equates to feelings of helplessness and the sense of walking aimlessly. When we feel we are not in control of our life, and have no direction it might also be said that we have no purpose.

Everyone needs purpose. To have a reason to get up in the morning, to do something not only that we enjoy but that we know we are good at. But how many people can make that claim? Not many. Most are stuck in jobs not for the joy or purpose it gives them, but for the pay-check.

Anyone who is creative and or intelligent (and I don’t just mean educated) are naturally inclined to want to be in control of their destiny and have a reason for being.

Granted, some think they would prefer others to make their decisions for them – often born from having a fear of making the wrong decision or a lack of belief in self – but someone else controlling our life or purpose will never bring happiness.

Over 80% of the workforce are unfulfilled and unhappy in their work. That’s a lot of people.

If we consider many people went into professions chosen by their parents, or they chose their careers before they got to know who they were, it makes total sense. After all, who knows at sixteen what they will want to do for the rest of their lives? Not many people.

We change so much from when in our teenage years to when we are in our thirties. This, I believe, is a reason that so many people find themselves unhappy in their work in later life. They didn’t choose their vocation or they chose too young.

The lack of life-control in society means we end up living in conflict. Inside, we want to do something that feels meaningful and gives us purpose. In reality, many are stuck working to pay for mortgages, bills and children, and to fund a lifestyle.

What we are told will make us happy rarely does, because one size does not fit all. And this is why so many people feel like they are not in control.

I often refer to myself as being a ‘quiet control freak’. And that is not because I secretly want to rule others or be on some kind of ‘power trip’ with them. It’s because I want to be in control of my life… at least as much as I can. I realise we can’t control everything. But I do want to control what I do, where I go and how my time is used, I also want to be in control of whose energy I’m in. So, I tend to have a problem if others try to control me or if their energy is overbearing. The ‘quiet’ comes in because instead of being argumentative or objectionable, with those who force control, I quietly back away.

Having a desire to control one’s life is not a bad thing. We are at the helm of our own ships and it is up to us to set our own course and destination. We should be able to do this when we are ready to do so (which is rarely at the age we are expected).

Not being in control can seem like a form of imprisonment, as can feeling forced to do work we have no passion for or interest in. That is not freedom. Humans are supposed to have freewill. We also need to know we have choices, even if we don’t choose to use them.

In the early years, many Empaths were made to feel small and insignificant by those around them. In a bid to overcome this we may have searched for positions of power or wealth, in adulthood, in the belief it would make us more in control or ‘untouchable’. But we cannot always control the way other people make us feel. So, even if we achieve great status, power and vast wealth, if we do not feel in control of how we feel, or if we are not following our true calling, a void remains inside.

The article I linked to above, an extract from Johann Hari’s book: ‘Lost Connections’, suggests that the depression most people experience is caused by our inner-self trying to raise our awareness that we are off-course. ‘It’s telling us that our natural psychological needs are not being met and it is a form of grief.’ Which I totally agree with.

We need to listen to our emotional signals and this is something I write a lot about:

By listening to our gut’s promptings and intuition it can save us unnecessary heartache. As an Empath, however, defining these signals is a challenge.

Because we feel everything so powerfully, it is difficult to discern the trigger of our own emotions, and those that belong to others.  But, speaking from experience, this is something we can all learn to overcome.

In the past, I have had times when I suffered with low moods or felt depressed, both of which pushed me to find the cause and make necessary changes to my life.

Nowadays, if I experience a gloomy mood, I can link it back to either eating a food I shouldn’t (normally containing high levels of lectins), having spent too much time in peopled places or around excess negativity (or there’s been intense shifts in energy).

Because I have learnt to interpret my own signals and triggers, I try to follow what is right for me. There is nothing worse than experiencing low moods unnecessarily.

If we are constantly down or depressed, these are our inner-messages telling us something is not right either with the path we are walking or the way we are living our lives.

If you regularly read my posts, you may already know I am a great believer that bad things happen for good reasons. We just don’t see it at the time. Depression can be a call for change, our change. But we have to question the feelings we experience and find the root-cause. Which will be different for everyone.

We need to focus on taking back our power and that starts with getting in control of what we can.

To live happily as Empaths, staying in control is something we must work on daily, otherwise the world, and the way it makes us feel, will swallow us up.

Because this is a vast subject and an area many Empaths struggle with, I will continue the theme in my next post. Read part two here.

But if you want to look at ways to take back control here are some posts that may help you on your way.

Are You Leaking Energy? 

What is an Empath’s Purpose?

Transform Your Empath Life with This One Thing

An Empath’s Guide

Hope this helps on your journey.

Until next time.

Diane

©Diane Kathrine