Empath is a term that recently been thrown around readily to describe anyone who has intense feelings. And what is it really?
What are Empaths?
Psychologists may use the term empath to describe a person that experiences a great deal of empathy, and can even take on others pain into themselves.
However, the term empath can also be used as a spiritual term, describing an individual with special capacities to sense the emotions and energies of others.
Some people can literally take on physical pain to relieve another from it, these are often called Extreme Empathic Healers.
Today I’ll be focusing on both phycological and spiritual aspects as they very often are intertwined.
Has anyone ever told you that you are too sensitive or too emotional?
Do you feel drained when you spend time around certain people and uplifted around others?
Do you feel more space energetically when you are alone?
Can you sense deception and lies?
Do you feel overwhelmed in crowds?
When a friend of yours is feeling particularly happy or distressed do you find yourself feeling these same emotions?
If your answers to these questions are yes, you might have empathic capacities.
Pros and Cons of an Empath
There are many benefits of being an empath.
On the plus side, empaths tend to be excellent friends. They are superb listeners. They consistently show up for friends in times of need. They are big-hearted and generous. Empaths also tend to be highly intuitive and emotionally intelligent.
In a business environment they are able to sense energies within the business and of the people in the business, they will be able to sense intentions easily, even if they aren’t sure what they are noticing.
Empaths as healers are able to sense energies, physical sensations, spirit/entities and when they recognise their gift, they are able to harness their capacities to facilitate deep and sometimes miraculous change for their clients.
However, some of the very qualities that make empaths such fantastic friends and business people, can be hard on the empaths themselves.
Because empaths quite literally feel what is going on around them physically/mentally and spiritually, they can become overwhelmed by painful emotions, such as anxiety, sorrow, sadness or anger.
Empaths have a tendency to take on the problems of others as their own and sometimes end up thinking that the problems are theirs.
It is often difficult for them to set boundaries for themselves and say no, even when too much is being asked of them.
Their biggest learning is how to embrace their gifts while being able to awareness without taking everything on as theirs.
It is common for empaths to feel drained if constantly spending time around people and they often require a certain amount of alone time in order to recharge, preferably in nature.
Crowds can feel particularly overwhelming to empaths, who are often highly sensitive to certain noises and incessant chatter.
Am I An Empath?
There is a short quiz that has been developed by phycologists to evaluate whether or not you are an empath:
- Have I been labeled as “too emotional” or overly sensitive?
- If a friend is distraught, do I start feeling it too?
- Are my feelings easily hurt?
- Am I emotionally drained by crowds, require time alone to revive?
- Do my nerves get frayed by noise, smells, or excessive talk?
- Do I prefer taking my own car places so that I can leave when I please?
- Do I overeat to cope with emotional stress?
- Am I afraid of becoming engulfed by intimate relationships?
If you answer ‘yes’ to 1-3 of these questions, you’re at least part empath.
Responding ‘yes’ to more than 3 indicates that you’ve found your emotional type.
Recognizing that you’re an empath is the first step in taking charge of your emotions instead of constantly drowning in them and you can learn to take better care of yourself emotionally and spiritually.