Ever feel like you're reading the minds of everyone else in the room? Like you actually experience what they're thinking and feeling, sometimes to the point that it feels like you ARE them? Do you ever feel immensely drained after conversations with certain people or with big groups? Maybe you've always felt like you pick up on energy in an instant and read people right away—almost as soon as you come into contact. If you answered yes to any of the above, chances are you may be an empath.
Empaths are people who can feel what other people are feeling and experiencing without actually being in the same circumstances themselves. It's like being a psychic of sorts but with more emphasis on experiencing others' emotions.
Before I knew I was an empath and before I came to learn about all the tools and practices that help me feel balanced and taken care of on a regular basis, I used to feel like I was going crazy. How was it that I could feel so deeply and so much at once? Under the guise of having fun and partying, starting at the age of 14 (when my sensitivity began to heighten), I turned to alcohol and drugs to self-medicate. I didn't want to feel so much.
That worked for a while. Until one day, about a decade later, self-medicating simply stopped making a difference. So, I sought support in finding and forging a new, better path. Initially, getting sober opened the floodgates to feelings I had repressed for years and years. Everything flowed in at once, making an already arduous lifestyle change even more challenging. But eventually I evened out and began to explore alternative healing modalities and transformational work for further clarity.
Learning that I am an empath changed my life forever. I know myself. I love myself. Most of all, I understand how profoundly useful my abilities can be in helping myself and others heal, transform, and grow. I often wonder how many people, in any given moment, are struggling with their own empathic abilities, unaware of their gifts and their unique capacity to connect with the world.
Here are a few life-changing practices and tools that have made all the difference to my efficacy and well-being as an empowered empath: