From the Merriam Webster Dictionary:
2: the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner; also : the capacity for this
- Every living thing is empathic to some extent because empathy is one of the oldest forms of non-verbal communication. Scientists speculate that humans or “Homo Erectus” started talking about 100,000 years ago, but they can’t decide if language began as soon as the human brain became big enough, or if it developed slowly over time.
- If you have a pet chances are that you have developed better empathic skills than the typical non-pet owner because animals are better empaths than humans and pets have a tendency to “teach” their owners a thing or two.
- You are most empathic when you are a baby before you say your first words. The ability then fades because language is used as a replacement but it does not go away and it can be enhanced through meditation.
- People who have a connection to plants and nature also tend to be more empathic. While some literally “talk” to their plants to help them grow, others naturally give their plants energy and attention and the difference in plant growth is tangible.
- Psychics and mediums can be painfully empathic as a side effect of their ability to communicate with disembodied spirits, elementals, angels, demons, fairies, etc …
While the ability to communicate non-verbally with everything can be a gift, the inability to “turn it off” at will can be maddening and at the very least uncomfortable. In my case I was already super tense after the volleys between Trump and Kim Jong Un that I had a persistent ache in the pit of my stomach. But after the riots in Charlottesville I literally felt like I was about to throw up for days. I felt the hodge podge of fear, despair and rage in waves and I had to force myself to not look at the news. Meanwhile, places that had large concentrations of people like the grocery store, Walmart, or the mall were stricly off limits until things settled down on the surface.
Feeling Overwhelmed: Feelings of being overcome or overwhelmed literally came out of the blue. News sites showed me what I was reacting to and that helped me sort out my true feelings from what emotions I was being bombarded with.
Upset Stomach: The stomach is where most people carry their emotions. It is no coincidence that we call our most important feelings as “a gut feeling.” My gut was suffering under the weight of the public emotional outpouring of reactions to a possible nuclear war and the threat of rampant racism.
Nausea: As tensions mounted I literally felt like I was having chronic morning sickness. It took a day for me to get over feeling like I wanted to vomit every hour.
Anxiety and Depression: As a result of a combination of all the symptoms mentioned above, I began to get anxious and depressed.
Chronic Fatigue: My body reacted by slowing down and the best medicine for me was to nap for hours in order to “make it go away” because in sleep and through dreams I was able to release a lot of psychic tension.
Sharing What I’ve Learned
Just as the madness was breaking out on the newsfeeds I saw a lot of ads for classes and I was astonished at the amount of woo and silliness people were trying to push on suffering empaths around the globe. So, I decided that I would freely share what I do from day to day to cope with the chaos.
- Feeling Overwhelmed/Grounding: I am fortunate to live in a pretty little witchy house at the foot of the mountains. Every morning before I water my little potted patio garden filled with herbs and roses I take off my shoes. I spend a lot of my time barefoot in the garden which allows my tension to be released through the bottoms of my feet. I refocus my attention on my plants and ask them to take away my tension. During the worst times I put my hands on my little ficus tree and imagine my energy going down through the trunk of to tree into the Earth.
- Upset Stomach & Nausea/Ginger Everything: While I wish I had enough time to peel, crush and grind fresh ginger root into a tea every day, I’m far too busy for that. Making fresh ginger tea is a luxury, so I stock up on ginger ale, ginger chews (candy) and ginger snaps (my favorite cookie) so I have something quick and easy to help me calm my stomach and alleviate my nausea.
- My friends and favorite tv shows as well as meditation/Anxiety and Depression: I meditate and do mantra at least 20 minutes every day. Sometimes I may get lost in it for up to an hour because being in alpha state feels great. However, there is nothing like a convo with a good friend or an episode of “Game of Thrones” to pull me out of a funk. John Oliver has been good for my soul. And frankly, I miss Jon Stewart. Jon Stewart was my comedy shaman who cured all ills.
- Naps and Early Bed Times/Chronic Fatigue: When all else failed I am sooooo grateful to be working primarily from home. I have the luxury of taking a nap whenever I feel the need. When I am working outside of my domestic sanctuary of peace and chocolate I come home with take out, or nuke an organic microwave dinner and drop off to sleep no matter who early it is.
Emergency Empath Hacks
- Wearing Amber and Black Tourmaline jewelry to seal up my aura.
- Taking cleansing baths in epsom salts and baking soda.
- Playing my favorite music to raise the vibe and drown out everything else. (Amy Winehouse has saved my life.)
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