Help! How do I keep from absorbing everyone else's energy all the time?
In truth, most people are empathic, although many never become truly aware of it. Empathy is defined as the vicarious experiencing of the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another. 1 In other words: you feel the emotions that other people are feeling or repressing as if they were your own.
So how do you know if you're particularly attuned to the those around you? You’ll notice that your body responds in strange ways when you're around certain people and most notably in crowds. You’ll experience a pattern of mood swings or a tendency to “catch the emotions” of others. Have you ever walked into an airport, bar or other crowded place and although you're perfectly relaxed when you get there, you become irritable or begin to feel depressed but can’t really explain why? Perhaps you've been with a friend, lover or family member and began to feel seemingly unprovoked anxiety. These are signals that you’re tuning into the emotions of the other people around you, or into the collective consciousness of the group (airports are known for their high stress, while bars are known to be places to go and "forget your troubles" (aka numb).
When you're highly empathetic and sensitive, your energetic boundaries are very porous. Because of this, the emotions that people repress and don't feel for themselves seep easily into your energetic field, and it's easy to think they're actually your feelings. This is why you get "moody" or have a hard time differentiating between what you want and what others want. Most empathic people find real life boundaries difficult as well, and will prioritize the needs of others over their own. When you clearly feel the disappointment of others, it’s natural to want to protect them from anything that would cause them more of it (or to protect yourself from their anger); so you say yes to things you’d rather not do in order to keep them as happy and pain free as possible. In other words, empaths often take one for the team.
But I don’t want to take one for the team anymore! So what do I do?
1. Tubing- this is an easy technique and can be done at any time and involves simply using energy to form a boundary between yourself and the world. This is a quick and easy way to give yourself a buffer when you need one. Envision pulling rich brown earth energy up from the center of the earth through the soles of your feet up through the core of your body and out through the top of your head. Imagine it bursting out of your crown chakra like a fountain and then falling back to the earth in a circle around you. Imagine the energy cocooning you. There will be a space between your body and the fountaining energy and you can add a quality to the space, like compassion, or joy (or just leave it free and clear). The point of this is to simply fortify your energetic boundaries so you neither leak your own energy out onto other people, nor absorb theirs.
2. Setting Your Space- This is a more advanced technique and it involves becoming aware of what you're feeling before you come into contact with a large group or another person. You’ll want to do a check in with your physical body pre-event. This is easiest to do with your eyes closed. Take a moment to scan your body and see what you’re aware of. Be sure to cover each organ and see what emotions you notice and name them to yourself: "I feel some fear in my heart area or I feel some excitement in my solar plexus etc." The idea is to get a baseline for where you’re already at with your own thoughts and emotions. Then, when you’re around others, if you begin to feel strange or recognize feelings you weren't aware of before, you can more easily shake them off because you know they aren't yours.
Just because you have the capacity to feel the emotions of others doesn’t mean you have to be at the mercy of them. Practice these 2 beginner steps often as they will they help you firm up your own energetic boundaries.
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