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13 important survival tools for Empaths

Empaths have this unique talent for understanding others, which comes with sensing people's emotions, and the” not so pleasant” fact that they also can absorb others emotions. It's simply innate to them, even if they don't want it… and, at times, believe me, they wish they could be “normal”.

An empath will always be there for you, he will be a shoulder to cry on, a confidant, the one who listens, the one who hears you and understands you. But all of this can be incredibly exhausting for them, and they often don't even realize it.

Because they find it difficult to say no and to protect themselves from emotions that are not their own, they often go beyond their own limits, and absorb everything that surrounds them in spite of themselves.

So to help you deal with it all, here are 13 important survival tools to protect yourself, reduce overstimulation around other people, and recharge yourself so you don't feel resentful or burn out.

13 important survival tools for Empaths - Woman struggling
Empath rule nr. 1 - Create an energy shield

When you are an empath, it is important, even essential, to protect yourself. Here is an exercise that you should do as often as possible…I suggest you do this protection ritual every morning when you get up. You can also repeat it before any various tricky or triggering situations. For example, it is recommended to do this protection trick when you have to meet someone with whom you always feel drained after meeting them. It works well either when it is an in-person meeting or a phone/video call. You can also do the shielding exercise before going to a meeting with a group of people, but especially whenever you need to go in a public and crowded place like malls, markets, stadiums etc...

This exercise involves visualizing a shield of energy, a shield of light around your physical body. Choosing a specific color can help you. Let me explain how…

To choose the color that vibrates with you the best, sit or lie down, close your eyes and take a few deep breaths to relax. Choose a color, let’s say pink for example, imagine your body surrounded or filled with the color pink and feel in your body the sensations that this color gives you. Then switch to another color, white for example, and repeat the same exercise. To create an energy shield, I suggest you work with white, golden, silver, purple, green, pink or blue. It can even be a rainbow of colors, but preferably do not choose red or dark colors.

After trying these different colors, pick the one with which you felt the most positive vibe… inner peace, joy, protection, and work with that color.

Every day or once in a while, before doing your protection ritual, check in for a few seconds if the color you’ve been working with is still the one you can work with that day. Your intuition may suggest a different color and it's ok. Go with it! Just simply, review, for a few seconds, the different colors that I have suggested to you, and listen to your body.

Now back to the protection exercise itself… Imagine a protective energy veil enveloping your body in the colored light you have chosen. Imagine a transparent and bright veil. I say a veil, but it can be a bubble, a sheet that covers you, a thin shell. Again, follow your intuition and choose your own protection tool.

But do not lock yourself in an airtight box, rather imagine a flexible shield in which you only let in what you want. A shield which has the power however to stop and to bounce any unwanted energy, but a shield which welcomes positive energies, a shield which also emanates strong waves of love and compassion outwards, without depleting you of your own energy. Imagine a living, vibrant energy, pulsating to the rhythm of your heart.

Once your shield is in place, set a simple but firm intention: to be protected from depleting or from negative energy, and at the same time to be able to give and receive.

For those who have never done this exercise, practice it alone at first, then try to do it in the presence of someone else. Choose someone you trust and with whom you can check their own feelings in your presence, after creating your shield. It should be interesting. ;)

Another way to create an energetic shield around your body is through wearing or holding protective crystals. Most black crystals or darker stones tend to have a highly protective energy.

Empath rule nr. 2 - Take a few breaks and allow yourself some ‘me time” everyday

It is also important that you take many short breaks throughout the day. Whether it's just looking at the sky through the window, going for a short walk, doing some gardening, cooking, listening to one of your favorite music, some cuddle time with your pet... or just lose yourself in your thoughts… You need these moments to recharge. It is imperative!

These breaks will help reduce excessive stimulation in the presence of other people and also the more subtle ones of the collective. So allow yourself a few minutes, or more if you can, to quiet everything. By everything, I mean everything… noise, conversation, bright light… put your phone away and on silent mode, turn off your TV… I know it isn’t always possible if you have kids for example, so organize yourself to take that “me time”, either in the early morning before they get up to kick off your day full of energy, or in the evening after putting them to bed.

Think of this rule as a form of radical self-care.

Empath rule nr. 3 - Meditate, meditate, meditate!

More than anyone, you need to stay grounded and centered.

Practicing meditation to let go of emotional overload has been proven to be very beneficial.

Daily meditation (even just for 5 minutes!) is the best way to reset and steady your mind, which is so important when it comes to getting a clear read on your own personal mood and energy. Whether you set an alarm for a few minutes to silently observe your breath or you follow a guided meditation, taking any time at all to sit, pause, and bring mindfulness to your day will have a tremendous effect on your energy.

After all, if you have a steady, clear mind that’s grounded in the present you’re less likely to be affected by the energy around you.

So meditate for a few minutes each day, this will allow you to refocus your energy and to avoid absorbing that of others. You will be able to browse through the many meditations I created which will be released soon. I will also add a 30-days meditation challenge on my YT channel.

Empath rule nr. 4 - Use some breathing techniques

Either you feel you’re picking up someone else’s energy, or someone you can’t get away from is sucking your energy, concentrate on your breath for a few minutes.

On your breath in, imagine a bright white light spreading in your whole body and on the exhale, visualize a grey cloud exiting from your mouth. Breathe in from your nose, breathe out from your mouth, like you would blow the air out through a straw. Repeat the exercise until you feel that you calmed down and that there is no more grey area in your body.

One thing you must always remember, don’t hold your breath! When we feel stressed, we have the tendency to either hold our breath or to have shallow and fast breathing.

To calm down our nervous system, we must slow down our breathing, and practice belly breathing. If you want to learn more about other breathing techniques for anxiety and stress, read the article here.

Empath rule nr. 5 - Say "No" and Set boundaries

This is simultaneously the most important and hardest rule for all empaths. Saying “no” can be very difficult for an empath, but knowing to set boundaries when and where they are needed is crucial. Boundaries can be in regard to your physical space, your body, your possessions, or your time. Be firm with these limits and don’t let your caring nature leave you with your guard down. I know, it's not an easy task for you, it's not in your DNA, but you have to learn to say “no” do it!

Boundaries are there to protect your energy, your health, and your emotional safety, not to punish other people. It is not selfish to have boundaries, it’s a matter of letting others know who you are and where you stand.

And above all, don't feel obligated to explain why or to blame yourself. Don't justify yourself, just be firm and polite.

Empath rule nr. 6 - Purify yourself and your surroundings

So, what do you do after you’ve realized that you’ve taken on emotional energy that isn’t yours? Cleanse! Cleansing yourself is a good thing whether you are an empath or not. Regularly purifying your home and even your workplace will remove the energy of others and their influence on you. Try smudging with sage or palo santo. Use various essential oils in a diffuser or burn some incense. It’s a great place to start!

And don’t forget to purify your body too, drink plenty of water, eat properly and move your body… And finally, a good night’s sleep can do more for cleansing your energy than all of the above!

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Empath rule nr. 7 - Detox with water

A quick and relaxing way to wash out stress and empathic pains is to immerse yourself in water. Empaths love water! Water has a powerful healing energy, which means drinking lots of water and taking salt baths (they are my personal favorites). So if you have the possibility, take a nice warm bubbly bath. Adding Epsom salt in the water or a few drops of your favorite essential oil can also help to relax you after a long day.

If you’re not a bath person or don’t have time for it, a warm shower is also very beneficial. It gives you the sensation to wash away and cleanse your entire body of any negative energy.

A bath and a shower give you different feelings… choose the one best for you!

Empath rule nr. 8 - Ground yourself

Empaths have a special connection with nature, so spending time outdoors can be a very special healing moment for them. So if you live in a city, organize some get away time as often as you can to recharge far away from the hubbub and constant aggression of your energy. Being either around water or in a green environment will clear any negativity.

If you can walk barefoot, it will be even more powerful for you. Use this moment to feel the power of the Earth and ground yourself.

Two other easy ways to ground your energy is to simply stand in the yoga pose “Tadasana” (Mountain Pose), or sit in a chair and bring your awareness into your body, specifically on the points of contact with the floor. Then, create the intention of sending energy down into your feet, and growing energetic “roots” into the Earth, every time you exhale deeply. When we ground our energy, we become solidly connected to our own frequency and less influenced by others around us.

Empath rule nr. 9 - Take social media breaks

Online media triggers emotions to everybody, it has been studied and proven, but it is even more so for empaths who can’t deal violence, cruelty or any confrontational situations. So because news feeds are, for the majority, all about sensational and tragic events, empaths can be deeply affected by these online negativity. Even by reading the division and aggressive comments on social media can destabilize them.

So take regular time-out from technology to avoid picking up the bad energy of the virtual world! You will thank yourself for this online fast and feel so much better!

Empath rule nr. 10 - Be mindful of What fuels you and What drains you

Start to notice the way you feel energetically and emotionally after your interactions with people. Did you feel uplifted? Do you feel positive after getting coffee with that friend, or drained and depleted? This is a good test to know with whom you should spend more time, and from whom you should stay away. As an energetically-sensitive person, it is very important to be extremely selective with your time and your company. Outside of relationships, notice the situations or places that leave you feeling uplifted or drained, and set your choice accordingly when you’re going out to choose where to go or places to avoid.

Are you a highly sensitive person or an empath? Take the test below to find out.

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Empath rule No. 11: Heal Yourself First

The best healers are those who have gone into the fire, done the hard work, and come out the other side even stronger. It’s through this process that you become a vessel to help heal others and become a clear channel for their healing, because you have removed your own pain and trauma. It can be tempting to get involved with “helping” others, but most of the time, we do this subconsciously to avoid looking at our own inner pain. Be aware!

The most important thing an empath can do is to work on themselves and heal their own trauma first. It can be a long, messy process, so don’t rush it and be kind and have patience with yourself. Be grateful for your courage to be on the path of your healing journey and that you’re making it a priority.

Empath rule nr. 12 - Find an energy practitioner

Find someone with whom you feel a connection, with whom you feel comfortable.

All energy practitioners have their own unique skills and talents, so it is important that you find one that will match your particular energy needs. Before committing to a practitioner, do at least a session or two to come to a decision. On the other hand, you may need to change your practitioner after a while or want other methods, other approaches… not only is it alright but it also means that you’re evolving, so don’t feel bad or guilty about it.

Empath rule nr. 13 - Listen to yourself

I kept this one to wrap up but I could have easily put it in the first place.

Listen to your feelings, your intuition, your body and your heart. Let them be your guides! It is very easy to turn into a sponge that absorbs other people’s emotions and at the same time lose yourself. Learn to recognize when emotions overwhelm you. And also learn to notice when you need to set boundaries. Learn to notice when you need time to release yourself from the pressure that your environment is putting on you and when the emotional swamp is slowly sucking you in. Just listen to yourself!

I hope that these simple yet effective "13 important survival tools for empaths" will help you when you feel stressed, overwhelmed and suspect you’re taking on someone else’s physical or emotional distress.

Just try them and see which ones work best for you. And don't hesitate to share your techniques with us, I would be very interested to know what your own recharging and releasing tools are.


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What is your biggest struggle?

  • Feeling emotionally drained

  • Moving on and letting go

  • Criticism and conflict

  • Being under pressure

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