Empathy and Mindfulness

 In a world where we have moment-to-moment access to breaking news, graphic images and world events, having feelings of empathy may be challenging and overwhelming. Sometimes having feelings of empathy within our own lives and relationships can seem to heavy. The emotions that we feel from other people and the world around us on a daily basis can keep some people guarded and protective instead of being open to experiencing. For others, feeling the thoughts and emotions of the world haven’t any boundaries at all, leaving them feeling drained or overwhelmed.

Sometimes staying open in a healthy way takes practice, especially if you are sensitive to the thoughts and feelings of others around you.

 

The word EMPATHY is often defined as the ability to experience and share another person’s emotion and feelings. Commonly perceived as being able to put oneself in another’s shoes, the ability to have empathy is an innate ability for all humans. We all have the capability to sense another’s emotional states and feelings, some of us more intensely than others.

 

Those of us who are highly sensitive are called “empathic.” Although most people can feel empathy; empathic people feel and sense energy more intensely.

Some empathic people can not only sense true energy, emotions and feelings of other people, but can experience energy and emotion from animals, nature and sometimes in inanimate objects that carry energy from people and events, like jewelry, furniture, buildings or land.

 

Empaths are able to scan another’s psyche or energy field and sense the energy or emotion as if it were their own. Most empaths cannot explain how they do this but experience it naturally without thinking about it. An empathic nature can be passed down from generations or can be developed over time and life experience. No matter how the gifts of empathy are achieved, nourishing this gift of perception can be a powerful tool of healing yourself and others.

 

Having empathic experiences can be like riding a roller coaster leaving you feeling drained or overwhelmed.

Most people who tap into emotional energy don’t know how to separate themselves from the emotions of others. They can’t make the separation from what feelings are theirs and what feelings they are picking up from others around them.

 

One of the best things for an empathic person is to practice mindfulness and breathing, it can be practiced moving or still, and can be as short as a 5-minute check in session with yourself.

 

A constant practice of checking in throughout the day observing your own emotional, spiritual and physical states can train you to be clear on what energies and emotions you are letting in from others and what energies and emotions are yours to begin with.

 

Using conscious breathing and visual imagery for grounding and protection is also very helpful to empathic people so that they may feel centered and not drawn into energy outside of themselves without choosing to be.

 

There are various visualizations for grounding, some as simple as visualizing your feet being planted into the earth like tree roots or visualizing yourself tied to an anchor that is hooked firmly into the center of the earth. Protection visualizations can be as simple as surrounding yourself with a light bubble or sphere. Tune in to your body, breath and use visualizations to connect with the ground and to strengthen your energy field.

 

Mindfulness practice with breath awareness, grounding and protection imagery can take only a few minutes and be very effective in bringing clarity, calm and presence. So if you’re a sensitive person who picks up the energy of the world around you, give yourself some time to practice and learn more about yourself. You will be cultivating a wonderful gift that can provide you with deep connection and understanding so you can become a stronger and happier person.

Lauren Monroe Allen

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Lauren Monroe Allen, MA, LMT is a healing intuitive, teacher, author and musician. A wife, mother and co-founder of the Raven Drum Foundation and Project Resiliency, she brings her life-long knowledge of spiritual healing and energy medicine practice to wounded warriors, teens, and communities in crisis.

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