While it’s true that empaths and sensitive people are more susceptible to anxiety, it’s a myth that being anxious is a given. Feeling more than most people via extra attuned intuition, emotions, energy fields, and/or physical bodies does mean a greater likelihood of becoming drained or overwhelmed. However, strong self-care and boundaries act as a defense against anxiety for empaths.
Read on to better understand anxiety in empaths and how to prevent it.
Empaths and Anxiety
Being empathic, sensitive, kind, or a giver is a gift. Your great reservoirs of compassion are a healing balm for the communities and people with whom you interact. More empathy is truly what this world needs.
Yet, in today’s society, it can also feel like a burden. There are endless possible triggers for anxiety, sadness, and anger, among other things. Feeling a lot may mean more disturbances. But emotional or energetic intensity doesn’t necessarily have to equate to anxiety. Balance an open heart with fierce boundaries and you might be surprised how anxiety lessens or disappears.
How To Be An Empowered Empath
There are several things you can do to avoid the pervasive anxiety that many empaths and non-empaths struggle with. Be empowered – not anxious – by taking charge of your mental and physical health in the following 6 ways.
1. Say no
One of the biggest life lessons for all good-hearted people is boundaries. Boundaries refer to emotional and physical limits or standards. Many of us never learned about boundaries or how to set them growing up. Your feelings, needs, and perspectives are yours, just like someone else’s are theirs. Setting healthy boundaries in your life can mean the difference between being weighed down by other people’s energy, problems, and moods, and having control over your own well-being.
Boundaries start with saying no. Guilt and shame may arise as you do this. Feel the discomfort and do it anyway. It’s not your job to caretake other adults or do things you don’t want to do. If you feel like it is, you may have codependent tendencies. Read my blog on healing codependency in relationships for more detailed guidance.
2. Give yourself space
If you are an introvert, you may breathe a sigh of relief at this idea. If you’re extroverted or like constant activity, it may be a bummer. But spending time alone allows your system to recalibrate, reset, and release what you’ve taken on from interactions with others (both in person and virtually). When you do this, anxiety is much less likely to manifest.
Taking space is harder if you have young children or a demanding 24/7-type job. But do your best to carve out some down time now and then. Add a nap for even better results. Share with loved ones that self-care time helps your mental health and allows for a better relationship too.
3. Don’t try to fix people and avoid takers
People who “take” more than they give will more than likely induce anxiety. As they should! It’s not healthy to engage with relationships that lack reciprocity. To my above point, remind yourself that it is not your responsibility to over-extend yourself to make others happy. Avoid these people or set boundaries on how often you interact.
Although it’s an overused term right now, some of these takers are narcissists. Narcissism ranges from simple self-centeredness, to the full-blown diagnosed condition. Until you learn to set strong boundaries and protect your energy, you may be drawn to them and vice versa. Highly empathic people are easier to control. Narcissists feed on your kindness, compassion, and generosity. Your health, both physical and mental, depends on recognizing the signs. This can be very serious. Contact me at email@example.com if you need help extricating yourself.
4. Detach from new age spirituality
One of the great ironies is that being immersed in the world of self-help or spirituality can create or increase anxiety. When you are constantly focused on fixing yourself, or on what is wrong or defective, you actually create more of that! Plus, the hamster wheel often becomes stressful or addictive.
In addition, some healers and coaches prey on people’s vulnerability, either consciously or unconsciously. Check out my blog on healers and hypocrisy for more, including personal anecdotes from my own life. I also touch on it in an Instagram reel here (or go to my handle, centered_onebyerin). Do your best to step away from this world, or at least take a break.
5. Ground yourself
Being grounded is the opposite of anxiety. Anxiousness usually involves being in your head, ruminating on negative thoughts or fears. Stay grounded to combat anxiety. I suggest exercising, going out in nature, using salt, and watching your diet.
Move your body with as much vigor as you’re able. Doing it outside is even better. Being surrounded by forest, lake, trees, ocean, grass, or animals can rapidly clear out anxiety. If that is challenging, walk on city streets.
Salt has powerful clearing and relaxing properties. Take a warm bath with Epsom salts or try a salt scrub in the shower. Making sure you are consuming enough electrolytes – which include sodium chloride, aka salt – can help too. Finally, limit alcohol, coffee, and processed sugar. These substances are known anxiety triggers (you can enjoy them in moderation).
6. Address grief and trauma
Every human goes through loss and change. These transitions and heartbreaks can build up if not dealt with. The buildup is often in the form of anxiety that leaks out daily or in certain situations.
It’s understandable not to know where to start. I am about to complete my 4th certification in the mental health space, specifically related to grief recovery. This modality is an evidence-based, 7-step process, in both individual 1 on 1 session and group formats. If you would like to learn more, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Release Empath Anxiety For Good
It is indeed possible to be a kind, giving soul and not have anxiety. Remember there is a difference between healthy fear or momentary stress, and chronic anxiety. If a car swerves in front of you, your body and mind will react instinctively – and rightfully so. That is adaptive and a survival mechanism.
What is maladaptive is constant, low (or high) levels of distress or unease – aka, anxiety. Follow these 6 steps to start to get anxiety under control. You are well on your way to becoming the unicorn: a non-anxious empath!
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