Post by anne12 on Aug 13, 2022 6:02:54 GMT
10 Traits of an Empath
1. Empaths are highly sensitive
Empaths are naturally giving, spiritually open, and good listeners. If you want heart, empaths have got it. Through thick and thin, they’re there for you, world-class nurturers. But they can easily have their feelings hurt. Empaths are often told that they are “too sensitive” and need to toughen up.
2. Empaths absorb other people’s emotions
Empaths are highly attuned to other people’s moods, good and bad. They feel everything, sometimes to an extreme. They take on negativity such as anger or anxiety which is exhausting. If they are around peace and love, their bodies take these on and flourish.
3. Many empaths are introverted
Empaths become overwhelmed in crowds, which can amplify their empathy. They tend to be introverted and prefer one to one contact or small groups. Even if an empath is more extroverted they prefer limiting how much time they can be in a crowd or at a party.
4. Empaths are highly intuitive
Empaths experience the world through their intuition. It is important for them to develop their intuition and listen to their gut feelings about people. This will help empaths find positive relationships and avoid energy vampires. Read Five Steps to Develop Your Intuition to learn more.
5. Empaths need alone time
As super-responders, being around people can drain an empath so they periodically need alone time to recharge their batteries. Even a brief escape prevents emotionally overload. Empaths like to take their own cars when they go places so they can leave when they please.
6. Empaths can become overwhelmed in intimate relationships
Too much togetherness can be difficult for an empath so they may avoid intimate relationships. Deep down they are afraid of being engulfed and losing their identity. For empaths to be at ease in a relationship, the traditional paradigm for being a couple must be re-defined. For strategies see my article Relationship Tips for Sensitive People.
7. Empaths are targets for energy vampires
An empath’s sensitivity makes them particularly easy marks for energy vampires, whose fear or rage can sap their energy and peace of mind. Vampires do more than drain an empath’s physical energy. The especially dangerous ones such as narcissists (they lack empathy and are only concerned with themselves) can make them believe they’re unworthy and unlovable. Other vampires include The Victim, The Chronic Talker, The Drama Queen and more. To help you deal with the drainers in your life read 4 Strategies to Survive Emotional Vampires.
8. Empaths become replenished in nature
The busyness of ever day life can be too much for an empath. The natural world nourishes and restores them. It helps them to release their burdens and they take refuge in the presence of green wild things, the ocean or other bodies of water.
9. Empaths have highly tuned senses
An empath’s nerves can get frayed by noise, smells, or excessive talking.
10. Empaths have huge hearts but sometimes give too much
Empaths are big-hearted people and try to relieve the pain of others. A homeless person holding a cardboard sign, “I’m hungry” at a busy intersection; a hurt child; a distraught friend. It’s natural to want to reach out to them, ease their pain. But empaths don’t stop there. Instead, they take it on. Suddenly they’re the one feeling drained or upset when they felt fine before.
Post by anne12 on Aug 13, 2022 7:21:24 GMT
Why do people become empaths?
Is it temperament? Genetics? Trauma? Neglectful or supportive parental upbringing?
As a psychiatrist and an empath, I’ve seen that the following four main factors (which I expand upon in my book The Empath’s Survival Guide) can contribute to heightening one’s sensitivities.
Reason 1. Temperament. Some babies enter the world with more sensitivity than others—an inborn temperament. You can see it when they come out of the womb. They’re much more responsive to light, smells, touch, movement, temperature, and sound. These infants seem to be empaths from the start.
Reason 2. Genetics. Also, from what I’ve observed with my patients, some forms of sensitivity may be genetically transmitted. Highly sensitive children can come from mothers and fathers with the same inborn traits. Therefore, it is possible that sensitivity can also be genetically transmitted through families.
Reason 3. Trauma. Childhood neglect or abuse can affect your sensitivity levels as an adult. A portion of empaths I’ve treated have experienced early trauma such as emotional or physical abuse, or they were raised by alcoholic, depressed or narcissistic parents. This could potentially wear down the usual healthy defenses that a child with nurturing parents develops. As a result of their upbringing, they typically don’t feel “seen” by their families, and feel invisible in the greater world that doesn’t value sensitivity.
Reason 4. Supportive Parenting. On the other hand, positive parenting can help sensitive children develop and honor their gifts. Parents are powerful role models for all children, especially sensitive ones.
In all cases, however, we empaths haven’t learned to defend against stress in the same way as others do. We’re different in that respect. A noxious stimulus, such as an angry person, crowds, noise, or bright light can agitate us since our threshold for sensory overload is extremely low.
Healing is possible for all sensitive people. Even if you’ve experienced early trauma or have been raised by abusive parents, it’s important that you learn to feel safe enough to embrace your sensitivities now. Part of this involves learning to set healthy boundaries with others and choosing positive people in your circle who can be supportive of your sensitivities. In addition, protection and centering techniques and meditations can help to strengthen your core so you can be both strong and sensitive. In The Empath’s Survival Guide I outline numerous techniques that you can use in your life to feel safe and secure as an empath.
The goal is for empaths to be empowered and use their sensitivities to be loving to themselves, their intimates, and create love in the world.
Post by anne12 on Aug 13, 2022 7:26:09 GMT
The difference between being an empath and codependent
We live in the world with many people. Some are heartfelt and uplifting to be around. Others are more difficult. It’s important to find a comfortable way of relating to people so that you can develop a harmonious interdependence rather than being codependent.
When you’re interdependent you have a healthy reliance on others in your personal life, at work, and in the greater world. You depend on each other for support, respect, and to perform particular tasks such as collaborating on a project, raising children, participating in team sports, or hiking with a group. In contrast, codependency is an unhealthy form of dependency. This occurs when you are more focused on another person’s life and problems than your own. You are reluctant to assert your needs or set clear boundaries for fear of the consequences.
There’s a joke that when a codependent dies, it is your life that passes in front of their eyes. Codependents feel overly responsible for people and pick up the slack in relationships and work. If you’re a codependent, it can be hard to pull back and let others travel their own paths. You may want to over help or fix people, believing that if you don’t intervene something terrible will happen—a habit you might have learned from living with an alcoholic or anxious parent.
Empaths can have codependent tendencies but not all codependents are empaths. The difference is that empaths absorb the stress, emotions, and physical symptoms of others, something not all codependents do. As a highly empathic person, practice protection techniques such as shielding and meditation to deal with the energy absorption issue, which isn’t as relevant for a pure codependent. However, for both empaths and codependents, setting boundaries and seeing others as separate, not simply an extension of yourself, is also part of healing. You are still present, but you can be a great listener and a loyal friend without taking on someone’s problems.
Spend some time journaling about your relationships. Which are interdependent? Which are codependent? List a few constructive steps you can take to make codependent relationships more balanced. For example, checking up on someone less often, setting a clear boundary, or letting others make and learn from their own mistakes. Then, one by one, begin to reshape your codependent relationships and appreciate your interdependent ones.
Set your intention. I will thoughtfully examine and heal my codependency issues and seek a healthy interdependence in my relationships. I will stop obsessing about others and focus on my own selfcare. I can be a giving person while maintaining healthy boundaries.
Post by anne12 on Aug 13, 2022 11:11:28 GMT
Research has shown that our brain has a specialized group of cells called mirror neurons, which is responsible for empathy and compassion. Studies suggest that empaths have a hyperactive mirror neuron system which places them high on the empathy scale. When someone you love is in pain, you may feel it as if it is actually happening to you. (Whereas malignant narcissists are thought to have empathy-deficient disorder which puts them low on the empathy scale.) Sometimes, you may even feel the pain of strangers and the world. Similarly, when someone has been compassionate or hopeful, you absorb the intensity of these positive expressions too.
Understanding the responsiveness of your mirror neuron system reminds you of the importance of protecting yourself from discomfort that is not your own. It’s a gift to be so caring, yet it’s also necessary to set healthy boundaries. To conserve your resources, use your empathy well. Know when the time is right to go inward and refuel.drjudithorloff.com/empaths-compassion-mirror-neurons/
Post by anne12 on Aug 13, 2022 11:16:06 GMT
5 Scientific Explanations of Empathy and Empaths
1. The Mirror Neuron System
Researchers have discovered a specialized group of brain cells that are responsible for compassion. These cells enable everyone to mirror emotions, to share another person’s pain, fear, or joy. Because empaths are thought to have hyper-responsive mirror neurons, we deeply resonate with other people’s feelings. How does this occur? Mirror neurons are triggered by outside events. For example, our spouse gets hurt, we feel hurt too. Our child is crying; we feel sad too. Our friend is happy; we feel happy too. In contrast, psychopaths, sociopaths, and narcissists are thought to have what science calls “empathy deficient disorders.” This means they lack the ability to feel empathy like other people do, which may be caused by an under-active mirror neuron system. We must beware of these people because they are incapable of unconditional love.
2. Electromagnetic Fields
The second finding is based on the fact that both the brain and the heart generate electromagnetic fields. According to the HeartMath Institute, these fields transmit information about people’s thoughts and emotions. Empaths may be particularly sensitive to this input and tend to become overwhelmed by it. Similarly, we often have stronger physical and emotional responses to changes in the electromagnetic fields of the earth and sun. Empaths know well that what happens to the earth and sun affects our state of mind and energy. Similarly, we often have stronger physical and emotional responses to changes in the electromagnetic fields of the earth and sun. Empaths know well that what happens to the earth and sun affects our state of mind and energy.
3. Emotional Contagion
The third finding which enhances our understanding of empaths is the phenomena of emotional contagion. Research has shown that many people pick up the emotions of those around them. For instance, one crying infant will set off a wave of crying in a hospital ward. Or one person loudly expressing anxiety in the workplace can spread it to other workers. People commonly catch other people’s feelings in groups. A recent New York Times article stated that this ability to synchronize moods with others is crucial for good relationships. What is the lesson for empaths? To choose positive people in our lives so we’re not brought down by negativity. Or, if, say a friend is going through a hard time, take special precautions to ground and center yourself. These are important strategies you’ll learn in this book.
4. Increased Dopamine Sensitivity
The fourth finding involves dopamine, a neurotransmitter that increases the activity of neurons and is associated with the pleasure response. Research has shown that introverted empaths tend to have a higher sensitivity to dopamine than extroverts. Basically, they need less dopamine to feel happy. That could explain why they are more content with alone time, reading, and meditation and need less external stimulation from parties and other large social gatherings. In contrast, extroverts crave the dopamine rush from lively events. In fact, they can’t get enough of it.
The fifth finding, which I find particularly compelling, is the extraordinary state called “mirror-touch synesthesia.” Synesthesia is a neurological condition in which two different senses are paired in the brain. For instance, you see colors when you hear a piece of music or you taste words. Famous synesthetics include Isaac Newton, Billy Joel, and violinist Itzhak Perlman. However, with mirror-touch synesthesia, people can actually feel the emotions and sensations of others in their own bodies as if these were their own. This is a wonderful neurological explanation of an empath’s experience.
The Dali Lama says, “Empathy is the most precious human quality.” During these stressful times, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Even so, empathy is the quality that will get us through. It will enable us to respect one another, even if we disagree. Empathy doesn’t make you a sentimental softy without discernment. It allows you to keep your heart open to foster tolerance and understanding. It might not always be effective in getting through to people and creating peace but I think it’s the best chance we have.drjudithorloff.com/the-new-science-of-empathy-and-empaths/
Post by anne12 on Aug 13, 2022 11:45:08 GMT
The key to self-care is to quickly recognize the first signs of experiencing sensory overload or when you start absorbing negativity or stress from others. The sooner you can act to reduce stimulation and center yourself, the more balanced and protected you will be. Whenever you start to feel exhausted or overwhelmed practice the following five protection tips from my book The Empath’s Survival Guide to help you regain your balance.
1. Shielding Visualization
Shielding is a quick way to protect yourself. Many empaths and sensitive people rely on it to block out toxic energy while allowing the free flow of positivity. Call on it regularly. The minute you’re uncomfortable with a person, place, or situation, put up your shield. Use it in a train station, at a party if you’re talking to an energy vampire, or in a packed doctor’s waiting room. Begin by taking a few, deep, long breaths. Then visualize a beautiful shield of white or pink light completely surrounding your body and extending a few inches beyond it. This shield protects you from anything negative, stressful, toxic, or intrusive. Within the protection of this shield, feel yourself centered, happy, and energized. This shield blocks out negativity, but at the same time, you can still feel what’s positive and loving.
2. Define and Express Your Relationship Needs
Knowing your needs and being able to assert them is a strong form of self-protection for empaths. Then you can be in your full power in a relationship. If something doesn’t feel right, raise the issue with your partner rather than suffering silently. Finding your voice is equivalent to finding your power–otherwise you may become exhausted, anxious, or feel like a doormat in relationships where your basic needs are unmet. Your partner isn’t a mind reader. Speak up to safeguard your well-being.
Ask yourself, “What do I need in a relationship that I’ve been afraid to ask for? Would you prefer more alone or quiet time? Would you like to sleep by yourself sometimes? Do you want to play more or talk more or have sex more? Or would you like to dance under the full moon together? Let your intuition flow without judgment. Uncover your true feelings. No reason to be ashamed or to hold back.
3. Set Energetic Boundaries at Work & Home
Empaths often suffer in their environment when they absorb the stress in their surroundings. The workplace especially can be noisy and over-stimulating. To protect your energy level in an emotionally demanding or crowded environment surround the outer edge of your space with plants or family or pet photos to create a small psychological barrier. Sacred objects such as a statue of Quan Yin (the goddess of compassion), the Buddha, sacred beads, crystals, or protective stones can set an energetic boundary. Noise cancelling ear buds or headphones are also useful to muffle conversations and sound.
4. Prevent Empathy Overload
When you’re absorbing the stress or symptoms of others and you need to release the negative energy inhale lavender essential oil or put a few drops midway between your eyebrows (on your third eye) to calm yourself. When you able spend time in nature. Balance your alone time with people time. For me, time management is key to my sanity. I try not to schedule patients back-to-back. In my personal life, I don’t plan too many things in one day. I’ve also learned to cancel plans when I get overloaded. This is a skill all empaths must learn so you don’t feel obliged to go out if you’re tired and need rest.
Set clear limits with energy vampires and toxic people. Remember, “No” is a complete sentence. You don’t have to keep explaining yourself. I am adamant about avoiding draining people, particularly when I’m overloaded. Finally practice self-compassion. Be sweet to yourself whenever possible—avoid beating yourself up. After a hard day tell yourself, “I did the best I could. It’s okay honey.”
5. The Jaguar Protection Meditation
When you need extra protection I recommend this meditation to call on the power of the jaguar to protect you. I use it when there is too much negativity coming at me too fast. The jaguar is a fierce and patient guard who can keep toxic energy and people away.
In a calm meditative state, from your deepest heart, call on the spirit of the jaguar to protect you. Feel her presence enter. Then, visualize this gorgeous, powerful creature patrolling your energy field, encircling it, protecting you, keeping out intruders or any negative forces that want to get through. Picture what the jaguar looks like: his or her beautiful, fierce, loving eyes; sleek body; the graceful, purposeful way the jaguar moves. Feel secure in the circle of this jaguar’s protection.
Give inner thanks to the jaguar. Know that you can call on her whenever there is a need. Feel the power of that.
As a sensitive people you must learn is how to deal with sensory overload when too much is coming at you too quickly. This can leave you exhausted, anxious, depressed, or sick. Like many of us, you may feel there is no on/off switch for your empathy. This is not true. When you feel protected and safe you can take charge of your sensitivities rather than feeling victimized by them. To gain a sense of safety, recognize some common factors that contribute to empathy overload. Begin to identify your triggers. Then you can quickly act to remedy a situation
Post by anne12 on Aug 19, 2022 6:17:40 GMT
Sacral Chakra (Womb/Pelvis) Healing for Empaths
“I was an empath in the womb. Oh- I was absorbing my mom’s emotions.”
Empaths & the Sacral Chakra
If you’re an empath, you are naturally a good listener with a giving nature. You use your intuition to filter information. Your intuition may come in as a feeling, knowing, vision, or as words. Intuition comes through the chakra centers in the body.
A chakra is an energy center in the body and in Sanskrit, chakra means disk or wheel. Your sacral chakra is located two inches below the belly button. It is the center of emotional stability and is associated with creativity, sexuality, relationships, and passion.
When your sacral chakra is balanced your emotions will be stable, you’ll be clear on exactly what you want, and relationships will bring you joy. When the sacral chakra is blocked and under active, relationships will be rocky, libido is low, emotions will be “all over the place,” and you will struggle with focus.
Intuition from the sacral chakra will come in as a feeling. The sacral chakra is where we connect emotionally in relationships. For empaths, this is the area where we can absorb the emotions of others.
How does the Sacral Chakra become under active?
If not processed, emotions like fear, guilt, anger, or shame can become stuck and cause a blocked and underactive sacral chakra. The sacral chakra can even close completely as a protective mechanism. These emotions can be our own or absorbed from others.
Experiencing sexual trauma or violence can cause unconscious emotions like fear, guilt, or shame to create blockages and under activity in the sacral chakra. When a parent or grandparent experiences sexual trauma, this can also affect the sacral chakra of children and grandchildren. Our pelvic bowl holds a memory of everything it has experienced. Guilt from unconsciously believing that a trauma was somehow our fault is very common
How to Read Your Sacral Chakra
Tune into the area a few inches below your belly button. Put your hands over this area and notice what emotions or sensations come up. Ask your higher self, “Am I holding anything that is not mine?” Try this sacral chakra healing ritual to release any emotion or thought that comes up.
Read these affirmations from Ariel Gore’s book Hexing the Patriarchy written by Poplar Rose because they are perfect for activating the sacral chakra to embrace your unique gifts:
“Your heart is your own.
It’s ok to be broken.
Your messiness is sacred.
Your emotional labor is magic.
Your tears are setting you free.
You deserve to be loved: with caring actions and sweet words.”
When you have healthy boundaries, your empathy can be felt without physically feeling the wound but with the heart instead.
Post by anne12 on Oct 18, 2022 19:00:50 GMT
Founder of Biocognitive Science Institute and Author of “The MindBody Code”
Clinical neuropsychologist Dr. Mario Martinez lectures worldwide on how cultural beliefs affect health and longevity. He is the founder of biocognitive science, a new paradigm that investigates the causes of health and the learning of illnesses in cultural contexts. He is the bestselling author of The MindBody Code: How to Change the Beliefs That Limit Your Health, Longevity, and Success.
In his biocognitive model, Mario identifies complex pathways showing how our cultural beliefs affect our immune, nervous, and endocrine systems, and translates them to create practical applications. He is the preeminent proponent of cultural psychoneuroimmunology, and has published numerous articles on “causes of health” based on his research with healthy centenarians on five different continents
Dr. Mario Martinez presents the latest neuroscience research on how the brain reacts to empathy vs. compassion.
Mario explains why empathy alone is unhealthy, how empathic fatigue is different than burnout and how the Four Immeasurables of Tibetan Buddhism require adjustments for the Western mind to avoid increasing the negative symptoms of being empathic.
He'll also explain why empaths are frequently misdiagnosed with hypochondriasis, anxiety disorders, PTSD, and depression.
The evolution of empathy from fear to compassion
Why is empathy different than compassion
How can the Buddhist Four Immeasurables be modified for the Western mind to empower Empathswww.biocognitiveculture.com