Overly Sensitive or Highly Intuitive?

Being an Empath

Overly sensitive or highly intuitive?

Do you notice yourself getting easily overstimulated? Do you tend to pick up and take on moods and emotions of others? Does scrolling on the internet make you weary? What about crowds and lots of social interaction? Does it feel like you need day or more to recover after a big family or social event? It might feel like you’re overly sensitive or highly intuitive.

These are a few things I noticed in myself too. As a child I would panic that I would get whatever ailment another person had because I could feel it so deeply whenever I witnessed it. In other words, I internalized it. Also in my younger days I felt like I didn’t quite fit in and often felt alienated from my peers. No one was particularly mean to me or intentionally tried to exclude me as far as I could tell, it just didn’t feel like I really belonged.

Thinking I needed to improve on my coping skills led to many stress management courses and personal growth to find ways to manage overwhelm and overstimulation. Along the way I learned what it meant to be an Empath and was amazed how I could check off most, if not all the boxes. So it wasn’t just me afterall!

Managing Overwhelm

Tuned into many things at once can make you feel hypervigilant and may appear a lot like generalized anxiety. Because of this sensory overload, it might feel soothing to turn off the radio, phone, or television. Especially the news! Hanging out in nature, among animals, or alone in your room can be quieting for the mind and calm frazzled nerves.

It’s easy for a highly sensitive person to get overloaded from caring too much. Boundaries, especially psychic boundaries, takes on essential meaning. I’ll share a few ways I used to clear and protect my energy in a moment. One thing I know for sure is that I often need downtime to restore and replenish.

Does any of this sound familiar?

Overly Sensitive or Highly Intuitive?

Before I knew about being an empath, I would explain that I was really sensitive to lights and noise, and often preferred spending time in quiet solitude. Heightened sensitivity to electromagnetic frequencies (EMFs) is also common among empaths. This “sensitivity” increased as my vibration elevated and when I learned to “tune in” more that try to “tune out”, it was easy to recognize this empathic ability was more of a gift than a curse. Because empaths can pick up on subtle cues, they can provide insight into what might be going on with another person, animal, or plant. Empaths have a strong intutive abilitly that is channelled through claircognizance (clear knowing) and clairsentience (clear feeling).

Being an Empath

Dr. Judith Orloff and Psychology Today explains that there are some differences between highly sensitive persons and empaths in that empaths tend to absorb energy around them, not just feel it.

3 Steps to Clear and Protect Your Energy

No matter the label you most identify with, the following steps will guide you to direct your energy in more healthful ways so you can protect your energy and take back your power!

1. Understand YOUR Energy

Cultivate self-awareness, awareness of YOUR OWN energy so you can best discern what belongs to you and what does not.

It takes a lot of energy to continually protect and deflect and you can quickly feel worn down and exhausted.

Reflect on how you currently manage your energy or direct your energy flow. How do you practice discernment? In other words, are you able to differentiate your own feelings emotions from the feelings and emotions of those around you?

Sometimes, and particularly for empaths, one has a tendency to absorb the thoughts, feelings and emotions of others. For example, you may feel happy and content one minute, then if someone who is feeling angry can walks by you, you may suddenly feel tense and become irritable. Start noticing how you may be affected by the others moods and get to know yourself really well to be better able to discern what belongs to you, and what doesn’t.

If you are “highly sensitive” or have a strong empathic gift, you can become easily overwhelmed and move from enthusiasm to overload rather quickly. 

Subtle influences impact you and your energy every minute of every day. It’s vital to become more aware of what you are tuning into and consciously choose what you will allow into your body, mind, and spirit.

2. Establish Psychic Boundaries

Without boundaries you become a “sponge.” You can care, but don’t carry.

Signs you may be carrying the burdens or emotions of others: hard time forgiving, feeling angry, cranky, irritable or tired when in the presence of certain people or even after just thinking about them, aversion or trying to avoid certain people. This could be coworkers, neighbours, friends, family members, or even people you don’t know crossing paths with you.

Establish healthy boundaries by being honest with your needs and truthfully saying “yes” or “no” in response to someone’s request. Really look at your motivation behind what you are saying yes to. Be conscious of “what you put out there” in term so your thoughts and attitudes as it will be exactly what you attract back to you.

3. Cultivate Resilience

Where does your energy go? DECIDE where you would like to direct it. An energy leak is something that leaves you feeling drained. It can be a bad habit or behaviour, unnecessary worry, a relationship that takes and never gives back, and any time your obstacle gets the better of you. Energy leaks can also manifest as distractions or obsessive thoughts. Remember, that momentum will attach itself to whatever it is focused on.

In order to become strong and centered, you must strengthen your being on all levels. This means physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. We tend to focus more on “basic survival needs” such as proper eating, sleep and exercise. Our “higher needs” to feed ourselves spiritually are also important. Honour these needs by taking the time to regroup and engage in self-care practices. Cultivate healthy energy habits.

Search deep inside for what is meaningful for you and engage more in those things. You will naturally build more energy this way and life shifts.

If you suffer from compassion fatigue or burnout you might enjoy this article on cultivating resilience to minimize the effects of compassion fatigue as well.

I know when I moved from a frantic life of moving from one thing to the next and shuffling various projects and tasks, to one that was more fulfilling and aligned with what my heart truly desired, I felt freer, lighter, and more at peace. What I learned from this shift is that practicing self-care – regularly – is vital for your well-being!

open heart to the sky

Here Are Some Ideas to Get Started

Soak in a salt bath. Himalayan salts or Epsom salts help to detoxify the body and cleanse the soul.

Take time to pray and/or meditate. These practices can be verbal, silent, with movement or in stillness and deepens your connection with yourself and your true source of power. You can find use my guided meditation recording here for free.

Place a plant near your bed and ask that it be used to help replenish you and tune back into your natural rhythms. Avoid plants, which are pointy or prickly.

Spending time in natural settings can do wonders for your body, mind and spirit! Nature is a natural healer.

Play music that soothes your soul or gets you singing and dancing!

Use aromatherapy to calm the senses and alleviate stress. Place therapeutic grade essential oils in a diffuser or in a bowl of boiled water to diffuse in your bedroom, office (unless it is a scent free environment), or living space.

Downtime is REQUIRED to regroup, replenish. Give yourself a rest!

Stop as often as necessary to re-connect your energy. Stay full, stay in a state of love. Remember, once you achieve this state of love, no-thing nor anyone can pull more energy from you than you can replace.

Final note: You must stay conscious of this process for it to work, especially when you interact with others.

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