Are You An Empath? 13 Traits of Empaths
Are You An Empath?
Can you sense a person’s mood just by looking at them? Do you walk into a room and have an instinctive sense that something has happened? Have you ever been sat among a group of people and felt your energy being leeched away? Can you listen to someone’s story about a total stranger and be moved to tears? Can you become so immersed in a scene or an image that you can feel your heart stirring or the hairs standing up on the back of your neck? Do you feel things without knowing why you’re feeling them?
If you answered yes to these questions, it is highly likely that you are an empath.
What is an empath?
Empaths have clairsentient abilities which means they pick up on energies of people and surroundings instinctively. They can perceive physical sensitivities and spiritual stimuli. They sense the motivations and intentions of other people. Empaths tend to be negatively affected by unfavourable energies from external sources. What’s more, they can experience more physical and emotional pain than other people. As an empath you have an innate ability to intuitively feel and perceive others. This can result in you leading a life that is unconsciously influenced by others’ desires, wishes, thoughts, and moods.
“Our inner wisdom is persistent, but quiet. It will always whisper, but it will never stop knocking at your door.” Vironika Tugaleva, Author, The Love Mindset
Are empaths psychic?
I’ve heard some people say that being an empath doesn’t necessarily mean you are psychic. This is true in some instances. However, many people such as mediums, psychics and spiritual healers are also empaths. Having empathic tendencies, no matter how powerful or nascent they are, predisposes you towards the realm of supersensory awareness.
There are several traits that distinguish empaths. Read on to see what they reveal to you.
Energy sensing and replication
Empaths sense energies of those close to them. This ability to sense others’ energies can lead them to replicate similar physical sensations such as shortness of breath, tightness of chest and sweating in a loved one who is suffering a heart-attack.
Empaths, although generally sensing energy, have an ability to see things while they are happening or before they have happened. A friend of mine saw his father’s face in his mind’s eye at the time he was fatally knocked down by a car. When he saw the face, he had an overwhelming sense of calm from the unsaid message his father spoke.
Do you sense or see things while or before they happen? I get funny looks off friends when I try and describe what I see. Often, to avoid confusion, I’ll tell the children before we leave on a trip that I’ve foreseen an animal run across our path from left to right or vice versa. Sure enough it happens. In my previous house I would wake up most nights to see a swirling, undulating mass of energy a couple of feet above my head. I’ve also been lucky enough to see a ghost in my parent’s old house. She was a modern-day woman. I was thankful someone who I don’t know had seen the same lady to help qualify my experience.
Empaths are highly intuitive
The empath uses intuition as their main language. An empath generally has a feeling that something is going to happen in a certain way. Intuitively an empath can pick up on people’s emotions before they say or do anything. When empaths have a sense of imminent catastrophe, listen to them! Have you ever had a feeling that something wasn’t going to work out as planned? Or you had a feeling that a friend was going to let you down at the last minute? Or you turn around to look directly at a total stranger whose eyes have been boring into you? That’s your intuition working.
Empaths often struggle in love
Empaths often find it hard to secure lasting peace in an intimate relationship. This is because they can feel as though their energy and freedom are being sucked away against their control. This manifests because of a primal need to spend time alone. It is also because of an empath’s tendency to morph into the energetic field of their partner. This means they can become lost and deprived of who they are in their own skin. What’s more, empaths often end up giving more of themselves than they can afford long term. Their love of helping and communing with others can create an extensive debit sheet as they run out of energy to maintain the status quo.
In an intimate relationship, time alone and the value of freedom can be difficult to maintain. Oftentimes. the perceived irons of a relationship are too much. Consequently, the empath ends up spending much of the time single. The advantage that can help an empath in this situation is their ability to be happy on their own.
Likewise, when empaths do fall in love, it is quite often with another empath. When they are secure enough in their respective environments, empaths can have intimately affectionate relationships. Furthermore they operate within a mutual respect of each other’s needs, underlined by a deep sense of trust.
Sensitivity to sensations
Empaths are generally hyper-sensitive to the weather and changes in barometric pressure. Do you sense a thunderstorm approaching with that heavy, sludgy feeling? It’s almost as though the air is weighed down with an invisible, leaden cloak.
Out of the five senses, (sight, sound, touch, smell, taste), touch tends to be the strongest sense. Empaths are tactile and often dress for comfort over glamour. Clothes that restrict go against the sense of comfort, need for freedom and fluidity of movement. Empaths favour soft and natural fabrics.
The lure of the moon
As an empath, you feel an all-pervasive connection to the moon. Empaths find it hard to sleep soundly during a full moon. It’s as though there is an energy that keeps plucking away at you as you try and sleep. I’ve given up exercising during a full moon as it nearly kills me off. Be aware of exercising during the next full moon and notice the difference.
I think the powerful influence of the moon may be due to the fact that the human adult body is made up of approximately 60% of water. The brain and heart are made up of 73% water! When you consider the power of the moon on the tides, it’s no wonder that it must exert an influence on the fluid in our bodies.
Interestingly, the word “lunatic” derives from the Latin “luna” which means moon. This suggests that as early as the 13th century, lunacy was associated with the phases of the moon.
“She didn’t quite know what the relationship was between lunatics and the moon, but it must be a strong one, if they used a word like that to describe the insane.” Paolo Coelho, Veronika Decides to Die
Empaths are predisposed to emotional instability due to the sensitivity towards experiencing other people’s emotions. And let’s face it, people tend to give off more negative than positive emotions. Emotional instability can cause the empath to suppress the pain they experience which can lead to substance abuse and eating disorders. The absorption of negative energies often causes empaths to suffer from digestive and anxiety-related disorders.
It is important that empaths realise they are empaths and not some “overly-sensitive” individual living a life surrounded by people that don’t “get” them. The moment of discovery can be life-changing, empowering the empath to learn how to protect and ground him or herself.
Your resilience to emotional instability can be strengthened by uncovering your life’s purpose. Do you feel as though you have a deeper purpose in life? Depending on how aware you are of your empathic nature may affect how aligned you are with your life purpose.
“Sometimes I think, I need a spare heart to feel all the things I feel.” Sanober Khan, A Thousand Flamingos
As an empath it is likely that your life is unconsciously influenced by others’ desires, wishes, thoughts, and moods. This can lead you to behaviour that is uncharacteristic of your true nature. You subconsciously mould your behaviour to match that of people around you. You may remember occasions where you wonder why you behaved in such a way that is in total opposition to your principles. Generally speaking, you’ll have taken on the energies of the person influencing you and it’s not until you are alone again that you look back with the clarity of your own convictions.
Time alone is very important to the empath, especially when spent in nature. Empaths tend to be very happy in their own skin as it gives them chance to recalibrate and just be, without the energies of other people influencing them.
You will find that as an empath you tend to wear your heart on your sleeve and find it hard to hide your emotions. Honesty and integrity are extremely important to empaths. You find it impossible to pretend to like something or find something funny that doesn’t resonate with you. Furthermore, it’s likely that your mannerisms will give you away. Empaths operate from a position of honesty. This means that trying to be somebody you’re not is nigh on impossible, and all the better for it too! You are what people see.
Empaths have an uncanny knack of spotting a liar. They sense it instinctively. As an empath you have a strong intuitive voice that tells you when things are right or wrong. You somehow just know it.
You are choosy about who you spend your time with. Empaths often have just a small circle of trusted friends that they feel comfortable with. Empaths have an instinctive ability to avoid toxic people, probably because they can sense the energy vortex approaching them.
Empaths have a magnetism that draws people to them. It’s as though they have a sign saying “Come and tell me your deepest, darkest secrets” tattooed onto their forehead. Does this happen to you? Do you end up listening to the woes of complete strangers? It’s as though an invisible string draws people to you. In the same vein, empaths get on with a wide variety of people, from all walks of life. This is because of their ability to tune into the energy of the person they are communicating with.
Empaths are incredibly sensitive and will actively avoid watching or listening to traumatic experiences as they “feel” the pain within themselves. They take the pain inward which can feel like a torrent of torment flooding their soul.
Kindness is a fundamental trait of an empath. Empaths often work or volunteer within the healing professions. Empaths and animals enjoy reciprocal affection. Animals, as well as people, gravitate towards an empath.
Empaths tend to have strong spiritual beliefs. They are open to learning about the metaphysical such as the power of crystals, dowsing rods, pendulums, the Tarot, Fairy cards and Angel cards, the Runes.
If you’re like me, gratitude and prayer form part of your daily life. You give thanks or pray whenever the need arises rather than saving it all up for a specific time. You just do it. Whenever I see an animal dead on the road I send out thoughts of Reiki healing and focus on the Cho Ku Rei symbol to speed it on its journey. I use Cho Ku Rei on emergency vehicles to help them reach their destination safely, or when I say goodbye to my children. At the end of the day I say my prayers of thanks. Prayer and gratitude are as common-place in my 24-hours as drinking water.
If you use your empath’s skills as part of your job, the likelihood is that you aren’t as financially secure as you would like to be. This is because your love of helping people outweighs your desire for financial gain. You have an overriding urge to help people which fills you with pervasive joy regardless of payment.
Grounding for empaths
Empaths can feel constantly fatigued as they absorb other people’s emotions. Empaths have a predisposition to eating disorders, self-harm and substance abuse. These behaviours are generally used to help dull down the emotional pain that some empaths are afflicted with. It’s for these reasons that it is vitally important to know how to look after yourself and to find balance in your life.
Below are a few simple steps that you can regularly perform to help to keep you grounded and healthy.
Deep breathing helps us to relax. It flushes the body with nutrients and helps us to detoxify by stimulating the lymphatic system. Regular deep breathing will help you to maintain your peace and find relief when fatigue threatens to overwhelm you. Click here to download Flourish Therapy’s Deep Breathing Exercises.
Meditation helps to clear the emotional clutter and realign ourselves with peace. Create a meditation habit that involves a few minutes of meditation at least once a day. Not only does meditation help to clear mental clutter, it also helps to tune you in to restorative energies.
As mentioned above, the human adult body consists of approximately 60% water. Water is vital in maintaining homeostasis inside as well as outside of the body. Drink it to cleanse inside and detoxify. Bathe in it to cleanse yourself of negative energies.
If you take a bath, add a couple of spoonfuls of rock salt to the water. Salt is purifying and helps to extract negative energies. Salt also helps to relieve tired muscles. If you shower rather than bathe, mix up some small salt grains with a carrier oil and a few drops of your favourite essential oil. Rub it all over your skin and then shower it off. Not only will it cleanse you, it will leave you with silky-smooth skin. Lavender, rose and chamomile essential oils are all relaxing and smell divine. They also combine well together.
Spend time outdoors, particularly when the sun is shining to help boost your UV levels. If it is warm enough, go barefoot and benefit from the earth’s negative ions to help rebalance your energies. Awaken all your senses. Listen to the calls of the wild, fill your nose with nature’s fragrance, feel her touch against your skin, marvel at the vibrancy of her colours and harvest her berries.
Whether it’s prayer or just plain old gratitude, take time to be grateful for each day of your exceptional life. Gratitude enhances physical and mental wellbeing which helps to restore your energy levels. Gratitude also tunes your subconscious to looking for the positives. The more positives you attract, the more positives you can give out.
Exercise is beneficial to us on so many different levels. It boosts our emotional and physical wellbeing as well as helping us cope better with anxiety and setbacks. Exercise doesn’t need to involve standing in a pool of your own sweat. Do something that relaxes you such as gentle yoga, tai chi or simply walking in nature.
Being an empath means you are the holder of a wonderful gift. You sense feelings, situations, environments and people’s behaviour without any prompting or specific feedback. As an empath you enjoy a potent form of inner wisdom which gives you huge potential for powerful transformation. You have a small voice inside which becomes louder the more you listen to it.
“Highly sensitive people are too often perceived as weaklings or damaged goods. To feel intensely is not a symptom of weakness, it is the trademark of the truly alive and compassionate. It is not the empath who is broken, it is society that has become dysfunctional and emotionally disabled. There is no shame in expressing your authentic feelings. Those who are at times described as being a ‘hot mess’ or having ‘too many issues’ are the very fabric of what keeps the dream alive for a more caring, humane world. Never be ashamed to let your tears shine a light in this world.” Anthon St. Maarten, Divine Living: The Essential Guide To Your True Destiny
Empathic intuition is universal
You may find that some people will make derogative remarks or gestures towards you as an empath. This is because they don’t understand what being an empath is, because they can’t feel it or sense it. They are closed off. However, I firmly believe that we all have the ability to develop some form of empathic intuition if we truly want to.
Even if, after having read this article, you feel that you’re not an empath, you most probably can sense other people, but just haven’t realised when it happens yet. This is totally understandable as a lack of defined boundaries between the world of matter and non-matter can fox even the most skilled empaths. Ultimately we all belong to an undulating mass of energy of varying proportions. With practise, even the most ardent non-empaths will have to admit that they can sense another’s energy if they only begin to listen.
Be your own best friend
As an empath, you offer an oasis of calm and comfort to those whose lives you touch. Although at times you may feel fatigued, moody or fragmented, take heart in the immense positivity and support you proffer others in your life. Take steps to revitalise yourself regularly. Furthermore, become aware of your own limitations. Learn to be your own best friend, because a nurtured soul is a generous soul. What’s more is you deserve it.
What does being an empath mean to you?