Neuroscientists have discovered specialized cells in the brain, called mirror neurons, that spontaneously create brain-to-brain links between people. This means that our brain waves, chemistry and feelings can literally mirror the brain waves, chemistry and feelings of people who we are communicating with, reading stories about, watching on television, or those who we simply have in our thoughts.
We may think that our feelings and emotions are our exclusive property, that they belong to us and that we alone can feel them. However, emotions can easily pass from person to person, like infectious smiling. The way we feel can affect the way other people are feeling.
Some people are so highly sensitive, that they can start feeling the way other people feel. They can start experiencing other people’s feelings as their own feelings. Much of the time this is done unconsciously.
People commonly put on a show of expression, hiding their true feelings and emotions. Sometimes, people are struggling to understand their own feelings. Highly sensitive people (or empaths) can sense the truth behind the cover and can help that person to better understand and express him/herself, thus making them feel at ease and not so desperately alone.
Empaths are often poets in motion. They are the born writers, singers, and artists with a high degree of creativity and imagination. They are known for many talents as their interests are varied, broad and continual, loving, loyal and humorous. They often have interests in many cultures and view them with a broad-minded perspective.
Empaths are often problem solvers, thinkers, and studiers of many things. As far as empaths are concerned, where a problem is, so too is the answer. They often will search until they find one – if only for their own peace of mind.
Empaths are often very affectionate in personality and expression, great listeners and counselors (and not just in the professional area). They will find themselves helping others and often putting their own needs aside to do so.
Empaths are often quiet and can take a while to handle a compliment for they’re more inclined to point out another’s positive attributes.
Empaths have a tendency to openly feel what is outside of them more so than what is inside of them. This can cause empaths to ignore their own needs or get overwhelmed and confused with everything they feel.
An empath’s sensitivity is a gift but in order to fully develop and manage it they need to learn how to stop absorbing other people’s stresses. They need to learn to center and protect themselves, set healthy boundaries, and let go of the painful feelings they picked up from others.
There is a number of self-protection strategies for empaths including:
- Evaluation: is this feeling mine or someone else’s? It could be both. Feelings are catchy, especially if they relate to a hot button issue for you. You are more prone to take on the emotional or physical pain that you haven’t worked out in yourself. The more you heal issues that trigger you, the less likely you’ll be to absorb disturbing feelings from others.
- Step away from what’s disturbing you. In a physical space when possible, distance yourself by at least twenty feet from the suspected source. See if you feel relief. If a movie or a book are negatively affecting you, stop watching or reading.
- Get to know your vulnerable points and protect them.
- Surrender to your breath. Concentrate on your breath for a few minutes. This is centering and connects you to your power.
- Set healthy limits and boundaries. Control how much time you spend listening to stressful people, and learn to say “no.” Remember, “no” is a complete sentence.
- Visualise protection around you. Visualise an envelope of white light around your entire body.
- Go for a walk or enjoy another outdoor activity. Empaths often find themselves continually drawn to nature as a form of ‘release’ from other people’s feelings. It is the opportune place to recapture their senses and gain a sense of peace in the hectic lives they may live.
Don’t panic if you occasionally pick up pain or some other nasty symptom. It happens. With these strategies you can have quicker responses to stressful situations. This will make you feel safer, healthier, and your sensitivities can blossom.
- Image 1 from Jesus was the greatest empath…
- Image 2 from http://psicotrans.wordpress.com
- Image 3 by Squirrrel
- Image 4 from http://nspt4kids.com
- Image 5 from http://psychcentral.com
- Image 6 from picturequotes