“Mom. Name the friends you hang out with.” Sigh. I have friends, but I am a grown woman and I like my alone time. It is a familiar conversation in my house. For highly sensitive people, sometimes it is very hard to be around large crowds of people, noises, and anyone who might be trying to hide things. So that pretty much is everyone, right?
Let me explain. We all hide things to a certain degree, of course. However, if you are an empath, you pick up on so much more. <<< If you aren’t sure, I liked to my first article on my experiences. Anyway, here is an example of something that might happen to me. Someone sends me a text or a message. It seems like an ordinary message, but behind it I feel the reason they sent it and can tell that there are ulterior motives and/or strings attached. I decide whether or not I want to answer and how to answer as I know that there is something else coming. Maybe this sounds a bit woo-woo to you, but it really happens. Another example, someone says something in conversation that seems innocent to others. I look around at a gathering and see if anyone else believes what they just said and people are buying it. I am in disbelief because I feel the lie…and it makes me uncomfortable so I usually change the subject if it is a group of people or I just decide that it’s time to leave.
Final example on this…you go to social media and you see a series of clues that someone you know has put out there, but it’s like you have x-ray vision and no one in your circle does. You casually mention that so and so seems to be really upset and you think maybe they need to talk about it or something along those lines, and suddenly you are starting gossip when the truth is, you were really just concerned. This is the one that makes me upset because people are like how do you know? What did you hear? What do you know? Erm. I just felt it. So perhaps you back away slowly from this because my, that escalated quickly. Thus the makings for the empath hermit.
3 Social Tips for the Empath:
- Get centered before you go out to any event. What does that mean anyway? Put both feet flat on the ground (barefoot) and if you are sitting sit up straighter through the spine. Shrug your shoulders up towards your ears, but then relax them back down as if you are shrugging, but opening up the heart area. In my Head|Heart|Health Club, I teach these steps in a series of videos relating to yoga and connecting to the body. So now I want you to place one hand on your stomach area above your navel. I want you to take a deep breath in and then hold at the top and then release the breath feeling your hand rise and fall. Do this for a round of three. This helps get you steady, especially if you suffer from anxiety, and this breath technique is available to you at all times should you need it. You might feel like you need to deep breathe to connect to your energy more than someone’s at a party or event as a reminder that your feelings are still there and you can then snap back into your own body. This is very effective.
- Dress for the event. Visualization and physical reminders help as well. You might want to wear pink to remind yourself to imagine a bubble of love. For someone not familiar with this practice, it is easy to get caught up in these bad feelings, and feel miserable for knowing things. As we practice “bubbling up” we can visualize a bubble of pink surrounding our physical body and carrying it with us into the crowd. As many people are quick to point out the negatives of humanity, you are going to remind yourself that there is good out there as well, and carry that feeling with you in the bubble. Think of it as Harry Potter’s Patronus…”a projection of your most positive feelings”, and only you know that it’s there. If you like to wear a necklace or bracelet with a word or charm on it to remind you of that, go for it. I actually wear a bracelet with the word gratitude.
- Do work prior to going out and when you come home. Here comes the part that I teach my club, talk about on my page during my live chats, and do myself daily. I journal and I do the work. I work through all of the feelings, and I have learned to tell immediately what is mine and what is not. I protect myself from the negative energy of others through a combination of yoga, journaling, meditation/prayer, and more. It has really helped me over the years take back what is my energy and sift through what might be a negative feeling that merged with mine. For very specific instructions, videos, tutorials, breathwork, and over 30 journal prompts designed specifically for the empath, check out my guide for your soul. <<<
The work that I have done on myself and others has helped me become more aware of how I navigate the world. I could have saved myself loads of pain over the years if I had realized what was happening earlier in my life, but the good thing is that now that I know, I am able to get out more and make better friendships and connections than I did prior to learning how to control my highly sensitive emotions.
I’ll never forget the night I sat down and decided that there was much more to keeping a journal than 30 days of Gratitude. Don’t get me wrong, that is absolutely what started my goal of journaling for an entire year. In 30 days, I saw more progress in my outside world than I had in a long time. Starting a daily journal practice absolutely will change your life…if you commit to getting to know your subconscious mind.
There was a chasm, a freaking chasm, between who I wanted to be and what my thoughts were telling me. I was not living up to my full potential and the 18 years of living with invisible diseases had worn away the once shiny coat I saw of life. It was dull and bitter. This wasn’t what I saw my life looking like, I would think through the hazy fog of pain. Why bother getting out of my pajamas? My subconscious would tease me. Get under these blankets and rest. You deserve it. You have 7 invisible diseases. No one blames you for sitting here. You are just trying to survive. And that’s when it hit me.
I wanted to live, not merely survive. I wanted to change my thoughts, my world and help others like me. I wanted to be an inspiration to my children and I wanted my husband to stop feeling so helpless about the physical pain I was in. I wanted my dad to stop looking at me like he broke me by passing on the genes that made me different. And one night, it all came to me on how to help others with this.
7 Ways Starting a Daily Journal Practice Will Change Your Life:
- Journaling clears your head. As you begin the “getting ready for bed” routine, your brain has probably been on some sort of tech. Your brain still thinks it’s play time actually, so it’s time to start clearing our heads, and start putting our brains to bed so to speak. It is time to reduce the scattered thoughts that so much information available to us at one time (the internet) provides us. As we get ready for bed, it is time to increase our focus on a few specific things and start to recharge. We are now providing the bridge between our subconscious and our conscious waking thoughts. So much information can just flow if we let go!
- Your intentions become more clear. A few weeks ago, you would have thought I asked people to throw away their phones. I simply suggested getting an old-fashioned alarm clock and stop relying so much on your phones to wake you up in the morning. I merely pointed out that the tone with which you start your day stays with you (and that link is even a few years old, it is much greater now as it points out in the study). So if you take 5-10 minutes to think about what your wrote the night before, and how to utilize the first 10 minutes of waking up as pure visualization, gratitude practice, and goal setting, you will start to see tiny changes in your productivity during the day. New opportunities will arise.
- Abundance in your life will increase by your ability to be very specific with what you want. Last year, I paid off a very high credit card bill because I wrote about my monthly goals every single month until that thing was paid off. I was not in a good place financially at the time due to me leaving work to have my “sabbatical” of healing. This is a true story. I was driving a mini-van that was falling apart, and I knew that I wanted a new vehicle. The funds came in for me to pay off the credit card bills, and have money left-over to get the vehicle without worry or fear. I also renewed my passport and traveled overseas where I had been invited to speak at a conference. It was exactly what I had written out. I was specific on some things I wanted to get done and each month as I started a new month, I would plan out that month’s goals. I got very clear and things changed.
- How do you want to feel each day? Why is it so frustrating that as we live our lives, we focus so much on what we DON’T want to attract?? Why is it that we don’t ever take a minute to connect to how we actually want to feel? To live? What do we really want to experience on a daily basis? I am by no means saying that there aren’t wonderful people out there who can help you figure this out in therapy, but I was spending my co-pay ($25 a visit at the time…now up to $30), trying to get “unstuck” from the depression caused by the diseases when I finally had the Epiphany that if I wrote just a little bit each day on how I wanted to feel, and what I wanted to create, that I could make more progress through the mental jungle in my head than the lady sitting there listening to me could. I was holding back what I told her anyway (note, you can also use this in addition to, so just letting you know. There are many ways to use journaling).
- Gratitude starts to increase as you notice the good in your life. Do you ever think that someone in your life could use more thoughts of gratitude? I did too. But trying to change another person is like changing a light bulb using the Force (unless you truly are a Jedi and I am mistaken). You can mentally torture yourself about this other situation that you can’t change, or you can start focusing on the good you already have in your life. As we think about the good in our lives, and we seriously raise our vibration to one of thankfulness and gratitude, things start to take on a whole new perspective. Trust me, I know. I will never forget the day I got to stock up my refrigerator with good food because surprisingly, gluten-free items are way more expensive than things with gluten…as well as things that don’t have additives. I was so very thankful that I lived in a time when I could find the food I needed without getting sick.
- Comparison starts to melt away. I was once friend with someone who always wanted what other people had. Nothing in life made her happy. At all. This kind of stuff melts away as you focus on your monthly goals, your monthly intentions, your happiness and what you have. Who cares what person x “appears” to have? Truth bomb. They are faking it too sister. Yup. Marriage might be rocky, job might be stressful, and they never have time to just breathe. Don’t focus on their fappiness. <<< My word for Fake-happy I made up one day. That’s another story before the healing process…read later if you are there.
- Journaling gets you closer to self. Head is where your thoughts are and they are things you really don’t want others to know. Heart is actually where your self lives. The two don’t always agree. In fact, they often argue. Your head is like “Let’s be practical with this money.” Your heart is like “Oh my gosh. I need a pick-me-up today. Going to shop.” This is just my example as I couldn’t put 2 thoughts together the other day as it was a bad news day for 2 friends, so I listened to my heart and stopped working and left the house. AS I let go of that fear though, and learn to write about it, I actually visualize things working out. Not just for me, but for others in my life as well. Self is my essence and I know that it distinguishes me from others. In this instance, I am not talking about the ego. I am talking about who I was before I let all the labels of disease try to take over that essence. For me personally, I had to find my way back there and that journey will look different for each and every one of you, but whether you write two lines on a page, draw art therapy photos under quotes, bullet journal, or just jot down monthly goals and intentions, you can find your way back. Trust the process.
For more information on what came to me one night while I was journaling, see this link on my Mindful Coaching. If you want some guidance on this process, with no strings attached, you can leave at anytime, click on the word support on that page and find me in my closed group. The Head|Heart|Health Club would love to see you this month!