Learn to Surf the Waves: 8 Survival Strategies for Empaths

Hello there, my fellow feeler. I am hoping that you might find this article helpful. If you are like most empaths, you find yourself overcome by emotions and the general heaviness of life. It can be hard to know how to navigate these ups and downs (eg waves) and stay afloat. I am here to offer some suggestions to help.

One of my specialties that I am passionate about is working with empaths. Thus, you can say that I am essentially an empath counselor. Yes, therapists like this do exist. I understand how the sensitivity and gifts of an empath can be misconstrued in negative ways. As an intuitive (and empath) myself, I get it. I live it each day.

Let’s start with a hard fact: You are wired to feel. That ability to feel is your emotional compass. However, being so open to that perception can be overwhelming. A lot of empaths that I work with learned to turn it off (v. dial down the volume). This actually causes more problems in the long run than good. You are meant to feel. However, you are not meant to suffer. What comes out of struggles is learning to manage the waves of emotions and for you to find ways to navigate them with greater ease. You can, in essence, learn to manage them so they do not manage you.

As an empath, you will likely feel along the full range of what is identified as ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ emotions. Numbing techniques are not advisable. However, here are some concrete coping suggestions:

  1. Listen to your INNER VOICE. Use your emotions to guide you. If it feels adverse, move away and create space between you and the object of attention (person, place, event). Even if it does not seem to ‘match’ in the immediate moment, trust it. Empaths get into the most trouble when they dismiss or disregard their intuitive voice that tells them to leave an unhealthy situation.
  2. Learn to SHIELD. There are tons of options on how to shield your energy from others. It can be as simple as envisioning yourself in a plastic bubble, or a giant transparent shield between you and the environment, with the intention of it protecting and deflecting energy. This helps limit absorbing energy, especially negative energy, that is not yours.
  3. Learn to GROUND: Get outside. Dig in dirt. Sit in the sun. Walk barefoot on grass or on earth. Take showers and baths. Use any earth element to move the energy in your body. It is especially helpful to be outdoors in the actual elements to do so. Making this part of your daily routine is vital and helpful. Many find it calming and restorative.
  4. Learn to SHAKE IT OFF: If you feel bogged down and heavy, or notice you are taking on others stuff, shake your hands and body and say “I release back to the universe that which is NOT mine.” You can unknowingly act like a sponge and absorb the energy of spaces and others. This can help move that out of your body and energy field.
  5. Learn to set BOUNDARIES: Learn to say no without guilt. Learn to invest in yourself. Learn self care and your limits. We often feel when we have crossed over our boundary. It feels awful. Take that information and a few steps backward until you find a better balance. Honor your limits.
  6. Learn SELF CARE: You must take care of you first. This greatly relates to boundaries as Empaths can dedicate all of their time to helping others. You will burn out. It is important to make sure you are not labeling self love as selfish. They are not the same. Self care is critical to well being and empaths are the most notorious for not setting aside time to do it. What self care looks like varies by the person.
  7. Learn to ASK FOR WHAT YOU NEED: In relationships, for you to feel meaningful connection, it is important for you to identify and request that your needs be met. This is a reciprocated process and it is important, for you, that you do not just simply on pleasing those around you. Do not set aside your needs. This is not helping but setting up a dynamic in which you will not be fed by those around you.
  8. Learn and practice MINDFULNESS: Learn to meditate or engage in activities that center you in your core. It is incredibly important that you learn to disconnect from thoughts and worries, reside in heart space, and learn to align mind, body and spirit. The mind has its purpose but tends to confuse and distort things for empaths and lead them off track. You intuitively know the truth.

These are very important suggestions but you might have no clue how to really implement it. Do your work! Practice! Seek consult! Learn!

If you are wanting or needing more support, please check out services aimed at helping to teach these skills on a 1-1 basis.

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