Picking up other people’s emotions is something I have done all my life. It was so normal to me that it didn’t occur to me that this was something not everybody experienced. There wasn’t a real difference between feeling my own emotions and feeling the emotions from other people. It all felt the same and it all felt intense!
Things started to fall into place when I was at home with chronic fatigue at age 22 and my sister gave me a book about high sensitivity. A lot of my struggles suddenly made sense and I realised I had to learn how to deal with this sensitivity that I had always had, but never really learned how to manage.
Since reading that first book, a lot has changed for me. Here’s what I learned along the way. These are the 4 steps that I believe will greatly enhance your life when you’re sensitive:
1) Always, always make sure you are grounded
Make sure that you are always grounded, as much as you can. This means being present in your body (feeling your body) and being connected to the Earth. Sensitive people have a tendency to not be grounded, which makes them even more vulnerable and easily brought out of balance by everything they are feeling from other people.
You can ground yourself either by physical activity, by being in nature or through meditation.
Grounding through meditation is a very simple process. Just move your attention through your body, feeling your body from your crown to your feet. Then visualise or think about 3 lines connecting your body with the Earth. One under each foot and one under the base of your spine (what is called your base chakra). That’s it!
2) You have to know what is yours and what is not
Your grounding will actually help you understand which emotions are yours and which ones are from other people.
Awareness is key here.
When you suddenly feel sad without a sad thought that came before the feeling, look around you. Sometimes we pick up emotions from people in the supermarket, people that we pass on the street, or someone who is in the room with us. We can even pick up emotions from people that we love without being in the same room with them!
Pay attention to your thoughts and when they do not seem to be congruent with what you feel, then what you are feeling is probably not yours.
3) Learn to let go of what is not yours
Once you’ve discovered that you have picked up emotions from other people, it is time to let them go. You are not helping anyone by processing the emotions from other people.
There are many ways you can let go of what is not yours but you have to be grounded first. If you are not grounded, the energy of the emotion has nowhere to go and you will keep feeling it until you ‘ground it out’.
So first of all, re-establish your grounding by becoming aware of and feeling your entire body and your connection with the Earth.
Then visualize or think about yourself standing under a waterfall of light and let the light wash away everything that’s not yours. Or you can take a deep breath and affirm: “I choose to let go of everything that’s not mine”. Take a few more breaths and imagine that everything that is not yours is leaving your body, flowing into the Earth through your grounding cords.
4) Learn to stay focused on yourself
As sensitive people, we tend to continuously go outside of ourselves with our energy and attention, focusing on what other people feel, want and need. This leaves us energetically scattered and vulnerable.
When you learn to be centered in yourself, it becomes much easier to deal with everyday life.
To stay centered in yourself, you can use your body as your anchor, and your breath as a way to connect with your body at all times. By focusing on your breath you automatically connect with your body and with the present moment.
If something happens around you, make it a habit to first focus on your breath and your own body. Then deal with the situation. This will help you to stay much more balanced, even when there is a lot going on around you.
Learning and becoming aware of these four things has really helped me not only deal with my sensitivity but also enjoy the gifts that come with it. When you are an empath you have the potential of being very intuitive and helping others with your gifts. You can’t stop your sensitivity but you can learn how to deal with it and really enjoy your life as a sensitive person.
If you are struggling with your sensitivity and you would like to learn how to deal with it in a way that is joyful and balancing for you, check out my online course Thriving with Sensitivity.
Through guided meditations and practical tools you will learn to stay true to yourself, to let go of what is not yours and start to enjoy life with all your sensitivity. Click here for more information