An Open Letter To The Empath & Highly Sensitive Person

photo of man leaning on wooden table

Levels of empathy fell by 48% between 1979 and 2009.

Zurich

There aren’t too many empaths in the world. Empaths also known as highly sensitive people, care way more than the average person, and that can be a burdensome weight to carry.

As an empath myself, I have experienced a few things that made me change my view of the world. So my dear empath reader here are some of the things you should know.

Don’t apoligise for crying

“Never be ashamed to let your tears shine a light in this world.”

– Anthon St. Maarten

Goodbyes at the airport are always teary, and everyone looks at you like you are the crazy one. You may be the only one who cries when you say goodbye to your family at the airport, even if you are going on a short trip and will see them when you get back. I know this because I have been in this position many times. I used to be so embarrassed after crying in public, but I am not ashamed anymore. When my emotions get the better of me I let it out. Its okay to cry especially when it shows that you care.

Set your boundaries in your relationships

“Why is sensitivity perceived as being dangerous? When we’re sensitive, we feel things we were taught not to feel. When we’re sensitive, we are completely open to attack. When we’re sensitive, we are awake and in touch with our hearts – and this can be very threatening to the status quo indeed.”

 Aletheia Luna

Have you been walked all over by saying yes all the time? You are certainly not alone in this. Many empaths feel bad if they can’t help others in their time of need, so they end up inconveniencing themselves. I have fallen into this pradicament so many times. But nowadays, I tell myself that – until I have a strong conviction about something – I will just say no!

Why is it that you are a good friend to others but not to your own self? Think about that for a minute, then think of ways you can be kinder to yourself.

This takes me to my next point.

You can’t help everyone

Empaths are drawn to helping others and in doing so they take on more than their fair share, and sometimes find it difficult to emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually cope with this onslaught of output.

Thought Catalog

As an empath, you will find yourself attempting to help other people. Because you care so deeply for others, you want them to be okay and so you attempt to solve their problems. But you are only one person and can’t solve everyone’s problems.

So next time you feel compelled to help someone, try to ask yourself two main questions.

  • Can I afford to help this person without inconveiencing myself?
  • Will my mental health be affected if I help this person?

Protect your energy

“The Empath is often said to have such a great degree of empathy that they can literally feel what others feel, and thus intuitively know many of the yearnings, sensitivities, tastes and even thought patterns of the people they’re around.”

Aletheia luna

Don’t let just anyone dump their stuff on you. You already know that you feel things intensely so always try to protect your energy. You can be healthy and fit but if something or someone is draining you mentally, you need to protect yourself by setting boundaries.

Practical ways you can protect your energy

  • Lets say you are already feeling sad about something, then your friend calls you to vent about their problems. Since you are feeling sad, you should tell your friend that you are not in the right mental state to listen. You can always reschedule a later time and date to talk to them.
  • One of the most powerful ways you can pick yourself up when you are feeling low is by praying. God sees and hears all things and talking to him about it could even help you realise a few things. Use this time to meditate on scripture about mental health. Read some Psalms, that always helps me.

Keep a journal

Not only is keeping a journal amazing for your mental health, its also a great way to keep your emotions in check. For example, you can try journalling to document your emotions. Whether its intense sadness you are feeling, write it down and don’t hold back. Detail exactly how you feel and try to explore why you feel that way. Analyse your throughts and ask yourself some critical questions. It might help you know what you need to do next.

Be careful with what you consume

If you know you can’t handle seeing people in pain, then you can avoid watching the news 24/7.

Yes, it’s important to stay informed, but don’t overdo it. You already know that seeing all the awful things happening around the world will affect your mood, so don’t overdo it.

Final thoughts

Being an empath is hard. There are so many more things to keep in mind as you go down the dreary paths of your highly alert senses. Try to keep your thoughts in check with journalling and be honest about your emotions to yourself and to the people close to you. The more people who understand you, the better they can support you in the times when you need it most.

2 thoughts on “An Open Letter To The Empath & Highly Sensitive Person

  1. This is timely. I’m learning a lot of big and hard lessons… Being an empath is hard in a world that is wired to give less and get more. We need to constantly invest in our physical, mental and emotional well being.

    1. Yes being an empath is hard! thanks for sharing I am also learning a lot too as I get older. That’s just life. I now know what kind of people I can befriend and the ones that will soak up all my energy I just avoid to be honest and that’s OK.

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