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Does spending too much time in crowded places make you feel stressed and anxious? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are an empath. An empath is a highly sensitive being who has the ability to absorb energy from people, places, things, plants, and animals. The most common type of energy empaths absorb is emotion. (Yes, emotion is energy.) Think of the senses—there are people who see well, people who hear well, people who are more ticklish than others. Empaths are people who feel deeply. They feel so deeply that sometimes what they are feeling is coming from something or someone else. This is because their energetic receptors, their chakras, are more open than others. Empaths must learn that their sensitivity is a gift, something to embrace and integrate, and not shut down. The more aware we are of our energy and our ability, the more we can use our empathy to serve us instead of hinder us.

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The Ten Traits of an Empath

  1. Empaths will often take on the negative emotions of others, as a subconscious way to relate with and connect to them. If someone is angry, they will feel that anger in their body. If someone is in grief, they will feel that sorrow as if the grief is happening directly to them.
  2. Empaths are natural healers. They see the pain in the world, and in others, and want to do what they can to alleviate it. Sometimes this turns them into martyrs, and they will often put others' needs before their own. They believe the better someone else feels, the better they will feel.
  3. Empaths tend to avoid large gatherings. They naturally shy away from overly crowded spaces because the energetic bombardment can overload their senses, causing deep stress and anxiety. It is not the loud music at the concert, or the glaring lights at the football arena—it's amount of energy coming from everyone in the area, and their excitement, and anger. Empaths prefer connecting with others in more intimate environments.
  4. Empaths are typically introverts. This does not mean that they do not like socializing or even that they are shy, it just means that they need sufficient time alone to rest and recharge. Solitude centers them and gives them the opportunity to let go of all they absorbed and just be with their own energy for a moment.
  5. Empaths are more tuned in to their right brains versus their left brains. Their sensitivity to the world of energy makes them more adept at working creatively, allowing their emotions to guide their expression. Music, art, literature, or any field that deals with creativity and honors emotions will suit an empath very well.
  6. Empaths are more psychic than others. Because they absorb others' emotions, they can also develop the ability to know what you are thinking and feeling before you say it. They can receive impressions from a space, an object, an animal. They think of a friend, then that friend calls. They know when their mother needs to hear from them even if they are thousands of miles apart.
  7. Empaths love to be in nature. This is because absorbing energy from nature is rejuvenating and enlightening, as opposed to the heavy emotions of other humans. Water is especially replenishing, as we are made up of mostly water. Being near moving water allows the empath to constantly move energy in and out, allowing it to flow and not get stuck.
  8. Empaths will attract energy vampires, or people who feed on an empath's ability to listen and be compassionate. Empaths must identify which people consistently drain them and set healthy boundaries in place in order to protect themselves. Empaths will often take on the role of therapist for energy vampires, because the empath feels it is their duty to do so.
  9. Empaths may be told that they give off a calm energy. People generally enjoy the company of an empath because of this. An empath can exude a natural sense of peace, it is a vibration that radiates from their very being, and others definitely notice it. They may also be more likely to meditate, or practice their form of meditation such as yoga, writing, walking, painting, etc.
  10. Some empaths are born, while others are created. A deeply painful and traumatic experience can cause the abilities of empathy to flare up in someone who was typically not that sensitive. They say heartbreak feels like the organ is literally being ripped open—this kind of pain can cause the person to develop their empathy.

The Six Types of Empaths

Emotional Empath

An emotional empath is the most common variation. They are highly sensitive to the emotions of other people. If they look at someone on the subway, they can tell how they are feeling. If the thought of a loved one or partner comes up, even if they are not in their physical vicinity, they can pick up on their emotions. Emotional empaths must take great care not to act out on what they are feeling and must learn to decipher if what they are feeling is theirs, or another's. Emotional empaths can thrive as counselors, therapists, and do well self-employed. If you are an emotional empath, you can start practicing simply by asking whether a certain emotion belongs to you or not. Quiet your thinking mind and ask your inner self. You may hear a name, or experience a vision, or simply a knowing. Trust this and make the intention if sending this energy back to where it belongs.

Physical Empath

A physical empath is someone who is highly sensitive to the physical symptoms of other people. If your child has a tummy ache and then you suddenly feel something in your stomach, you are likely a physical empath. As an example, if a physical empath absorbs the sadness of someone, they may feel pain in their back, or a headache, rather than emotional sadness. Physical empaths may have an aversion to violent movies, especially horror movies, and violent sports like boxing or wrestling. Physical empaths can make wonderful doctors, acupuncturists, massage therapists or other occupations that deal with physical healing. It is important for physical empaths to be active. Deep breathing, yoga, running, and weight lifting are all wonderful tools. The deeper their breath and activity, the more power they give their bodies to clear the energy in their exhales.

Intellectual Empath

An intellectual empath is someone who is highly sensitive to the thoughts and thought processes of other people. They can literally know what someone is thinking. This is different than knowing what someone is feeling. Whether someone is silently judging or admiring an intellectual empath, they will know it. Intellectual empaths also have the ability to understand someone's point of view—they can see how someone's circumstances lead them to think this way or believe this or that. This makes them natural leaders, human resource professionals, or anything that requires critical thinking and relating to multiple people. An intellectual empath must come to understand their own identity, and not confuse it with another's. They must also learn not to jump to conclusions. Just because someone may think unfavorably of you after one meeting, it doesn't mean that they've held on to that judgement—it may have just been a silly passing thought.

Spiritual Empath

A spiritual empath is someone who is highly sensitive to the world of spirit. They have the ability to feel the spirit of those who have passed away, and often communicate with them through dreams or thoughts. They may also have strong connections to spirit guides, angels, and other non-physical beings. They may also see or hear spirit. Some spiritual empaths have the ability to channel—to allow a spirit to influence the words they say or write to bring messages. Spiritual empaths may become professional mediums, or spiritual gurus. It is important for a spiritual empath to learn to open and close their channels, so they are not bombarded with spirit at all times of the day. This can be done through meditation or the use of crystals or talismans. If your child is a spiritual empath, it is important not to dismiss what they say they see. If they say they see grandma at night, or have an imaginary friend, listen, and help them nurture their abilities.

Geomantic Empath

A geomantic empath is someone who is highly sensitive to the energies of a specific place. They may have a special connection to a sacred site because they feel the spiritual energy there. They may be drawn to a foreign country for no logical reason because they may have had a past life there and can feel the familiar energy from times ago. They may receive information just by walking into a room. They can tap into a happy memory from a home, or a traumatic memory from a crime scene. They can also feel the flow of energy in a room. Geomantic empaths can make great interior designers, architects, geomatic or spatial engineers, or any other profession dealing the structures or space. Geomantic empaths must learn to harness their ability to read a room and gain information for a place, but not absorb the emotions in it if it's not something they want to feel. For example, if they know they are entering an abandoned psychiatric facility, or a place where people were murdered or tortured, they must take steps to protect themselves energetically with meditation, crystals, and awareness.

Psychometric Empath

A psychometric empath is someone who is highly sensitive to the energy of inanimate objects. A psychometric empath can feel the energy of a wedding ring, sensing the relationship dynamic and what the wearer of the ring is feeling. They may also have the ability to vaguely know where something came from, the significance of it, and the time period. For some mediums who are strong psychometric empaths, having an object of the loved one can help them connect more deeply and download information. Psychometric empaths can become effective investigators, historians, antique dealers, and even product designers, because they can visualize the future use of an object. Psychometric empaths must be careful if they happen to pick up an object that houses a traumatic history. They can become suddenly overwhelmed when dealing with unknown artifacts or antiques. If they sense that an object has a dark history before they touch it, they must cleanse it with sage or meditation to protect their own energy.

Earth Empath

An earth empath is someone who is highly sensitive to the energies of mother nature. Their emotions may move with the changing of the seasons; they may feel more irritable or energized during a rainy or sunny day. They feel alive in natural surroundings and less comfortable in highly populated urban areas. If you are an earth empath, you are most likely highly angered and saddened at the current state of the environment. You may do more than most in fighting for the environment and making sure you and everyone around you is doing their part in helping the planet heal. Earth empaths are also those who have a special connection with crystals, as crystals are formed within the Earth. Earth empaths make great activists, environmentalists, geologists, meteorologists, or any other profession that deals with the planet and its behavior. This population must take note of how they feel in relation to weather and environment. If they are aware of this, then they can plan to stay in during a cloudy day and honor their need to be in solitude. If they were planning a vacation, they can make sure to spend more time in the countryside or national parks versus a loud and busy city.

An earth empath is someone who is highly sensitive to the energies of mother nature. Their emotions may move with the changing of the seasons; they may feel more irritable or energized during a rainy or sunny day. They feel alive in natural surroundings and less comfortable in highly populated urban areas. If you are an earth empath, you are most likely highly angered and saddened at the current state of the environment. You may do more than most in fighting for the environment and making sure you and everyone around you is doing their part in helping the planet heal. Earth empaths are also those who have a special connection with crystals, as crystals are formed within the Earth. Earth empaths make great activists, environmentalists, geologists, meteorologists, or any other profession that deals with the planet and its behavior. This population must take note of how they feel in relation to weather and environment. If they are aware of this, then they can plan to stay in during a cloudy day and honor their need to be in solitude. If they were planning a vacation, they can make sure to spend more time in the countryside or national parks versus a loud and busy city.

Animal empaths make natural veterinarians, zoologists, marine biologists, and other professions dealing with animals. Animal empaths may enjoy the company of animals more than people. They must learn not to shut away others and spend more effort developing their skills of human interaction. They must also control themselves in terms of housing animals, they will have a tendency to want to save every animal in the shelter even if they could not realistically handle it.

A plant or flora empath is someone who is highly sensitive to the energy of plant life. Those who have the so-called green thumb are plant empaths. They know just how much water a plant needs, what type of sunlight it likes, and have no problem keeping their rooted friends alive and thriving. When a tree dies, or when flowers are cut, they may feel saddened or stressed. Some plant empaths can communicate with plants, some shamans are known to have this ability. This is how many ancients knew how to use a specific herb for a specific ailment. Plant empaths would enjoy professions as herbalists, gardeners, farmers, and all fields dealing with the cultivation of plant life. Plant empaths can center themselves by meditating under a tree or smelling the fragrance of their favorite flower. They are naturally drawn to alternative medicine and will prefer to take herbal or plant-based treatments over chemical or highly processed cures. They must learn to find a balance in the world of medicine.

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