Being an empath and a sensitive person is a great gift, but as with anything else, it also comes with its set of challenges. As empaths and sensitives we possess a heightened perception and intuitive abilities, and often pick up on energy from our environment, especially from other people. We can tune into how people are feeling emotionally and sometimes even physically. This makes us sensitive to other people’s needs and teaches us compassion and empathy, but it can also be exhausting when we take on too much of their energy, often without realizing it, and then later on we don’t realize why we are feeling bad or out of sorts.
Several empaths and sensitives in my circle have recently been asking me about how to protect their energy as an empath to avoid feeling overwhelmed and out of balance, so I was inspired to write this blog post to address that question and also help anyone else who may be struggling with this particular challenge.
Grounding is associated with our base (or root) chakra, and basically helps us to stay rooted in the physical world. One of the most important things we can do for ourselves is to make sure we are grounded and feeling a sense of stability and presence in our bodies. Especially those times when we realize that we are starting to lose our footing a little or begin to feel overwhelmed (even if we don’t realize why), grounding exercises can be very helpful, and essential for empaths and sensitives. They can help with sleep, too.
Physical activity helps us to stay grounded, be it more vigorous exercise like running, or less vigorous such as going for a walk or doing some gentle yoga. Any connection to the earth is great, so working with the earth, doing gardening, or just being out in nature, are all good.
Certain essential oils help with grounding, such as patchouli or vetiver, or the Balance blend from DoTerra. You can place a drop of oil on the soles of your feet, and/or at the tailbone where your root chakra is located. Then rub the remaining oil between your palms and hold them in front of your nose and inhale a couple of times. The sense of smell is associated with the root chakra, too, so inhaling the oils and enjoying their fragrance is another way to ground yourself.
Energy exercises for grounding can be great, such as visualizing red (or white) light coming up from the ground, and breathing it up into your feet, up your legs and into the tailbone at the base of your spine. As you exhale, visualize the light going back down and into the earth, forming roots to anchor you into the earth. You can do this a few times, until you feel grounded and connected to the earth.
Protection & Shielding
Protecting and shielding yourself from outside energies is very important for an empath and sensitive, especially if we know we are going to be around a lot of people, or in a toxic environment that may cause stress and anxiety.
Crystals and stones like black obsidian (mahogany and snowflake obsidian are great too), hematite and black tourmaline are excellent both for grounding and protection. You can wear them on your body, put them in your pocket or purse, and also place them around your house, so that you can make your house into a protected sanctuary where you can receive peace and restore yourself. Amethyst is another wonderful stone for protection, and can also be worn as jewelry (the other stones can technically be worn as jewelry, too, but may be a little too intense to wear unless it is in our lower centers associated with the root chakra, such as the ankles etc.)
You can also shield and protect yourself with the help of visualization techniques, such as simply imagining a shield that surrounds your body, and no negative energy can penetrate it. This white light exercise is a good one to do every day, or whenever you feel you need to, to protect yourself and your own energies:
Take three nice deep breaths. Feel white light coming in through the top of your head. Inhale and bring it all the way down to your heart. Exhale and feel it radiate into every cell of your body, pushing out any stagnant or negative energy. Let’s do this two more times. Bring the white light in through the top of your head and send it into every cell. One more time. Now inhale again through your nose, and this time bring the white light down to your solar plexus, above your navel. Feel it gathering at your solar plexus. Then exhale and radiate the white light out from your solar plexus, past your body, past your aura, to completely surround your aura in a three hundred and sixty degree shield of protective white light. Do this two more times. Inhale and bring the white light down to your solar plexus. Exhale and send that light out, to completely surround your aura.
Energy Clearing & Emotional Release
Crystals are great to release and clear energy, and probably the best one is smoky quartz, especially smoky quartz points. These can be placed with the points away from your body, such as below your feet, and let them to their magic and clear away any negative energy.
Smudging with sage or other herbs is a great way to clear any area, such as a room or your house of any unwanted energies, and you can also use it to clear your own energy field. Just light the sage or herbs on fire, blow it out and move the bundle and the smoke around your body to clear your own energies. You could also use incense for this if you prefer.
One of my favorite things to do for clearing and release of negative energies, is to take a salt bath. Salt is very grounding, and helps to clear away stress and negative energies, including anything we may have picked up from our environment during the day. The more pure the salt, the better, and you can use pink Himalayan salt, regular sea salt, dead sea salt, epsom salts or any other natural salt that takes your fancy. Add a few drops of your favorite essential oils and you have a wonderfully purifying and relaxing experience.
As you bathe you may want to do some deep breathing to help release even more stress and negative energy, as the breath is probably the easiest and simplest way to release and clear energy, that doesn’t require any additional tools. Just take a few deep breaths, inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth as you envision any stress and negativity leaving your body and mind with each exhale.
I hope you enjoyed this relatively long post. I felt it was important to get all the three elements of grounding, protection and clearing in there. These tools and exercises have definitely helped me out a lot on my own path of dealing with the sensitivity and challenges of being an empath, so I do hope you find them helpful and try some of them out. 🙂
Love & light,