Surviving Empathy: My Personal Toolkit


I’m not going be one of those people that complain about their sensitivities, playing the victim card of “It’s so hard being so intuitive” (imagine the statement in the hushed whine of an ‘ultra spiritual person’ that sits non-judgementally in judgement of all of the ways that you could be more spiritually enlightened).  That being said, yes, sometimes it really is hard, especially for the natural empaths out there.

Empaths pick up on everyone emotions, especially the ‘louder’ (e.g. the more unpleasant) ones.  The same holds true for physical sensations, especially pain.  And trying to find the “off switch” is like trying to find your keys buried in the bottom of your purse or gym bag when you really REALLY need to get inside right now! That’s why I’d like to share my personal favorite ways of dealing with empathic overload.

There are a variety of ways to address excess emotional energy, and basically all of these ways involve grounding and clearing the energy off of you.

Favorite Stone for Dealing with Empathy:  Black Tourmaline

Black tourmaline is a fantastic grounding stone.  It’s also an AMAZING protector, helping to keep your energy field in tip top shape. I love the personality I feel from black tourmaline, and I also find it very helpful with keeping the ‘sticky’ electromagnetic energies at bay that you get from computers and like.  I wanted to lead with stones on this little list because it’s really easy to access the energy of stones for their intended purpose: you carry them. They can be in your pocket, in your bag, in a piece of pretty jewelry, tucked in your bra (yep, that’s right, I said it.)  With some stones, you can also make a gem elixir to bring that energy of grounding and protection directly into your body.  To make a gem elixir, place the stone in a clear glass or crystal bowl and pour water over it to cover it.  Then place the bowl in the sun for 3- 8 hours.  Alternatively, you can suspend the stone over boiling water for about 20 minutes, allowing the water vapor to condense on the stone and drip back down into the water. You can also just drop the stone in a water bottle and then allow healing energy to flow through your hands as you charge the water up. (This works especially well with Reiki.)  I’ve found the sunning method to produce the strongest results for me, and many people use this to produce an elixir that ‘enhances in potency per dilution priniciples’. (In other words, you would dilute it in the same way you would to create a homeopathic remedy).  I’m not that fancy, so I just drink the water though.  Some other stones you may want to look into for consideration:  Smoky Quartz, Hematite, Kyanite (especially the Black variety for empaths) and Citrine. ***Research the stones to make sure they are safe to make elixirs with. Some stones can leech poisonous or harmful minerals into the water. Other stones can dissolve into the water (such as selenite).***

Favorite ‘Break Glass in case of Emergency’ Method of Dealing with Empathy:  Heavy Food

That’s right.  EAT SOMETHING!!! And make it meaty and starchy if your diet allows.  This is a great way to bring yourself back into your own skin.  This is also a fairly socially acceptable thing.  Nobody is going to bat an eye if you say “I’m feeling a little spacy. I think I need a cheeseburger.” The danger in this way of dealing with ungroundedness is that you can become reliant on it.  You shouldn’t have to eat a crappy calorie laden meal to ground yourself. This should be reserved for those times that you just can’t shake everybody’s mess off of you.  And yes, it can still work for the vegetarians.  (I was vegan for a good long time, and trust me – the food trick worked without animal products). Potatoes seemed to work best for me, way better than veggie burgers.  You just want something heavy.  Other (healthier) ways of forcibly grounding that mess off of you is to wash your hands in very cold water,  or rub a spoon on the bottom of your feet. These ways can work just as well as a heavy meal, but, you know, I really like cheeseburgers.

Favorite Maintenance Method of Dealing with Empathy:  Spiritual Baths

Ok folks, if you’re empathically sensitive, you should really be taking yourself through grounding and centering (as well as visualized shielding) on a daily basis. That’s a given.  I do it several times a day actually.  But what I really enjoy:  a relaxing bathtub filled with hot water with blessed sea salt, hyssop and lavender essential oils.  Sometimes it’s a cup of apple cider vinegar and epsom salts.  Sometimes it’s an herbal blend for spiritual cleansing.  This helps to bring the brain back to center, and align the energies in the most amazing and relaxing way.  I try to do this at least once a week to help maintain my sunny disposition and keep the ickys off of me.  This is not a replacement for grounding and centering, nor should it take the place of daily meditation and exercise to help keep you in alignment.  Ideally, you should be sitting in meditation (which should included a grounding and centering) for about 10-15 minutes per day, exercising at least a half an hour every other day, and using techniques like a spiritual bath to help bolster your energies into alignment about once a week.

Other points to consider when dealing with empathy:

Getting enough sleep

Keeping your personal space uncluttered

Keeping your personal space clear of bad vibes

Feeding your Spirit (volunteering, spiritual groups/churches, etc.)


Being in nature (especially ‘Earthing’ – go barefoot!)

Having someone to talk it out with

Knowing and honoring your self and your truth

Owning when it IS your emotion, even when you’d rather that it was someone else’s junk

This is a very short list of ways that you can keep your empathy as an ally, instead of letting turn into a dragon that you want to slay.  Trust me when I say it’s far better to deal with empathy in an ongoing/maintenance capacity than to let it overtake you and then you try to regain control.  And no, you’re not expected to be perfect.  There will be days where you say ‘Screw meditating/exercising/bathing/etc’.  You are allowed.  Just try a few of these methods and see if they work for you. Give it a shot, and if they don’t improve your quality of life, so be it – you can disregard them.  Not everything will work for everyone.  But if they don’t work for you now, try them again in a couple of months and see.

Also remember this is MY list of favorites. Which means that these are MY preferences.  That does NOT mean that these are going the BEST methods. Pick and choose, and let experience be your guide.  I hope that these tips speak equally to your soul and your sensibility.  And more than that, I hope that you have FUN trying them out!

Brightest Blessings!