We all know someone who is more sensitive than others and more affected by the hardships around them.
The term that describes these sensitive people is "empaths." But unlike the experience of normal empathy, they not only share in others' joy and pain, they actually feel and absorb others' emotions and physical symptoms.
Empath's heightened experience of the world can overwhelm or even damage them, unless they learn tools to empower and ground themselves.
Julie Ann's ConsciousSHIFT guest, Dr. Judith Orloff - author of The Empath's Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People - says that research shows that 1 out of 5 people are highly sensitive.
But what is the difference between having empathy and being an empath or highly sensitive?
"Empathy means our heart goes out to another person in joy or pain," says Dr. Orloff. "But empaths actually feel others' emotions and physical symptoms in their own bodies, without the usual defenses most people have.
While most of us tend to think first, and then feel, empaths function in the opposite way. Other characteristics of empaths include:
* They are overwhelmed by large groups and need a lot of alone time;
* Labeled as shy, introverted, or overly sensitive;
* Over-stimulated by noise, odors and non-stop talkers;
* A need to replenish in nature.
In our over-intellectualized society, we often do empaths a disservice by thinking there is something "wrong" with them and misdiagnosing them with sensory processing disorder, depression, agoraphobia, panic disorder, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue.
They have a gift that needs to be nurtured.
While their big hearts and amazing talent for deciphering other's feelings often lead them to health and service professions, it can also lead to compassion fatigue and burnout.
To better embrace their special gifts, empaths need to develop self-preservation techniques to not only survive, but thrive.
Join Julie Ann and Judith to discover 5 insider tips for empaths and highly sensitive people in an insensitive world - with these strategies in place, you can enjoy your gifts of depth, creativity, intuition, love of nature, capacity to deeply love, and fulfill your desire to help others and better the world.
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