Sometimes it can be really difficult to stay positive as an empath. Because like attracts like, if an empath is feeling their own personal negative emotions, they will be much more likely to pick up on, or attract, negative emotions from others around them. This can lead to a vicious cycle where the empath constantly feels negativity, a cycle that is difficult to break out of.
It is important for empaths to learn how to get their own emotions under control so that they aren’t as susceptible to the negative emotions of others.
But how do you stay positive if you are going through tough times?
Tough Times Are Just a Fact of Life
Tough times will always happen. It’s just part of life. Life is a fluid, non-permanent state. Things will flow in and flow out, and sometimes, hard times happen. Hard times are necessary because once they end (as they inevitably will), it makes it all the sweeter when the good times happen.
It is important for empaths to strike a balance that allows them to feel their own emotions (even if they’re negative) without suppressing them, while also focusing on the positive aspects of their lives so that they don’t become consumed by negativity.
Here are some tips that I personally have used to help me stay as strong as possible, even during tough times. I hope they help.
4 Tips to Stay Positive During Tough Times
1. Sit with the emotions
One thing that I’ve observed is that many people tend to be afraid of negative emotions. Not many people want to feel anger, sadness, etc because they are unpleasant and if you’re on a spiritual path, allowing yourself to feel them may seem counterintuitive to your personal growth. We often make out our negative emotions to be these monstrous things that must be kept buried in the closet at all costs, because letting them out would be detrimental.
But I’m here to tell you that this isn’t necessarily the case. Emotions only become big bad things if you bury them and allow them to fester, like a wound. If you express them when they come up, they will flow through you easily. You will feel these emotions intensely but briefly, you will process them, but then you will be done with them and they will no longer have power over you.
So I encourage you, if you are upset about anything, to simply be with the emotions. They are not as scary as they seem and once you face them, you will realize that it’s not as hard as it appears to face emotions. Because emotions are fluid, once they have run their course, you will feel better enough to do whatever it is you need to do to keep your head up, even during emotional upheaval.
2. Find support
By nature, humans are social beings. In our hunter and gatherer days, humans needed to be part of a tribe, not just for mental and emotional well being, but for legitimate physical survival. In modern times, humans don’t necessarily need other humans in order to survive the way we once did, but we are still wired that way.
Humans have an evolutionary need to be supported by other people. We crave connection, understanding and a sense of belonging.
So for tip #2, I encourage you to seek out support from fellow humans. Find a friend, family member, a therapist or even an online support group or forum to talk to. Don’t hide your problems thinking that you don’t want to burden anybody with them (a common thing that empaths tend to do). We legitimately need other people to help support us, especially during tough times.
Research has shown that people with strong emotional support systems tend to live longer lives, so there really is something to this. So reach out and connect with other people. Nobody should have to face all their challenges alone.
3. Focus on the positive aspects of your life
I purposely made this the third tip because it is important to let the emotions out (tip #1) and find support (tip #2) before you attempt to focus on the positive things in life. If you attempted to focus on the positive things in life before feeling your emotions, you won’t have very much success, and in fact, you will probably scoff at the idea of finding anything positive in life (I know, because I’ve done this!).
So once you have allowed yourself to just be upset for a bit and have (for the most part), gotten that out of your system, you will be in a much better head space to focus on the good stuff that life has to offer. You can either go over things in your head that are good in your life, or even make a list or create a positivity/gratitude journal.
Even during the worst of times, there is still a lot to be grateful for in life and I encourage you to look for it in yours. Some ideas to get you started if you’re new to looking for the good in life, would be to focus on things such as the roof over your head, the food on your table, your heart that keeps beating or your family who loves and supports you.
Shift your focus to all of these wonderful things, and slowly your mind will start to naturally look for the good in every situation. This is a very powerful tool to help shift your focus and get you feeling good about life in general.
4. Make a commitment to have fun at least once a day
During tough times, it can feel like there is nothing in life to look forward to. This in and of itself is a depressing thought and does nothing to help someone move from a negative frame of mind to a positive one. But one way to remember that life isn’t all just hard times and work, is to allow yourself to have a little bit of (healthy) fun.
In fact, I encourage you to make a commitment to have fun at least once a day. At the start of your day, grab a sheet of paper (or use a whiteboard, or open up a note on your smartphone) and jot down a few ideas of things that are pleasant or fun for you to do. They could be anything, such as watching your favorite TV show, hanging out with friends, reading a book or magazine, playing a video game, or listening to music.
Once you have a list of things that are enjoyable for you to do, pick one or two of them and schedule time out of your day to actually do it! If you actually schedule fun into your day, even if it’s only for a few minutes, you will have something to look forward to, which can go a long way in staying positive when times are tough.
The Bottom Line
Nobody likes having to go through difficult times, but it is important to remember that nothing in life is permanent, including hard times. Do your best to get through it with the tips listed here, and you will come out the other side stronger and with a different, more positive perspective on life.