Learning how to cope as an empath during times of mass turmoil is no easy feat. With all of the emotionally distressing events going on in the world today, it can be massively overwhelming to try to stay sane as an empath. Between hurricanes, earthquakes, mass shootings, global warming (just to name a few!), it seems as if the planet and the people on it are going completely berserk.
Emotions are heightened for everyone and empaths are prone to picking up on ALL of the feelings. So how the heck does one cope with this when it feels so unbearable?
It’s All Part of the Process
First of all, I wanted to point out that although it may not seem like it, society as a whole is better off now in 2017 than it has ever been at any point in human history. I bring this up because when the world feels like it’s going “to hell in a handbasket”, it’s all too easy to get wrapped up in the negativity of it all (especially as empaths). It is incredibly easy to lose sight of just how far the human race has come in its evolution. Here are just a few examples to illustrate this point:
- The world as a whole is more peaceful now than at any other point in the past. Wars do not and have not been happening like they used to.
- There are more people now than ever before who have access to things like clean drinking water, proper sanitation and indoor plumbing.
- Observing and respecting basic human rights are becoming more and more commonplace.
- Fewer and fewer people, countries and societies have to worry about famine.
This isn’t to say that we as a society still don’t have very pressing problems that need to be dealt with (because there are many of them!), but many of the problems that plagued us in the past are no longer so much of an issue (see above list).
This is all part of the process and collective evolution of society and the human race. We are no strangers to strife and upheaval because for as long as humans have been around, there have been struggles to deal with. And while it may take a while, eventually we find ways to deal with those struggles and come up with solutions to make life better.
So if your empath-ness leaves you feeling like the world is a terrible place, just remember how far we’ve come and how much better things are now and how they (slowly) continue to get better.
But the Emotions are Unbearable
The above paragraph was in no way meant to trivialize any of the struggles that people and the planet have to deal with currently. While things are getting better, it is also still pretty chaotic. It’s natural for emotions to be running high when you turn on the news only to read about something truly tragic like the shooting in Las Vegas. Even for people who aren’t all that empathic, how can one not be upset about something like that?
To an empath those emotions can feel downright unbearable. Trust me, I understand. I live in a house full of empaths and we have all been extra snippy with each other since the Las Vegas shooting in particular. It’s hard to feel so much upset and not take it out on others just to try to find an outlet for so many outside emotions. One empath can only tolerate so much, after all.
But even though the emotions empaths have been picking up on en masse as of late have been very difficult to deal with, there are ways to cope, even when it seems unbearable.
Tips for Coping as an Empath During Times of Turmoil
As I mentioned earlier, I live in a house full of empaths (which makes life interesting. I plan on writing a book about it one day). Our household has been experimenting with various different ways to help us handle the intense emotions we feel from others without losing ourselves. It is a struggle and it is by no means perfect, but we are gradually figuring it all out.
Below are some pointers for things we have been playing around with that you are welcome to try if your empathic radar has been going off the charts lately. Maybe they’ll resonate with some of you and can help you in these times of turmoil.
1. Allow yourself to feel the emotions.
When the emotions become too much to deal with, I have found that sometimes I just need to give myself permission to feel them without judgement. For me, if I am feeling like I am going to positively burst if I don’t have a good cry, it is time for me to employ this technique.
To employ this technique, you simply let yourself be alone in a room with the door closed (so no one else can see you/judge you) and let the emotions take you over completely. It may be intense. You may cry a lot. You may feel angry or sad or helpless or hopeless. Whatever you may feel, just let it be. Simply observe those feelings, get them out of your system and notice how much better it feels afterwards. Sometimes all you really need is to just accept the emotions as they are, allow yourself to feel them and then move on. When we recognize that emotions are fleeting, they lose their power over us and it puts us back in the driver’s seat.
One caveat: this technique is not for the faint of heart or if you already struggle with severe depression. This technique should only be employed if you know that you can feel the emotions and be able to pull yourself out of it without losing yourself.
Also, if you feel anger and need an outlet for it, screaming into a pillow is often helpful. Or punching said pillow. For me personally if anger comes up I find that doing some intense physical exercise works wonders.
Just be sure to keep yourself safe and not do anything dangerous or harmful to yourself if you decide to employ this technique.
2. Nurture yourself.
Find healthy ways to nurture yourself when you are struggling in times of turmoil. Set aside some alone time for yourself. Watch your favorite movie, spend some time out in nature, or eat your favorite meal. I like to think of this as the fuzzy blanket technique. Simply wrap yourself in your warm “fuzzy blanket” (whatever that may be for you. Perhaps it’s a literal fuzzy blanket!) and let yourself be nurtured. This is like having somebody bring you a bowl of chicken soup when you’re sick with the flu. Even better if you can get a close friend, family member or partner in on this with you. You can share the healing vibes together!
It is ok to simply let yourself be nurtured from time to time, especially during periods of mass crises. It allows you to get your emotions under control so that you can go back into the world again, feeling healthy and (relatively) whole.
3. Connect with others for positivity.
We are all affected by the events happening in the world today and we therefore need each other. Connection is of utmost importance to help cope. Band together with your fellow humans and raise your collective energetic vibration by doing something positive as a group. Hold a candlelight vigil, host a healing circle, start a gratitude group, do a fundraiser for people affected by all the tragedies. I just recently had a healing circle with a group of friends and afterwards we attended an uplifting music festival. This was immensely healing for all of us and felt like a soothing balm for our battered empath souls. I highly recommend this!
The Bottom Line
Being a modern empath is tough. We all know that. There is no shortage of things to be upset about and no shortage of intense emotions for empaths to pick up on. It is part of our journey as sensitive beings and while it can be overwhelming sometimes, it is also just who we are. But that doesn’t mean we have to live in fear of all of these feelings and intense emotions. We may be empaths, but we are strong, both individually and collectively.
I sincerely hope these coping tips help . As I’ve said before, we are all in this together and you don’t have to do it alone.