7 Tips for a Struggling Empath


Jennifer Van Haitsma

18 August 2019 2 comments

Do you find yourself feeling too much? Do you watch TV and relate to the characters on a deep level?

If this is the case, you might be an empath. Unsure if this applies to you? Highly Sensitive Refuge lists 13 classic traits of an empath.

13 Signs You Are An Empath

  1. You take on other peoples’ emotions as your own
  2. Sometimes you experience sudden, overwhelming emotions when you’re in public
  3. The “vibe” of a room matters to you — a lot
  4. You understand where other people are coming from
  5. People turn to you for advice
  6. Tragic or violent events on TV can completely incapacitate you
  7. You can’t contain your love for pets, animals, or babies
  8. You might feel people’s physical illnesses too — not just their emotions
  9. You can become overwhelmed in intimate relationships
  10. You’re a walking lie detector
  11. You can’t understand why any leader wouldn’t put their teams first
  12. You have a calming effect on other people — and the power to heal them
  13. You cannot see someone in pain without wanting to help

Do more than 2 or 3 of these apply to you? If so, chances are you are an empath. You feel emotions so deeply that you can become consumed by them. 

Tips for Managing Your Empathy

Watch what media you’re consuming

My specific form of empathy is highly triggered by the things I watch. I find myself inadvertently putting myself in the shoes of the protagonist. 

Example: When I was watching a show about a woman who lost a child, I almost had to turn it off. I started feeling a pounding in my heart, wondering what it would be like if that happened to me. It was terrible. 

If this sort of thing happens to you, you may need to be careful what kinds of media you consume. 


Journaling can be really useful. There are so many benefits to journaling. (Link to blog) It can help you clear your head of these negative emotions that you feel. 

What is the best way to get started? Grab a notebook and pen. Every time you find yourself buried In empathetic feelings, write about it. Describe what triggered it, how you are feeling, and come up with a solution. Write about how the feelings are just in your head, and how they don’t need to ruin your day. 


This is another amazing way to clear your head of junk. Just a 15-20 minute walk around the block can release feel good chemicals in your brain. This will help combat your empathetic feelings. 

Does your empathy leave you incapacitated and unmotivated? Start slow. Commit to 5 minutes of jump roping or jumping jacks a day. Once that becomes easy, increase to 10 minutes. There is no shame in this. We all start somewhere!

Cut out toxic relationships 

This is advice that can benefit everyone, but especially empaths. Do you have that friend that makes you feel down in the dumps consistently after hanging out with them? Do they have a tendency to drag you into their drama?

It can be hard to think about saying goodbye to a friendship. Especially if you have been friends for a long time, or if you are related. However, to ensure that you take care of yourself, you want to surround yourself with people who build you up and make you feel good. 

Unplug earlier at night

This is another one that I apply to my life on a daily basis. I have been making it a practice to “unplug” around 7pm every night. What do I mean by unplug?

I put my phone on the charger for the night and I say bye bye to social media. Our Facebook and Twitter newsfeeds can be massive triggers for empaths, especially in a rough political climate. 

Just set it aside and make a commitment to not check social media until morning. It really helps. 

Find an ally

It will benefit you to find someone who understands what you are going through. This can be a fellow empath, but keep their feelings in mind. They might be extra sensitive when it comes to people unloading their feelings. Make sure to always ask if it is okay if you get something off your chest. 

Once you find someone, you can set weekly or monthly reminders to meet up for coffee. Or, if you need a little more support, set a daily reminder on your phone for a text check-in. 

Make sure to make YOU a priority

Empaths require a higher amount of self-care than more emotionally normal people. We spend so much time feeling other people’s feelings, to the point of sometimes being consumed. Make sure you are taking time to heal and restore your heart and mind. 

What are some things you can do? You can say “no” when you don’t feel up to something. You can also pencil in things like time to exercise and journal as if they are appointments on your calendar. That way, you are more likely to get them done.

What step are you going to take?

Now that you have seen these tips, it is time to decide which one or ones will work for you. It might be that all of them are necessary. You might only need one to see a difference. Whatever the case, stay committed to your emotional health, and you will definitely notice a difference.

  • Lifestyle

2 thoughts on “7 Tips for a Struggling Empath

  1. Emily Carter

    This is a really insightful and helpful post. Thank you so much for sharing!

  2. I’m an empath and it really interferes with my sleep – I like your tip about unplugging earlier at night. I definitely need to work on that so that media doesn’t carry over into my dreams!

Comments are closed.

Join the community

Whether you want to grow your skills, get picked up by an employer who needs your specific knowledge, earn more qualifications for your CV, or some combination of the three, the My Need to Live community is here to support you.

Join the platform

Looking for support

The My Need to Live Support Directory is a resource created by us to help 16 – 24 year olds find the help, support, organisation or practitioner you need to help them with their wellbeing when they need it.

Support directory

Latest News

Pin It on Pinterest