Do you feel the weight of our world today? I do. The recent years have been fraught with disturbing news. A global pandemic, the war in Ukraine, Israel, and Gaza, an increase in and acceptance of systemic racism, a rise in nationalism and fundamentalism, and abortion law. It goes on and on. The divisive nature of our culture in and of itself is enough to cause distress in any one individual. Mass shootings and natural disasters. It’s a wonder that collectively as people we are coping. And yet we do. Human beings are resilient. We are wired to grow, evolve, and move forward. But what if you are an empath? What if you are someone who absorbs the emotions of others and the world as if they were all your own? How do you take all this on? How do you cope with disheartening news and events?

Understanding Empaths

Empaths take on other people’s emotions (both positive and negative), absorbing the emotions as their own. And, it’s not just emotions. Empaths can feel the physical pain of others too. Furthermore, empaths can take on the emotions of others by reading a news article, hearing a news story, or seeing a photo. Empaths bring a lot of love and care to our world. They have the ability to help others heal. This is an incredible gift that can lead to high creativity and greater connection with others but it can also lead to overwhelm, exhaustion, and stress, especially when absorbing negative emotions and experiences. The empath’s natural inclination to help and heal means that they often carry the burdens of others and the world. Without a clear strategy for release, this can lead to depletion and a state of emotional, mental, and sometimes physical burnout.

If this is you and you feel overwhelmed by the weight of the world, I have an invitation for you. An invitation that will help you restore and protect your energy. I invite you to take a pause from the news and social media. Yes, a pause from your trusted news sources. Because you are an empath this invitation will likely be difficult for you to consider. You care and you care deeply. So deeply, that taking a pause from what’s happening in our world may feel insensitive and well, just plain wrong. You may even ask yourself, “What will I do with my time? How will I feel informed and able to hold a conversation?” “Who will care for the world if I don’t?” And that would be normal. Empaths want to heal and help everyone and everything.

Image of a man sitting on rock overlooking a valley on a sunny day. Learn to manage your emotions with the help of empath counseling in Austin, TX.

Are you an Empath?

If you are an empath, you are a gift to the world. You are much needed in our chaotic times. So, it’s especially important for you to find ways to stay healthy. If you are burned out and emotionally exhausted, it will be hard for you to tap into your gifts. You might not even realize the weight of the world is dragging you down. While a news/social media break may be challenging, you might find that restoring your energy goes a long way toward helping our world in the way you hope to.

If you are unsure if you are an empath, ask yourself these few questions

1. Do I frequently get overwhelmed or anxious? Sometimes out of nowhere?
2. Does my space need to be a sanctuary?
3. Is it hard for me to walk away from someone in pain without helping?
4. Do violent and tragic events overwhelm and distress me?
5. Do I need a long time to recuperate after being with difficult people or energy vampires?
6. Can I sense and understand other people’s feelings as if I am in their shoes?
7. Do people often overshare their troubles with me?

Image of a woman standing in front of a lake during sunset with her arms spread out. Discover how empath counseling in Austin, TX can help you with your emotions.

Empath Boundaries

My guess is that if you are not an empath, you probably know someone who is. A kind gesture or nudge to take a pause could be the very thing they need. If this is you and you think you are an empath then know that it’s okay to be selective about what you take in, who you help, what you read, and what you watch.

Ask yourself, where do I need to step back? Is my social media content full of current events? Is Instagram dragging me down? Do I have to begin and end my day with an inbox full of the news? Could I take a full break for one week or one month and then slowly and with intention step back in? Take a hard look at the ways you may be taking in information. Perhaps even make a list? Take some time to reflect. And then take the plunge.

Look out for part 2 of this blog. With Lysle Shaw Psychotherapy, we will take a look at what it means to step back into the news and media world with intention after taking your pause. I’ll talk about some strategies to help you engage with the world using your extraordinary gift of empathy in a way that energizes you.

Other Therapy Services Offered at Lysle Shaw Psychotherapy in Austin, Houston, and throughout Texas

I provide online therapy for Introverts, Empaths, and Highly Sensitive Persons in Texas. If you feel burned out and think therapy would help, reach out for a phone consultation. I would be honored to work with you. Begin your journey toward healing and growth by reaching out today. Find more articles like this on my blog!

Image of a woman sitting on a log overlooking water on a sunny day. Discover how empath counseling in Austin, TX can help you with your emotions.

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