6 Ways to Set Boundaries as an Empath
Well... what exactly is an empath? The Urban Dictionary says it is 'a person with a preternatural ability to apprehend the emotional state of another individual'. In addition, it is not only understanding someone's emotional state, but it is also absorbing these feelings. Sometimes to such an extent that the person can't tell anymore if those feelings are their own or from someone else. This can be very draining if there are no set boundaries. It is crucial for the wellbeing of an empath to learn how to differentiate and take care of their own energy.
1. Become aware of what or who drains your energy.
Starting with the trickiest but most essential point. Observe yourself in which environments you feel tired, brain foggy, anxious, overwhelmed or even drained. It could be that on top of that, you are highly sensitive or intuitive, that’s to say, you can not only sense people’s moods within yourself, you can also tell about the dynamics between two interacting people. Or you can see through if someone is being authentic or not. Especially in larger groups, this can be a lot! The first step to work with this ability is to gain clarity on how you feel in certain settings and how you feel after spending time with certain people.
Tip: to get deeper into sensing your own emotions, the best tool to practice is meditation.
2. Say no.
Once you figured out from whom and how you pick up vibrations, dare to say no to those. It is your birthright to do what is best for you. Imagine how many activities that make you happy you could invest in this extra energy! Without the recharge after draining social events and the precious self care time they steal you - you'll have more energy and more love to give as you cup is always full!
And really, you do not even have to explain yourself. You are one amazing individual that stands up for its own needs in order to be more loving and happy and this is what the world needs more of.
Then be okay with that.
3. Be okay with saying no.
You don’t do anyone a favour by doing something that isn’t aligned with you being your best self. If you invest in your own wellbeing, you don’t only serve yourself and protect your energies, you’ll be a role model for others that may have the same „problem“ (One should say special gift here!).
Additionally, you can be your best self and fully present when you feel like socializing. Then, you are setting healthy boundaries by choice, come with a full cup and are less likely to get down by other people's emotions. Once you care about your own needs, you do so much good for this planet by solely being you! When you are fueled and present, you can make others feel seen and appreciated, you can dive into deep talks and exchanging positive vibes! You are in service of love, because, yes, your cup is full.
4. Leave the situation when it becomes too overwhelming
Have you figured out how it feels when you had enough and your energetic boundaries have been hurt? I personally sense it by feeling tired, brain foggy, stressed out within my chest and not really knowing what to concentrate on. Whenever you feel the overwhelm coming up e.g. in a club, at a social gathering, in a restaurant or at a concert, do not hesitate to leave the situation by going to the bathroom or outside for a moment. It will keep you save, prevent you from feeling anxious and thus not being your best self. It helps to take a step back for 2-10 minutes, do some deep breathing and say out loud in your mind:
I am setting healthy boundaries. I am safe. Even though I sense other people’s emotions, I do not allow them to affect myself.
5. Take time to rest - ME TIME.
Often as empaths, we need some extra time for ourselves after meeting up with friends and family. If you feel this need inside yourself, invest in some self care. Renew your energy levels by doing whatever is best for you: reading, meditation, yoga, walks, just laying on the couch for a bit, watching a documentary, etc..
I would like to recommend though to do something that calms your mind. That is to say, TV or phone is not the best idea with all the overwhelming sensations for your brain to relax. Rather listening to calm music, cuddles with your pet or partner, taking a bath or learning something new or whatever fuels YOUR soul would be great.
You are safe shining your light if you learn how to protect it.
6. Imagine yourself being surrounded by a big ball of light.
It does sound like next level, but visualization is a really powerful tool. When you feel the drain or strange emotions coming up, imagine this beautiful protecting ball of light surrounding you. That is your energy field. That is your boundary. Your energy stays with you. You shine your light unconditionally, but it stays with you and keeps you away from any toxic energies that may arise.
You can also use affirmations:
I am safe in my own energy field. No one and nothing can dim the light around me.
I would like to add to not see other's emotions and vibrations as a threat or something you should avoid at all. It’s just that as an empath you tend to take on ALL the feels and you may end up going through self questioning behaviour, overwhelm and feeling bad for not being able to be as social as others at times. Everyone is unique in their own way. We as empaths just have to take extra care of ourselves when it comes to setting boundaries and self care.