How do empaths heal? (A Complete Guide)

In this article, we will discuss ‘How do empaths heal?’. We will do that by describing empaths and explain their vulnerability to being overwhelmed and why going through the healing process is important for them. After this, we shall suggest different healing strategies they can try to cope adaptively.  

How do empaths heal? 

Empaths can heal by using different strategies. Due to their high sensitivity and early unresolved conflicts, they are vulnerable to being emotionally overwhelmed. It is important that they go through the healing process to overcome any negativity. Strategies they can try include forgiveness, cognitive reframing, meditation, breathing exercises, journaling, establishing boundaries, and practicing self-compassion. Doing so will help them function in a better and healthier way.

Empaths

An empath is a highly sensitive person who is able to understand the perspective of other people. He or she can understand the emotions and thoughts of another person by putting themselves in their shoes. These people are warm, compassionate, and altruistic in nature. They use their ability to sense emotions to help others process them in a better way. Usually, empaths are approached by many people who tell them their problems. They use their empathy in order to actively listen to them and respond to them. People feel at ease in their presence, they feel heard and understood. 

Empath’s sensitivity and unresolved childhood conflict

Being sensitive to the pain of others comes at a price. In the process of listening to others and processing their emotions, sometimes empaths absorb their emotions and carry them as well. They confuse their own emotions and thoughts with the feelings of other people. This can affect them negatively at an emotional and physical level. 

Furthermore, being in emotionally and physically stimulating environments can exhaust them. In the same way, the situation gets more complicated when empaths find it difficult to say no to people. Ultimately, things get too much and overwhelm them. In order to survive and manage, empaths need to learn to heal themself.  

Apart from this, many empaths have unresolved childhood conflicts. It can be from early neglect, abuse, being ignored, being shamed, bullied, shouted at, or exposed to family dysfunction. Many of these experiences can take a toll on their mental health and accumulate in their unconscious. These unresolved conflicts slip out when they face certain triggers in their environment. Accordingly, empaths may react by an exaggerated emotional response. So, they are unable to react to the situation in a calm and constructive manner if the situation is too overwhelming. 

They are also at risk to be hypervigilant while scanning for threats in their environment and looking for ways to protect themself. This can be physically and emotionally draining. So, this also requires empaths to go through a healing process in order to overcome this.

Ways of Healing

There are different strategies empaths can try to engage in self-care and the healing process.

 These include the following:

Forgiveness

Empaths have the tendency to put the needs of others ahead of their own. This creates an unconscious resentment in them towards other people especially if they try to take advantage of their helpful nature. They often get hurt in the process of trying to solve other people’s problems and carry the pain and hurt with them. 

They don’t tell people off and give them the benefit of the doubt, but their negative feelings stay there and eat away at their energy. Although it’s hard, they need to learn to forgive and move on for their own health. 

The first option would be to confront such people and express their feelings. This is because letting out their emotions is the only way, they can move on. However, it is not always easy. So another strategy they can try is visualization. They can imagine themself walking towards the person that hurt them and having a conversation with them and ultimately reaching a point where they forgive them. Another way to do this is to write out a letter of forgiveness to the said person but not send it. It can be a way to channel out the unaddressed emotions of hurt.

Cognitive reframing

Human beings have a tendency to think negatively about certain situations. Once something like that starts, it eventually leads to rumination and overthinking which brings with it negative emotions and feelings. It is important that empaths learn to train their minds to catch these negative thoughts before they escalate out of control. 

They can learn to be mindful of their emotions and thoughts and objectively analyze them. If they notice that their thoughts are overly negative and far from reality, they can try to reframe them into something neutral and closer to the truth. Mastering this ability can enable them to be masters of their minds and emotions.

Journaling

Writing down early childhood experiences can be a step towards overcoming one’s past. Thinking about childhood and picturing the situation including recording one’s feelings and thoughts can be helpful in channeling out emotions. Empaths can try to address their younger self in a forgiving and empathetic manner. They can address any emotions that resurface. If doing this activity is too mentally challenging and overwhelming for them, they can seek help from a professional therapist and do this in a safe environment with the guidance and psychological aid present.

Establishing boundaries

It is important that empaths learn to accept boundaries as their right. They need to see this as a personal choice and responsibility they have towards protecting their body and emotional energy. If they see that someone is not treating them well, they need to be assertive and say no to them in a calm manner. The fear of disappointing others can restrain them from doing so. However, with gradual practice, they need to set limits for what is acceptable and unacceptable for them.

Deep breathing

Empaths can learn breathing exercises, particularly deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation in order to relax their body and focus on their breath. Regular deep breathing can decrease the sensory overload on their body and calm them down.

Meditation

Meditation is also helpful for many people to reach higher self-awareness. Cultivating the ability to be mindful of one’s thoughts and emotions can help one be clear about the internal process and make sense of it.

Self-compassion

It is important that empaths learn to be kind to themselves and direct some of the empathy towards themselves. They need to treat themself in a warm and loving way just like they treat others. Self-compassion can help them in going through the healing process. It would require them to be patient and allow themselves to mourn any losses and hurt experienced at the expense of others.

FAQs: How empaths heal?

Do empaths absorb negative energy?

Yes, empaths can absorb both negative and positive energy from other people in their surroundings. They might even carry this energy with them. If they don’t channel out the negative energy through some self-care strategies, it can take a toll on their mental health by exhausting them physically and emotionally. 

How can empaths set boundaries? 

There are different ways empaths can use to set boundaries. It involves practicing self-awareness and being okay with the idea of boundaries. They need to decide the limits of what is acceptable and unacceptable for them. It is important that they learn to practice saying no and trust their judgment. They need to put themselves first before others and practice setting boundaries with people until they get comfortable with it.

What are unhealthy boundaries?

Unhealthy boundaries refer to disregarding your own needs and limits and valuing what other people want. Not saying no and going along with what others want is a sign of unhealthy boundary.

Can empaths take away pain?

Yes. Empaths can take away the pain of other people through their skills of detecting the emotions and thoughts of others and letting the other person know that they understand them. A few empaths also absorb the emotional and physical pain of other people. This can be exhausting for them as it drains them at a physical and mental level. It is important that empaths learn to establish boundaries and take care of themself if they want to avoid being hurt and prevent an overspill later on. 

Conclusion

In this article, we discussed How empaths heal?. We found that empaths can heal by using different strategies. Due to their high sensitivity and early unresolved conflicts, they are vulnerable to being emotionally overwhelmed. It is important that they go through the healing process to overcome any negativity. Strategies they can try include forgiveness, cognitive reframing, meditation, breathing exercises, journaling, establishing boundaries, and practicing self-compassion. Doing so will help them function in a better and healthier way.

 I hope you found this article interesting. If you have any queries or comments, please state them in the comment section 😊

Citations

https://hisensitives.com/empaths-heal-themselves/

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-empaths-survival-guide/202006/7-ways-empaths-can-heal-trauma-and-ptsd

Divya is currently a Clinical Psychology Trainee in a Master of Philosophy program and holds a Master’s in clinical psychology. She has a special interest in Personality studies and disorders, having researched the subject before, and Neuropsychology; with an additional interest being Mood disorders. She likes to write about Psychiatric issues, having worked in multiple specialty setups during her time as a clinical psychology student, and in her free time she likes to cook and read.

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