10 Things You Can Do to Protect Yourself As a Sensitive Empath When There is Intense Rage in the World
1. Turn off or change the media.
Just turn it all off. Or at the very least, change the way you absorb the media. It can be so relentless. Visual images can be harder to stomach than auditory stories. As a sensitive empath, I learned this lesson during the time of September 11, 2001. The media images I watched on the news felt like they were stabbing me in the heart and gut, over and over and over… until I turned off the TV. It was like I was under a spell watching it. Because I didn’t know any better, I thought that was the only way for me to psychically feel what was happening. In truth, the only thing that was happening was I was being ripped apart each time I saw the gruesome images on the screen, and that wasn’t helpful to me or to anyone else. When I chose to unplug from the news media on the TV I noticed I felt much better. I made a conscious choice to only listen to news stories on the radio from then on. Now, when I hear a story about social injustice or violence against humanity on the radio, it still hurts my heart but I don’t feel knocked over by it.
2. Go to your spiritual happy place.
Pray, meditate, sing, go to a place of worship, do yoga, call upon your guides, deities, gods, whatever it is you do to feel connected to that higher source of love in your life. I practice yoga, meditate, chant, channel the Council of Light and work in my garden. Gardening is a big one for me. I love being among my plants that emit such happy vibes! They are always happy, even when the world around me is not.
3. Connect with the outside world.
For some of you, it may be helpful to be among other people in the outside world, not on your screens or social media platforms. People tend to be more tempered (ie: not their nasty troll anonymous selves on line) in public. I know it may sound counterintuitive, but get out of your online world and consciously go into the REAL world. Go to the movies. Go to the library. Go sit in a coffee shop for a couple of hours. Just be with other humans doing regular, everyday human things. This energy of “normalcy” can be helpful to bring an emotionally sensitive person back to center.
4. Get out in nature.
Scientists in Japan have proven the link between humans and nature being beneficial. They found that when people went for walks in the woods, their blood pressure dropped and they felt calmer. The Japanese word for it is Shinrin yoku (shin – ren – yo – ku) meaning, “forest bathing.” You are literally bathing yourself in the energy of the trees just by being among them. I do this all the time with my family. We purposely bought our home near conservation land with trails where we can go walking, hiking and cross country skiing. It really helps me to get out for a walk in the pines. I feel better, my mind is clearer, my heart is happier, I’m much more calm when I return home.
5. Do things that bring you joy.
Read for pleasure, listen to good music, be with people who love you, exercise, eat the good chocolate, have a cup of tea. It’s okay to counterbalance the “yucky” energy that feels like it’s coming at you from all directions with a small act of joy. Be mindful about what brings you joy. For me, it’s going for an exercise walk or run while listening to dharma talks on a podcast I really love. And eating chocolate. Not the grocery store checkout isle kind – the fine imported stuff from Belgium. #sheerbliss
6. Recognize that it’s okay not to be plugged in all the time to help.
Just because you can feel other people’s pain, doesn’t mean you have to swim in it, along side them, drowning in sorrow and suffering and pain. It’s not up to you to save the world single handedly. You will burn yourself out. You need to take care of yourself first. If you aren’t in a good place personally, how can you possibly help others? And isn’t that what so many empaths do? We help others. You can still help, even if you don’t participate in the fear mongering media frenzy. In fact, I argue that you’ll do a better job helping, in whatever form your help looks like, when you aren’t in the flow of the negativity stream directly. Standing just outside it, and looking in, you’ll get a sense of where your good energy needs to be directed. You will see the void and fill it with love.
7. Respond. Don’t react.
There is a big difference between responding and reacting. When we respond, we offer our empathic energy in a way that we choose to offer it. We are in control. When we react, we are coming from a place of being behind, having the rug ripped out from underneath us. This means we are playing catch up. All the time. I choose not to live this way.
It’s hard to train ourselves into this way of responding, not reacting, but here are some of the ways I try to manage it as a #bosslady in the #lightworker world who also is human and subject to intense emotions: I try really hard to only post positive messages on social media. I try not to re-share things from a negative point of view in any of my social media feeds. I post about nature a lot. (#shinrinyoku) I share Buddhist teachings that make me a better me, knowing that it ripples out to others who are ready to hear, see & understand. I follow and connect and have built my tribe around other humans who think, talk and respond in a similar vibe – one of light and love.
I also understand that bad things are always going to happen in the world, and, I still choose to live in a positive world anyway. I’m not ignoring the bad stuff, but when it happens I’m able to send my loving vibes out to the world that so desperately need it at that moment. #RespondingNotReacting
8. Do things that are routine.
Often, the routine mundane everyday activities of our lives help to snap us out of dark, depressing, intense energy. Go fold the laundry, clean the bathroom, make your child’s lunch for the next day, walk the dog, get the car serviced. It helps to stay grounded in the normalcy of your life after an intense emotional shakeup.
9. Be light and send it out to the world.
As many of you know, I live and work in the suburbs of Boston. I can see the city from the hill where I live. When the Boston Marathon bombings happened several years ago, I stood in my backyard and beamed love and light from my heart and hands down to the scene. (#RespondingNotReacting) It was intense as I could feel the scared and hurt people’s energy, and in the days that followed the military vibe that was rising. And yet, I still chose to stand in my place of light and love and send it out. People couldn’t feel it consciously, but it sure helped me remain calm and centered.
I also invited other lightworkers to join me in sending loving vibes out to the world. I actually do this a lot on social media. This is where social media can be a blessing. By inviting others to join us in raising a vibration of love, we are counterbalancing all the violence and negativity being spread so freely.
10. Know that this too shall pass.
Pain, sorrow, suffering, sadness, anger, rage: they are all negative energy. Negative energy is heavy. It may feel like it goes on forever, or pulls you down, but I make this promise to you: IT WILL PASS. There is ALWAYS lighter, more loving, kind energy in this world, ready for you to tune into. As the Council of Light (the beings I channel) have said many times before, we need darkness to counterbalance and show that there is light.
Encouragingly, a 2015 study done by researchers at the University of Vermont’s Computational Story Lab found that a majority of human communication across major networks like social media, books and even newspapers, is actually positive in nature. This was found to be true across the entire globe! As humans, we have a bias towards positivity. Well, isn’t that reassuring!