Having A Sixth Sense Doesn't Always Involve Dead People
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Having A Sixth Sense Doesn't Always Involve Dead People

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Having A Sixth Sense Doesn't Always Involve Dead People
Index|Improve Your Spirituality

A few years ago, during my proclaimed journey of self-discovery, I learned something really important about myself and who I was as a person. I was in pretty bad shape mentally - I hated everything about myself, my life, my future. I felt completely empty in the deepest parts of my soul in ways I couldn't explain in words (which is actually when I began writing for leisure, after learning that it helped me to release a ton of tension). But, considering the battle that I was fighting on the inside of myself, my outer shell was incredibly porcelain and seemingly unaffected by any of the negativity...or so I thought.

I'm naturally extroverted, I love being around people and in a crowd, talking to people, laughing and seeing new faces. It's invigorating for me. But, it's absolutely exhausting for me. After a few hours, my eyes are puffy and bloodshot, my chest is sore, my head hurts, and I feel like I've been hit by a bus. I go home, and I sit in silence for an hour...or two. I can't sleep right away, although I'm tired, but I have to release every ounce of energy that I've had dumped on me by everyone else I came into contact with throughout my whole day. I have to balance my own energies, find my own level of neutrality, and then I can hit restart.

I tried to figure out why it was that I was beginning to feel such intense emotional pulls in any given direction at unexpected moments. If I surrounded myself with people who were hopeful and excited about the future, then I was too; if I surrounded myself with someone who consistently fed me negativity (which I did at one point) then I would begin to emotionally rot away from the inside out. I found myself reflecting the emotional energies of the people around me, and only when I was alone could I begin to unravel and evaluate my own emotional state.

Often, I got so confused as to what I was really feeling, I began to think I didn't have any of my own feelings at all. I used to jokingly claim that "I didn't have a heart" or "I physically couldn't care", when in reality, that's only how I felt. I felt like an empty container for everyone else's sensations and emotions, and when mine were called upon, I simply borrowed them from within myself. Happiness, excitement, rage, embarrassment, insecurity, suspicion, anxiety, doubtfulness, hopefulness - I felt it all, sometimes, I felt these energies so fiercely at the wrong times, and I knew it, but I couldn't help it. I began to wonder what I was feeling and why it was so intense. Yeah, sure, I had depression, but this felt different. This was energy being transferred to and from my non-physical self but affecting my physical body as a result.

At that point, I was sure I'd lost my damn mind. What in the world is a "non-physical self"? Am I turning into a Buddhist? Maybe I smoked something funky. Maybe it was the anti-depressants.

It took me months, a lot of reading, and like...a lot of Google to figure out that I was an empath.

Does anyone even know what an empath is? *Slightly raises hand and looks around the room to see if anyone else is on board* No, but really, if you’ve ever heard the term or heard someone talk about it before, I’m almost positive you’ve heard it being accompanied by “it’s a bunch of bulls**t if you ask me” or something along those lines. Look, I’m not all about metaphysics, studying the spirit sciences and all that good stuff – though I do tend to find that realm of edification fascinating, I don’t truly believe that it’s all that quantitative.

With that being said, though it’s not able to be surmised in a set of data and put into a computer to be analyzed, I do think that there’s another area of quantifiable truths that [humans] can further evaluate and draw logic from. Energy is studied using science, and energy is the driving force behind what we do with our minds, so in essence, the association of all aspects of who and what we are as entities probably isn't as distant as we thought it to be - I digress.

Anyway, really quick, just to clear the air:

An empath is formally defined as someone who absorbs other people’s emotions because due to their high sensitivity to energy fluctuations. They interpret and filter the world through their intuition and, as a result, may have a difficult time intellectualizing their own feelings and emotions.

According to the internet (obviously, the most trustworthy source of all time) you're an empath if you find yourself exhibiting several (usually 10+) of the known "traits". Honestly though, the way I see it, you're an empath if you know you are, you may just need clarification as to what's going on with yourself. Once you read in further detail, some of the traits will either hit home for you and answer some deeply-rooted questions that you've been searching for, or you'll skim through and say "mmnah, not me", and that's fine too. Having respect for and understanding the fact that there are actually (legitimately) people out there that have abilities to sense other than the five we recite in Kindergarten, is a gift in that of itself.

I'm going to crack open and elaborate on five that I know are definitive traits of mine and that I find pretty interesting. They're not all from some weird Reddit page, either. There are a ton of resources that can tell you more about this stuff, but for now, I'm on the soapbox.

If you want, you can consider this as a non-trustworthy self-diagnosis in five easy steps...WebMD-style.

1. You're a magnet for "energy vampires"

So, this is one of those instances in which you'll either know what I'm talking about, or you won't. Empaths' sensitivities make them incredibly easy targets for people known as energy vampires - those who tend to be narcissistic, depressed, full of rage, or lack empathy themselves. These people are particularly dangerous in such that they are only concerned with themselves and, over time, will drain an empath of actual physical energy. Energy vampires are typically labeled by empaths as "The Victim", "The Narcissist", "The Chronic Talker", and "The Drama Queen". Too much time spent around these people will actually drain enough physical energy from the body that you'll experience behavior or mood changes, physical ques such as aches and pains, and will become sick more often than usual.

2. You have highly tuned senses

You may become extremely mentally or emotionally affected by things such as a busy intersection, a distraught child, or an upset friend. You want to reach out and help fix problems in any way possible, but you don't stop there - you take it on as your own. Almost suddenly and unexpectedly, you will feel drained or upset, when you felt perfectly fine before. Judith Orloff, M.D. is both an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at UCLA and an empath herself, so I read a lot about what she had to say about managing emotions and energies.

In order to protect your sensitivities, you have take care of yourself first and manage your time wisely, whatever you may be doing. You must set limits and boundaries especially around individuals who tend to be draining. Taking time for yourself and to calm yourself, reset your energies and center your physical and mental self is of utmost importance.

3. You quite literally need alone time

This was particularly important for me to look into, especially around the time when my son was first born, and my mother insisted that there was absolutely no such thing as alone time when you have kids. Empaths find that being around people is energy-draining and see it as an activity or a job, even if they're sitting around a table having some food with a few family members. The hyper-sensitivity of the empath gathers every single person's energy and emotional state from within that room and piles it up inside of themselves. Periodically, they'll need to escape, even if its just for a few minutes to release and recharge. A brief time alone will prevent an emotional overload that can lead to noticeable changes in both mood and behavior.

4. You have an addictive personality

Simple. You get hooked on things...quick. Alcohol, street or prescription drugs, and sex are what an empath (or anyone, really) is most likely to get addicted to. The differentiating factor is that if you're an empath, you'll recognize that you're using your addiction to block out the emotions of others in one way or another. It's a form of self-protection and your body's effort to preserve your sensitivities.

5. You need to have new items

You're spoiled. Kidding. This was actually really interesting for me to discover because once I read more into it, I found that it actually has a profound impact on those who are highly sensitive to emotional energy. Get this: Okay, so, typically, empaths will almost always prefer to buy new items, especially larger purchases such as a car, house, etc. and will steer clear of antiques and second-hand items because anything that is pre-owned carries the energy of the previous owner. Residual energy can actually be felt through the item and will affect you, and you will not be able to explain it. Granted, it isn't always bad energy (I'm not saying every used car is Christine) but sometimes residual energies are felt strongly enough to make you turn the other way with nothing more than: "I don't know, I just have a weird feeling about it".

Other ones of mine that I've yet to research further on are: getting an unexplained "feeling" when someone is being dishonest; difficulty in relationships; constant or sudden fatigue; getting bored or distracted easily; panics about clutter or mess; finds control by another person imprisoning; at ease when traveling or exploring.

Have Fun. Be Fun. Forever.
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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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