Anxiety is a common condition found in empaths. In fact, since being an empath is not recognized by the DSM-5, it is often misdiagnosed as social anxiety because of the many comorbidity factors. Let’s look at why anxiety and being an empath are so closely linked and how you can handle your anxiety.
Research Links Anxiety and Empaths
Research published in the Journal of Psychiatry found a scientific link between being an empath and social anxiety, depression, and general anxiety. The study found that people with social phobias show attentiveness and sensitivity to the states of mind of other people. In other words, they are extremely susceptible and empathetic to others’ feelings. Empaths have the ability to be highly accurate in attributing affective mental states and have elevated cognitive empathy tendencies.
These gifts come at a cost, though. Empaths often become ill because of their hypersensitivity to emotions. They also tend to experience burnout in the workplace, suffer from physical pain, and feel extreme stress more than others.
What Can You Do About It?
Once you develop the skills to manage your anxiety, being an empath can be a unique gift. So, what can you do to fight anxiety? Here are four tips for empaths:
Use Techniques to Ground Yourself – Look around the room to ground yourself whenever your emotions become too much to bear. Focus on and study an object and not a person. You can get away from the intense feelings in your body and ground yourself in the moment once you are aware of the object’s features.
Find Outlets – When attempting to help others, empaths have a tendency to put their own feelings aside. However, you cannot bottle up your emotions. They tend to find a way out in your body. Make a point of developing a habit or routine that both helps you express yourself and that you enjoy. After all, nothing comes out of an empty cup.
Understand Your Feelings – There is great meaning in how different people make you feel. Do they make you feel deep sadness? Anxiousness? You will be able to manage the emotions you experience around others once you learn how the feelings of others affect your body.
Recognize Your Limits – People are often drawn to empaths because they are intuitive healers. This makes it crucial for you to set functional boundaries. You cannot take care of the whole world so learn the limits of your abilities.
Photo Credit: Volkan-Olmez