When a person walks into the room, it can feel like they either fill the space with light or suddenly the lights go out. Many other people are somewhere in the middle, just another person wandering into a space, hanging out, and doing their thing. For sensitive people, it can be hard to be around others if it drains your energy. It could be that you are absorbing other people’s emotional states, rather than holding safe boundaries with others. Find out why this can be harmful to your mental and physical health, especially in recovery, and how to get a handle on it.
Some people can become physically ill by taking on negative emotional states going on within and around them. Sensitive, empathic people often lack the necessary skills to manage the pain going on around them and just need to learn how to cope better with the emotions of themselves and others. It is one thing to feel empathy for another person, and quite another to really take on their emotions and try to feel or fix the situation for them.
Highly sensitive people can feel like something is wrong with them that they feel others’ pain so distinctly. It is possible that sensitive people tend to tuck traits away in the unconscious mind. For those who are prone to feeling depleted and drained in situations with certain people, especially emotional pain, it can take a toll after awhile. Over-feeling can cause a sense of panic and stress or anxiety in a person’s mind, body, and spirit. This may also lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness, because it can feel like nobody is listening or understands what you are dealing with.
Healing the World Starts Here
Whenever you feel the desire or need to take on the world’s emotions and situations, remember healing starts with you. Your inner world and emotions must be dealt with in a positive way if you are to focus on healing. Here are some ways to get started:
- When you notice heavy emotion, label your feelings. Labeling allows you to pause, gain distance from it and examine whose feelings you are experiencing.
- Ask yourself if what you’re feeling is yours or someone else’s emotions. It may be hard to discern the difference but one approach is to imagine the other person full of light and healed.
- Become aware of your own emotions and own those. Raise your awareness of how your inner world is operating and try to be supportive rather than feeling overpowered.
- Take a deep breath and notice where you feel calm, grounded, or neutral.
- Give other people’s feelings back. It is not up to you to carry emotional distress and it helps nobody. Let the emotional pain go and remember people have to deal with their own pain, grief, and trauma in their own way (and time).
When you begin to build awareness of how you are allowing yourself to absorb others emotions, you can start to heal from it. Your empathy is a gift to the world. Cultivate it carefully and don’t be afraid to keep it close to you if it is becoming harder to let the pain of others go. You deserve to be healthy and emotionally whole.
Sound Recovery helps you get present in the moment with our programs, services and resources. We are here to guide you through the steps to recovery. If you are struggling with addiction, let us help. Call us at 561-277-3088 to get started.