Self, Health And Wellness

What It Means When People Say You're "Too Sensitive" (And How To Embrace It)

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What It Means When People Say You're "Too Sensitive" (And How To Embrace It)

I remember from a very young age that I was able to feel the emotions of another. Whether it was a family member, friend, or even a stranger, I could feel what they were feeling. If someone was sad, I felt their sadness, if someone was excited and happy, I could feel their excitement; if a person was mad, I could feel their anger. 

Being so young, however, I had no idea what was going on. I just knew I felt so deeply that at times, it caused me to become very anxious.

In the past I had considered myself to be “too sensitive” and “overly emotional,” and those around me would often say the same. My feelings were easily hurt and I could cry at the drop of a hat. I would often find myself overcome with emotion when someone shared something tragic that had happened to them and wonder why I'm so sensitive.

Even when I was just sitting with people who weren’t talking, I could sense how they were feeling. This caused me to shelter myself and spend a lot of time alone. It became too overwhelming for me to be around people, as I would carry their burdens around with me. I just couldn’t stop thinking about the pain and hurt they were experiencing.

It wasn’t until I was much older and started working with energy that I began to understand what was actually happening. I learned how energy works and that we are all energy beings, and some people are a little more sensitive to the energy of others.

I was what one would call an empath. An empath is a person who can consciously and unconsciously tune into the emotional state of another.

RELATED: If You Have These 30 Traits, Consider Yourself An Empath

After learning about empaths, things started to make more sense to me. Like the fact that I couldn’t watch the news and that any kind of violence or cruelty would leave me feeling completely blue, with low energy for the entire day. I was holding onto experiences and emotions that were not mine; no wonder why my anxiety was through the roof.

Another interesting thing I noticed was that when I found myself spending time with inauthentic people, I could sense it. I could feel when someone wasn’t being themselves, when they weren’t being real.

During those kinds of interactions, I would find it hard to carry on a conversation. Small talk didn’t even cut it, and oddly enough, I felt like I couldn’t be myself, so I would repress and go inward. I would avoid those type situations and people because it just didn’t feel good.

Highly sensitive and empathetic people are very in touch with their feelings and in tune with their bodies. They know when something feels off, and they typically only express their emotions with someone if they feel safe.

On the other hand, people seem to be very drawn to empathetic people; they feel an instant sense of safety and trust and will openly share their deep emotional traumas. You will find complete strangers being drawn to the energy of an empath, and I personally believe it’s an unconscious connection and inner knowing that they will understand and listen without judgment.

I have now learned how to better manage my emotions, and I’m much more aware when I’m experiencing feelings that are not mine. I actually ask myself, “Is this mine?” If the answer is no, I mentally clear it by envisioning the uninvited energy leaving my body.

RELATED: People With These 5 Personality Traits Are Genuine Empaths

As a Reiki master and teacher who works with people and energy on almost a daily basis, I have gained a huge understanding of how we as energy beings work.

Here are some things which helped me throughout my journey and may help you as well:

Seek out other sensitive souls who understand you.

You’re definitely not alone and you may learn from them how to better master and embrace your own sensitive superpowers.

Treat yourself with care and compassion.

Understand that you are a unique and loving individual who truly cares for the well being of others. We need more people like you!

Be mindful of what you put into your body.

Conscious eating can be very important. Sugar, alcohol and other stimulants tend to have a negative effect on sensitive and empathetic people.

Don’t hesitate to set boundaries to protect your nature. 

If you are not okay with something, communicate how you’re feeling with certainty and confidence. Trust in yourself.

Don’t allow others to take advantage of you because of your loving and giving nature. 

Say no when you need to. It’s okay.

Remember the pain of others is not yours.

Be an observer, not an absorber of each experience.

It is not always your feelings that you are feeling. 

Ask yourself, “Is this mine?” Listen for your answer. You’d be surprised how much this simple tool can help.

And lastly, keep being you, the authentic beautiful you who holds a heart of love and hope.

You are an individual who understands the importance of human connection and compassion.

RELATED: The Dark Side Of Being An Empath

Vanessa Marie Dewsbury is a Reiki Master, Spiritual Life Coach, and #1 Best Selling Author of Heart is Where the Home is. Follow her on Facebook and Instagram for your daily dose of inspiration.

This article was originally published at Thought Catalog. Reprinted with permission from the author.