How To Protect Yourself As An Empath

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Empaths are acutely aware of other peoples’ moods and emotions. They are so attuned to energies that empaths can actually feel what others are feeling.

As you can imagine, that can sometimes become draining, which is why it's so important to learn how to protect yourself as an empath. 

Empaths are great confidants. They understand your pain and can be trusted to not exploit it. They know how a betrayal of trust would feel, so they make sure that they would not be the cause of it.

But an empath’s sensitivity can be both their greatest strength and their greatest weakness.

One’s own emotions can be debilitatingly draining, so to take on someone else’s as well can quickly exhaust anyone. Also, some people may take advantage of the empath in their life; misery does love company. 

In order to be the best empaths and people that they can be, empaths must learn how to protect themselves.

How to protect yourself as an empath

RELATED: 10 Unusual Empath Traits That Make You Unique

Here are a few ways to keep your emotions (and the emotions of others) under control.

Set and maintain boundaries.

The first step to protecting yourself as an empath is to set healthy boundaries for the people in your life and for yourself.

As much as an empath wants to be supportive, you can’t take care of anyone if you’re not first taking care of yourself. Even if someone really needs you, check-in with yourself to make sure that this is something you can handle.

If you’re feeling too overwhelmed, you need to tell the person. You can always reassure them that you will listen once you’re at your strongest again. 

It’s important to remember that you are not abandoning someone by taking time for yourself!

Have a self-care routine.

Once you’ve allowed yourself to step away, take this personal time to truly nurture your spirit in order to recharge. Do things that bring you joy — helping other people doesn’t count! — and take this time to be by yourself.

Take a bath or a long shower to literally cleanse yourself of your (and others’) worries. You will feel rested and stronger without others’ emotions overshadowing your own.

This will also let you recalibrate and better understand your own needs so that you needn’t fret next time you’re overwhelmed because you’ll know what you need to do.

RELATED: People With These 5 Rare Personality Traits Are Authentic Empaths


Going off of the self-care route, meditation is a great tool in protecting yourself as an empath.

Meditation levels your head, and you can then reprioritize your life as well as have a stronger sense of self. Meditating tethers you to the current moment rather than dwelling in your thoughts and emotions.

It is extremely difficult for empaths to learn how to close the emotional floodgates, but meditation can help. View your thoughts as leaves on a stream or clouds in the sky. They’re there, and they pass. Allow them in, and let them leave. Ruminating can intensify negative emotions, but meditating will stop the pitfall and bring you back to equilibrium.

This meditation technique is most effective when practiced regularly, but it is also very useful when you need it in a particular moment. 

Try grounding.

Empaths are all about feeling energies. When the energies are too intense or bottled up, grounding can help bring you back to neutral.

Grounding is a tool often prescribed by therapists that is meant to literally connect you to the earth and have it balance your energy.

Walk around barefoot outside. Like how grounding strips redirect electricity so that it doesn’t become overcharged, foot-to-earth contact redirects your energy. Walking barefoot is a therapeutic way to physically and spiritually connect you to nature.

Use crystals.

Many people think of empaths as having a mystical power. The best way to take care of a mystical power would be with a mystical treatment.

People use crystals for many things because of the energies they are believed to hold. Carrying around or wearing crystals can bring you peace and protection.

Rose quartz is the crystal of emotions making it the perfect companion for empaths. It is associated with the heart chakra and is known to heal emotional wounds and blockages.

You can also give your friends in need a rose quartz crystal to help make your job as an empath easier, letting the crystal take on some of the healing that you would otherwise be giving.

Selenite is like emotional Drano. It is used to cleanse built-up energies and even recharge other crystals.

Selenite is named after the Greek goddess of the moon, Selene. Selenite channels the moon’s emotional properties to earth rebalancing emotional energies.

Create energy shields.

Staying on the mystical note, energy shields can help an empath mentally/emotionally protect themselves. Energy shields help you feel more in control of what emotions affect you.

Imagine the energy flowing around you as light, then imagine a shield of protection around you.

This shield is also energy and can be as concrete or fluid as you want it to be. You need to find the right balance of permeability for yourself. You don’t want your shield to be so fluid that it’s not shielding you from anything, but you also don’t want it to be so concrete that you’re entirely closed off from the world.

Picture your energy shield when you wake up in the morning or right before you leave home, and remind yourself that it’s there when you’re in a situation where the emotional intensity is building.

As wonderful as empaths are at taking on others’ energies, they can crumble under that emotional weight if left unmanaged. It is virtuous and kind to take care of other people, but you must take care of yourself first. Your emotions are just as important and valid as anyone else’s.

RELATED: 8 Signs Of An Empath + How To Use Your Empathic Abilities As 'Superpowers'

Colleen Fogarty is a writer who covers self-care, astrology, and relationship topics.