What Is An Empath?
By StarzMerlina, Merlina D. Davis
I spent a good portion of my time at university studying journalism and have published quite a few things, however this is my first journalistic writing in quite some time. At first I intended to write about the mysterious, “13th sign,” of the zodiac - Ophiuchus. But tonight, after reading an article on empaths and empathism, I decided that this needed to be the topic of my article. I have now spent hours doing research on this subject and feel confident that I can provide an article for readers with accurate and important information. I will now present you with an informational article on what empaths are, including information on specific traits they have and the ways in which empaths can stay spiritually sensitive, but also spiritually healthy. To the readers, I hope you enjoy this article.
Beginning with the history of the term, “empath,” there is unfortunately very little information on when this term became standard colloquialism. But what is an empath? An empath, in short, is a person who is an, “HSP,” or, “highly sensitive person.” Some empaths work as psychics, but many do not. Many empaths have never heard the term before and don’t even realize what their capabilities entail nor how to deal with some of the struggles that go along with it. So, in short, an empath is a person who has a specific type of extra-sensory perception, or “ESP.” An empath is a person who has the ability to identity the feelings and emotions of others, which will be expanded on.
First I would like to bring up the biological aspect of being an empath, which is something I researched in the writing of this article, and admittedly, was completely unfamiliar with until I conducted my research. Empathy is something that all of us have, and it is not to be confused with compassion. The definition of empathy is the ability to recognize and share the feelings of another. The dictionary defines compassion on the other hand as, “sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others.”  Empathy is something that is born into each of us and can be seen in brain imaging through the use of MRI imaging in the field of neurology. Empathy is a biological and genetic aspect of a person as well as a spiritual ability. In scientific testing, neurologists have been able to see and measure different levels of empathy in different brains. With that in mind, a certain level of empathy was decided on as the baseline for considering clinical trial patients to be, (or not be), empaths. Researchers concluded that one in twenty people is an empath according to the neurological testing. In another clinical experiment, researchers found that their testing would denote that 5% of the population are empaths. 
So what are the traits of an empath? If you Google this subject you will find hundreds of pages listing all sorts of different diagnostic criteria. I have chosen to include only those which I feel are universally true and also helpful to those empaths out there looking for solidification in identifying themselves, along with information that is helpful to those who experience these traits; plus information on how to remain spiritually healthy for those out there who are so highly sensitive, along with those who are already self-identified empaths.
Empaths have the ability to pick up others emotions, their personal emotional states, human/physical energies, auric energies, soul energies and spirit energies. They can also tune into the energy of their current surroundings. Some empaths even report feeling the physical pain of a person who was assaulted or murdered in a specific location. In such situations, empaths frequently cannot handle this overload of stimuli and will tend to either manifest a lighter energy, or flee the location. Empaths are also frequently noted to avoid shopping in used goods or thrift stores and do not like to bring items into their homes that have had previous ownerships.
Some people with empathism have been incorrectly diagnosed as bi-polar, or manic depressive. Many empaths at times struggle with their situation and feel that it is a horrible curse put upon them, however, once they can hone and harness these abilities, they will discover that it is truly a magnificent gift. Many empaths are so sensitive to their environments that simply being in the presence of a TV that is too loud or a light that is too bright will bother them extremely and sometimes get to the point of avoiding that present location by either fleeing or politely finding an excuse to leave. The experience of an empath can be disabling at times regarding daily activities. The most subtle things in a location can be an overload of stimuli that is overwhelming for them. That includes energy related to touch, sound, scent, light, activity, and conversation. Quoting one article I read, “Empath is part of your genetic make-up, there is no cure for it. If you are an Empath, it's simply ‘how you were made.’”  With this in mind, I will go over some of the ways that empaths can manage their situation as well as resources at the bottom of this article that will provide further help in psycho-spiritual healing exercises.
Here is a list of some of the most common traits. Rather than making a bullet list, I am going to describe these traits in further detail. Let’s begin here… A psychic with claircogniznace, or “clear knowing,” is an individual with a type of psychic ability that is based on sudden instant knowledge, sudden streams of knowledge and hunches that are always correct. Empaths are reported to have these abilities, yet far stronger and with a higher accuracy rate than the typical claircognizant. Far beyond even typical psychic intuition, empaths just, “know things,” in quite remarkable ways. They tend to notice synchronicities whether they are aware of what a synchronistic event is or not. If not, they will frequently feel that they’re experiencing deja vu or irony.
Next, empaths tend to have people who need help drawn to them in hoards. That is, people needing help through unloading with a non-stop conversation entailing their entire life story and what their current issues are is a common occurrence. This happens even on the street with complete strangers! Frequently these people will then walk away telling the empath how much lighter they’re feeling whilst the empath is then drained, fatigued and depressed. One empath in an article I read stated that carrying smokey quartz or labradorite on your person will shield you and ward off these needy individuals. This is not to say that empaths do not have a divine life purpose for helping others, but there are healthy boundaries that need be to set. These boundaries help to maintain balance for both empath and client, friend, family member, or complete stranger.
One of the traits that is my most favorite in being an empath myself is the, “built-in lie detector.” Empaths can immediately assess the character of another person within just a few sentences of interaction with them. Most empaths are naturally turned off by those who are dishonest and will not pursue a friendship with someone they sense to be a dishonest individual. In the same way, many empaths have sudden knowledges about a myriad of individuals they meet, and in the most precise of details, i.e. if the person is having relationship troubles, what sort of family they grew up in, if they’re struggling with addictions, are terminally ill and so forth - oftentimes the most random of insights and detailed knowledge pours forth in their minds.
Empaths that have not harnessed spiritual health practices frequently become ill, especially with digestive problems and an imbalance in the solar plexus and throat chakras. Many suffer with issues that display themselves as chronic fatigue, avoidance of others except for animal companions, and agoraphobia. This occurs because they will frequently, and not by choice, absorb the negative energy around them in a location, or during a conversation where someone is upset and spilling their guts. But, empaths have a special ability related to this. They are practically walking quartz crystals, and with the right practice and methodology, they can absorb negative energy and then neutralize it in their own bodies, dispelling it from themselves as well as the original source they absorbed it from. It is not uncommon for empaths to be drawn to non-conventional healing modalities and metaphysical studies.
Empaths need to be self-aware of not becoming addicted to drugs or alcohol. For many empaths, this numbness and release is a pleasant escape, however we all know that the outcome of following that path is - pain, difficulty, loss and misery. Therefore, empaths need to be on guard with themselves in that their consumption of any substances is specifically, “social,” “occasional,” or preferably, not at all.
A lot of empaths are vegetarians or vegans. This is an interesting trait, here. Most empaths can sense the pain of the animal that was slaughtered and have an abhorrence to eating meat or even touching raw meat. Not all are strict vegetarians, but they tend to indulge in far less red meat and fast food than the standard individual. If an alternative is provided in the eating atmosphere that is non-meat, they will choose this option over meat products.
Some empaths are unable to watch any sort of media related to violence or cruelty. For some, this is so disturbing that they will choose to eliminate movies and television with that nature of material, frequently avoiding even the evening news. However, this is not true for all empaths. Some empaths do not have a problem with viewing violence. Perhaps they are able to shield themselves in said situation, or perhaps there are just two different types of empath in light of this specific criteria - those who can, and those who can’t [view violent media].
While we’re on this train of thought, let’s look at what a sick empath looks like, as every empath needs to know how to identify when their spiritual self is not doing well. After this, we will look at the positive traits to being an empath in order to finish off this article on a happy note!
These are the symptoms to look for: feeling spacey or alone when with others or in a large, populated place (this is called dissociation in medical terminology); preferring to be alone aside from animal companions to the point that the avoidance becomes agoraphobic and results in the loss of friends and all social interaction. Agoraphobia also includes the fear of leaving one’s comfort zone and going out into the wide world. This also includes making extreme attempts at justifying to others why they cannot visit, attend a party, or meet up for coffee and so forth. At first this can be mild, but it can escalate all the way to a true phobia state regarding the outside world and other people. Next on this list is feeling ungrounded. This state of mind and spirit feels like you’re floating through space and time rather blank-minded or in a state of confusion with everything just swirling about. Feeling extreme confusion and the sense of being spaced out is part of this. And lastly, there is physical illness. Empaths who are not in good spiritual health are subject to headaches, migraine headaches, constipation and/or diarrhea, excessive sleeping, post-exertion malaise, depression and anxiety. These are major warning signs and should not be ignored!
How does one treat these problems, prevent them, and heal from them? (So long as they do not require professional medical care, which is always advised in any situation to rule out any serious physical maladies…) Begin by practicing a centering exercise, a grounding exercise, a chakra balancing exercise, shielding and a cord cutting exercise. This sounds like a lot and at first you should not overdo it… Baby steps to begin these disciplines is the airstrip to regaining health for an empath. How do I perform these exercises, many will ask? It is suggested that you begin by listening to guided meditations of the above, as these will teach you how to perform these and learn to do them on your own without a guided CD. At the bottom of this article is a list of resources for guided meditations that can be purchased through major suppliers such as Amazon.com and BarnesAndNoble.com along with free versions you can access instantly.
Let’s focus on the light now! Empaths have a very special connection with animals. They often find their best friends to be of another species! Empaths are able to zero in on the emotions of animals and make some of the greatest caretakers for pets, especially rehabilitating dogs and cats that have come from abusive environments. Empaths tend to be very book smart, but generally this comes through self-education. They have a passion for knowledge and learning and love to become self-experts in many different fields of their passions. And because of the passion they express for learning the subjects that fascinate them, you will discover that they oftentimes know much more than a college professor who teaches on the same subject!
Empaths cannot tolerate clutter, which is a good thing in that you will always find that healthy empaths have very neat homes and the energy in their homes is quite pleasant because of the work they put into tidying up and organization. A lot of empaths get drawn to feng shui.
The creativity of the empath is also a very impressive thing to witness. As most people know, a lot of people are either math oriented and despise english language courses, or are a whizz in english language and find mathematics to be a foreign language they can’t ever quite grasp. Empaths have this trait, too, but you will notice that a well of creativity emerges from whatever side the tend to be talented in. Those who write will tend to have journals, Tumblr accounts, blogs, write for magazines and journals, and may even pass the time exploring dead languages. Those whose creativity is more hands on and mathematical will be interested in arts, crafts, and photography, but in a very in-depth way! They will decorate their homes and social networking sites with their art and will pursue art in just about every medium possible. One day they may be working on an oil painting and the next day they may be knitting a sweater for a friend and macro-meting something interesting. The levels of talent and obsessive enjoyment in their areas of talents reach far beyond the typical non-empath who is passionate about the same concepts or art mediums.
Empaths with knowledge in herbal medicine, aromatherapy, crystal therapy and other natural healing methods tend to have the knack for finding just the right mixture or item for their clients, friends, or family on the very first try. They, “just know,” what the sick individual who has come to them needs - exactly! Going back to animals for a moment, empaths make some of the greatest animal whisperers and veterinarians.
And then there is of course, conversation. Empaths have the ability to significantly help others through the art of language. They will find that for some reason they have some mystical ability to counsel people who are suicidal, easily leading them out of that mindset, cheer up those who are suffering painful emotions, and even change the mood or environment in a party setting when it goes sour through energy manipulation and charisma of personality. Empaths make extraordinary therapists and counselors so long as they remain spiritually healthy. And of course, they make some of the most gifted psychics! Here at StarzPsychics.com, we have a plethora of Empaths available to work with if that is something you are interested in.
So, are you an empath? If so, please check out the resources below for learning to maintain your spiritual health. And for those who were unfamiliar with this subject, I hope to have shed some light on this topic. I myself am an empath and I value it as one of my greatest gifts. Yes, there are times of great struggle, but they are worth it in the end. Embrace your gifts and learn to stay spiritually healthy and you will not have regrets about this amazing psychic ability. I have enjoyed writing this article, and I hope that you have enjoyed reading it. My blessings go out to every reader!
You can find StarzMerlina at: www.starzpsychics.com/starzmerlina