How To Tell if Your A Highly Sensitive Empath


Are You An Empath?

It’s impossible to know.

You follow the same routine you have the other times.

Rouse yourself into that place of calmness over anxiety.

The need to get out and be with friends has been high on your priority list.

The excitement is building for a rocking time and the feeling of dread is hidden beneath the surface.

You toy with the idea of going out for some fun or just blowing off the whole thing at the last moment.

Dwelling over the feeling of uncertainty that is slowly placing roots in the pit of your stomach never helps, it only allows it to rise to the surface.

The memories of the other times of coming home drained, achy and emotional from a night out in a crowd rise to the front of your mind like a welcome home banner.

It Takes Time to Recover

Do you wonder how a night with friends is so exciting and draining at the same time?

It takes you days to recover your energy and release the worry that has formed for your friend, who shared a story about her painful breakup.

Sometimes you even cry after these nights out. The emotions well up and burst from your heart like a volcano, you don’t understand why you are affected so deeply by other people’s stories.

You’ve been told that you’re “So Sensitive” by your parents, partners and even a few co-workers. They tell you because they think you’re being dramatic and overreacting.

They are under the assumption you take everything so personally.

The Missing Puzzle Piece

What they don’t know is that you are in fact highly sensitive. A fine-tuned antennae picking up the frequency of the energy that surrounds you, inanimate objects and other people.

The medical community labels people as highly sensitive in the spiritual community it is called being an empath, I have come to believe they are one and the same.

As an empath you have the ability to feel other people’s emotions so deeply that it is hard to tell what originates inside of you and what you’re picking up from a friend, family member or stranger.

The Signs of Being An Empath

Highly sensitive empaths are prone to shyness, anxiety, fearfulness and are most often introverts.

They often withdraw in social situations rather quickly, feel more comfortable seated in a restaurant with their back towards the wall or find themselves standing apart from everyone when in a crowd.

They need a little extra space. To have distance between them and other people adds a sense of security.

Do you fit the description?

Highly sensitive people perceive deeply and have a greater understanding of the subtleties of a situation, often keeping quiet, to hide the depth of their understanding.

They have a six sense that allows them to read the energy surrounding others. They can sense when a person’s words and actions are not in alignment.

Often they hide their innate perception to appear normal and may even ignore the gifts they have and the intuition that it allows them.

Being Highly Sensitive Doesn’t Have to Hurt

When an empath is lacking an awareness of their abilities it can lead to them to being out of alignment with their authentic self.

They ignore their own values and beliefs, are afraid to pursue their interests and often withdraw from living their life with passion.

Highly sensitive empaths who ignore their inner perceptions often suffer from depression, anxiety, inhibitions, and addictions.

In order to cope with being overwhelmed with energy, they react and respond in ways that help them dull the sensations. They check out of their body and society.

Being a Highly Sensitive Person is Not Easy a Busy World

I grew up unconscious that the emotions and mood swings I experienced were not always my own.

Extremely sensitive to the energy surrounding me I would find myself angry, agitated, sad or extremely happy for no reason known to me.

This often led to inappropriate responses to life. I would explode in anger for no reason, feel reckless, withdraw completely or become overly loving towards people or situations.

The radical way I experienced life often left me confused, emotional and feeling unsupported.

I was absorbing other people’s moods and emotions as my own, like a sponge.

I was not aware of how to transform these perceptions into something more manageable or recognize they were the thoughts, feelings, and emotions of the people around me.

I ignored the truth of my own intuitions about people and situations and it led me to unhappiness, depression, and anxiety.

Denying my inner process often led me to self-sabotage and poor coping in difficult situations.

Finding the Truth

When I became Reiki certified I started to understand what was happening to me.

For the previous 6 years, I had been working on my personal growth and had developed a spiritual basis for my life which helped balance my emotions and anxiety to a liveable state.

When I learned what an empath was I finally understood the underlying problem.

A friend recognized my plight and recommended a book to me, The Reluctant Empath, When I read it everything naturally came into focus. I understood how energy worked.

Energy is not just something we expand when we exercise. Energy encompasses our thoughts and emotions as well.The Authors Steve Wilson and Bety Comerford did a wonderful job of explaining the unseen reality of energy in their examples.

I learned about myself in this book along with some useful ways to work with the energy I experience.

This understanding amped up my personal growth and my ability to handle adversity. Here are the personal gifts I received from reading The Reluctant Empath.


Grounding for Balance

This was the most important tool that I have learned in my life, sadly it took so long for me to discover.

Being a highly sensitive empath I have consistently tried to numb the pain and escape the emotions that I’ve felt, grounding helps me transform and transmute it so that I feel stable and balanced.

Grounding is easy to learn and there are many different exercises that I teach my coaching clients.

Sit in a chair with your feet on the floor.

Close your eyes and check in with your body. Do you feel any tension or pain?

Start at your feet and work your way up checking each section for pain or tension.

If you find pain or tension breathe into the place that is calling your attention. Let yourself relax and let go of the pain or tension.

Work all the way up to your shoulders and then head.

When you have reached the top of your head imagine you are gathering the energy of your body like it is a cloud around your head and slowly send it down through your head to your neck, through your neck to your shoulders, etc. until you’ve sent your energy all the way to your feet.

When you get to your feet sense the ground beneath your feet, imagine the cool earth beneath your feet and send your energy into the earth and let it root there as if it is the roots of a tree.

Then picture fresh energy from the earth coming in through your feet and nourishing your internal energy.

Use this exercise when you feel scattered, uncomfortable or upset. It can turn around your day, uplift your spirit and give you confidence.

It helps you to fine tune your internal energy, feel refreshed and restored.


Better to Be Quiet: The Chameleon

I had always lived my life trying to blend in with other people, Consciously readjusting myself to appeal to others.

I did this with boys, friends, and bosses at the cost of losing my own authenticity.

Empaths try to fit in, yet the truth of the energy can never conform and feel good to us.

I remained quiet at my own expense, Now I am able to give voice to my own thoughts and emotions without feeling I have to conform to the ideals of others.

I am free to recognize my unique qualities allowing myself to flourish in any environment.

It’s a Purpose Not a Curse

Reading this book I recognized that being an Empath is part of my life purpose.

I am here to help others on their journey, Being highly sensitive enables me to read others energy and emotions more easily.

After developing skills at using my gift, I can now ground uncomfortable energies that surround me and make a peaceful environment for all.

Manifesting : Beware of Your Thoughts

The Reluctant Empath sent home the message that thoughts become things swiftly sometimes.

Looking back at my life I realized that my thought patterns manifested many of the difficult situations I encountered.

The easiest way for me to explain this is the expression “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with”.

During periods of my life that I surrounded myself with people who had negative outlooks I had negative experiences.

The same with spending time with positive thinkers.

When I met my husband he was filled with positive thoughts and infinite possibilities.

I too began to bring this into my life, yet the old negative patterns were difficult to unseat, so it became a roller coaster ride.

Until I filled my life with Divine thinkers and allowed the negative thinkers to slowly drift away.

Making Peace Inside

Taking the time to reconnect with nature has helped me restore peace to my life.

Restoring and renewing my inner nature.

Peace comes when I flow with the energy of the world rather than resist it.

I am an observer of the energy now and watch it harmonize with my environment.

The Empath’s Journey of Discovery

As empaths, we are not meant to live a life in continuous pain and emotional turmoil. Pain is an indication there is something we are not recognizing and harmonizing.

  • The next time you are experiencing strong emotions, body pain or feel drained ask yourself “Is this my own energy dysfunction I am feeling?” then say to yourself “If this is not mine I release it” and see what happens.
  • Becoming aware of what belongs to you and what belongs to others is the first step in creating awareness of your empathic abilities.
  • Do regular grounding exercises in the morning upon waking to bring you fully back into your body after sleeping.
  • Ground again after you have spent time with others, see how your body is being affected by those around you and learn how you can control the effect they have on you.

Making small changes is all it takes to start experiencing life and energy in a more comfortable way.

You are a spiritual being living a human existence.

It is important for you to examine how the body, mind, and spirit connect in any situation and for you to gain the confidence to easily function in this chaotic world.

You are capable of gaining control of the energy you encounter and learning how to work with it to gain more balance and flow in your life.

I invite you to start with the basic steps above .

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Wishing you a Joy Filled Day​

​Charlene Anestis



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About the author

Charlene Anestis

Charlene Anestis, is a Empowerment Coach for Healers, Coaches and Empaths who want to use their energetic power to uplevel their life and business. The mission of this blog is to empower healer, coaches and empaths to embrace their life in a way that creates massive impact on the world without sacrificing their energy. She has previously been featured on the blog Tiny Buddha.