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Coping with Stress as an Empath

Coping with feelings of stress and overwhelm in your everyday life can be one of the hardest things to navigate as an empath. It can leave you feeling nervously exhausted but wired, unable to sleep well, unable to concentrate and focus and you may have a list of physical symptoms that you or your doctor have not been able to find a cause for.

An empath is more prone to feeling higher levels of stress, anxiety and overwhelm due to their increased awareness and perception of energy in both places, and with the people that they are around. They are able to feel or know how a person is feeling just by being around them or if they are deeply connected to them such as their children, partners, family or close friends.

An empath or energy sensitive, will feel scary or traumatic situations differently also. They can have a much more intense experience as they have the event as well as all of the energy of the event, including how people felt. This can put their nervous systems on high alert or they can be in a constant state of fight or flight.

An empath's nervous system has a lot more to process and filter. This makes it work hard and can leave it open to exhaustion if it is not given nourishment and care.

So let's take a look at how as an empath you can cope with stress better.

During times of stress your body will move into its sympathetic nervous system functioning to help you cope. Short bouts of stress can be beneficial to get you to meet deadlines, get yourself motivated for the day ahead or get you moving out of a situation that does not serve you.

However, if the stressor continues and moves from a short time stress to a long term stress this will not allow your body to move into the parasympathetic nervous system for rest, digest, repair and restoration. Without this time, things can begin to go wrong.

Your sympathetic nervous systems response to stress is termed the fight or flight response. It aligns your body to either fight the lion that is coming to eat you, or aligns you to run as fast as humanly so the lion cannot catch you to eat you.

You can replace the lion with whatever your current stress happens to be - your body will react the same.

As an empath, what can be termed a stress can feel a bit different to someone who is not energy sensitive as they do not feel as much or have to process as much as an empath. When an empath is overwhelmed or overstimulated with the amount of information that they are picking up - this can very much feel like a stress.

This can be why doing everyday things can feel much more for an empath, they have a lot more layers to cope with and process, and why they can have extra strain on their nervous systems and adrenal glands.

For those who have walked within the spiritual realms for the majority of their lives this is not a new feeling. It can make them withdrawal away from people and life because of how it makes them feel. It is common for young empaths or for those who have not mastered their gifts to feel this way.

As an empath you will always be energetically sensitive. However you do not need to continue to suffer. What feels like a curse will transform into a gift as you embrace and accept your abilities.

Creating Space Daily for Connection

Connection can be a mindfulness & reflection practice. It can be a time of meditation where you are able to tune into spirit and tune in with yourself. You may choose to spend time doing self healing practices such as reiki or working with crystals.

You may like to journal or you may find this connection when you exercise - yoga or mindful movement practices.

What this time does everyday is allow your body to know that you are safe. You are not under attack. This will signal to your body that it can shift into parasympathetic mode. Allowing you to feel calm and more balanced.

Reducing Stimulating Foods & Drinks

Foods that are high in sugars will overstimulate your nervous system, leaving you feeling anxious and ungrounded. Choosing foods that have good quality protein, fats and low GI carbohydrates are a much better choice if you are feeling overwhelmed.

What you hydrate your body with is just as important. If you are having high levels of caffeine or sugary drinks this will over stimulate your nervous system.

We are told that we should drink plenty of water, and we absolutely should. Dehydrated cells are stressed and anxious cells who cannot do their jobs properly. This will lead to your whole system feeling anxious and stressed. Little sips of water often will allow the body to absorb the water well and will reduce bathroom trips.


Life is always so much harder when you are tired. You have less patience, find it hard to concentrate, your will power goes out the window and everything is just annoying.

Making sure you are getting enough sleep will help the world to feel like a much nicer place.


Herbs are an amazing addition to helping you cope with life as an empath. I truly could not do without mine. They help your body to cope with stress while helping to make sure that you are performing at the level that you would like to at work and at home. There are a variety of adaptogen and nervine herbs, all having varying different elements to them so there is a something for everyone. What they do have in common is that many of them are anti anxiety and mildly sedative. This can really help an overwhelmed empath.

Routine and planning

Planning is an important part of ensuring you can get the important things done that you need to while still scheduling time for you. It also ensures that you are able to plan your outings to make sure that you dont hit the shops during peak times, making it a much more pleasant experience. If there is a big event happening that you have coming up - planning ahead can make this much less overwhelming.

We are very lucky that we now have online shopping which can make things much more time effective and less overwhelming. However, depending on what you are purchasing planning ahead is important to make sure it has arrived for when you need it.

A routine can allow you to know what is coming up when and makes planning ahead much easier as you have a structure to base your planning on. It ultimately helps you to feel prepared and grounded which can allow you to cope with unexpected things that pop up or the energy that you are picking up so much better, making it so you can move back into your parasympathetic nervous system (rest,digest, relax and repair).

Learn about your spiritual gifts & how they work for you

This is key in conjunction with the other suggestions. If you do not understand how your spiritual gifts work how are you able to work with them? How are you going to understand the information you are getting?

You can read up around the 5 core spiritual gifts with the 5 clairs series.

Much Love

Karlee x

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