What you Need to Know about your Feelings as an Empath

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Life isn’t always easy when you are feeling so many emotions, so much anxiety, and so much tension …

Before I embarked on my spiritual journey, my path was focused around my university education in psychology. I have always loved psychology, and I am so grateful for what I learned in those 9 years of studying the profession and its practices.

However, I felt like psychology was missing an important element of understanding humanity. The focus around the human brain was powerful and helpful for many people, but it also seemed to fall short of the deep needs that a lot of humans (particularly empaths) have when they are experiencing inner chaos/neurosis.

It was in my spiritual learning where I discovered that “missing element” that psychology never reached for me

The missing element was energy. The depth I was craving was in understanding what it means to be human, because after all, we are more than just a brain in a body. When I began to understand energy, I began to understand feelings/emotions so much more.

Understanding emotions as “energy in motion” unlocked a deep understanding of my empathic nature and how to truly heal myself (and eventually also heal others too).

As I developed an understanding of this “energy in motion,” I also learned that some feelings were not even my own.

Yes, you read that right.

Sometimes, you are feeling emotions that don’t even belong to you. This is particularly common among empaths/sensitive people. You can feel the emotions of the people around you AS WELL as the people who came before you.

The complexity of understanding your feelings can lead to more confusion, leaving you feeling a little crazy and a lot overwhelmed/tangled in your head. This is why I want to outline some feelings that you can experience that are NOT YOURS. I also want to share how I work with my emotions so that I do not get tangled into them; this is especially important when you are feeling something that is not yours. Getting enmeshed in someone else’s story is often the root cause of most neuroses/anxiety that you experience in your life.

First, let’s go into the different ways that you can pick up feelings that are not yours:

Someone yells at you, punishes you, shames you, or bullies you…

I think we can all relate to this one. Maybe it was parents/grandparents/family, or maybe it was friends/peers in school when you were young, or maybe it was a boss/authority figure/mentor who shamed you in some way.

It hurt. You felt sick to your stomach. And before you even had a chance to bring awareness to what was happening, you took on this feeling of shame into your being and carried it with you. So now, every time you are faced with similar situations or any type of situation that will stimulate these feelings, you clench up. You experience anxiety. It’s hard to breathe. Maybe your arms are shaking: “not this again” you say to yourself.

So what do you do? You avoid these situations. You begin to hide from anything that will trigger these shameful, fearful feelings within you. The thing here is that you have lost sight of one crucial fact: this feeling was never YOURS.

This shame was never yours to begin with. It was something that someone else projected onto you. And do you know what makes this even more interesting? The shame this person projected onto you was never theirs either. It was something they likely picked up from someone in their own personal life/past. It is a chain of illusory pain (shame) that one person passes down to another and another and another…

Until someone breaks the chain.

That person can be you. Yes, you. It just comes down to how willing you are to heal this illusory pain rather than choosing to carry and even share this pain.

This brings me to my next point…

Ancestral wounding and past lives

Without going into this topic too much, let’s acknowledge the fact that some of the emotions you are carrying in your body are actually passed down. We carry the energetic coding of our ancestors as well as our past lives within our genes and cells. This isn’t something done out of punishment; it’s actually the epitome of “unfinished business.”

As you carry on the wounding and shadows of the people who came before you in your own lineage, you also are now in a position to be the one who clears the wounding, transmutes the pain, and writes a new story. It’s in healing generational trauma and patterns that you fulfill your karma and live out your life path. This is PART of what you are here to do as a human being, and being an empath empowers you to be the one who breaks the generational patterns because you can FEEL the wounding and are therefore AWARE.

As I am about to cover later in this post, it is your awareness that allows you to heal generational patterns. This applies to past lives as well. As you feel, you also have the opportunity to change energy that you carried with you in previous lives. This is part of what your soul is here to experience.

You are picking up emotions from someone in your space

Being an empath is a gift because it allows us to understand other human beings at the deepest depth of their being. However, this comes with a caveat: you CAN and probably DO feel other people’s feelings. This is either because YOUR energy is jumping into other people’s energy fields (for those of you who know human design, this would be the case if you are a projector) OR it’s because THEIR energy is entering your field (this would be the case for generators/MG’s).

Either way, it’s important to know that some of what you are feeling is coming from someone else’s energy rather than your own, especially if the feelings don’t make apparent sense.

Your body is clearing an energy or experiencing an upgrade

This is a big one for me! As you deepen your empathic awareness, you will find that you can feel cosmic events in our solar system (and beyond) as well as the feelings that come with your body processing certain energies. This sounds a little wild if you aren’t used to these experiences, but bear with me…

Let’s start with cosmic shifts and events. By no means am I saying that you are a victim to the planets and star systems of our galaxy, which it can sometimes feel like when you hear talk about “solar flares” and “lion’s gate” and “full moons.” Don’t worry: you’re not a victim.

However, everything in our galaxy has a gravitational pull, and if you are a sensitive person, you will feel it. Where do you feel it? In your body. If you feel butterflies in your stomach, tingly feelings in your arms, warmth/heat in your feet, or any other unlimited number of strange sensations, don’t be surprised if there is a cosmic shift that is pulling on the waters in your body. It sounds strange, but it CAN be something you are feeling.

If you are looking for a helpful space to learn more about astrological/cosmic influences on yourself and your business, check out this amazing Facebook group hosted by one of my past clients and dear friend, Daphna Romanoff: access her group here.

The other thing that can happen is that you are clearing an energy from your body. We store certain energies in our system sometimes, particularly our hearts. Sometimes, certain events or healthy practices/influences can call this stored energy forward for clearing. When energy is being cleared from the body, it feels disconcerting, especially if you don’t know what you’re feeling.

Sometimes, the feeling is charged and sometimes, it’s more of an exhaustion/overwhelm. The thing to know here is that it is important to allow this energy to move through your body in the way it wants to move. This means being present with the feelings and giving yourself the care/compassion you need while the energy is passing through. On the bright side, once the energy passes through, you are more clear and more open to everything you desire in your life and business.

So How Do You Help Yourself when Feeling Emotions that are Not YOURS?

Now that we have covered the various ways that you can feel something foreign, let’s go into how you can help yourself to feel better, or in other words, emotionally free.

The first thing I want to share is that you want to remember that NOT ALL feelings have a logical, rational cause. How simple would the world be if every feeling we experienced made sense? Sometimes, your feelings don’t make sense because they aren’t supposed to. This is especially true when you are feeling something that is not your own: it won’t make logical sense. It won’t be easy to pinpoint a clear cause.

So my advice? Stop trying to pinpoint a cause. The more you try to psychologically “figure out” what you are feeling, the more you tangle yourself into the web of confusion that comes with these emotions. Talk about getting stuck in your head!

The remedy here is to allow yourself to drop down into your body. You do this through deep, slow, intentional breath while also bringing conscious awareness to your body (especially below the neck). As you bring awareness into your feet, your pelvic region, your stomach, and your chest, you allow your brain a chance to slow down. You allow yourself to clear your head a little.

This takes some practice, but the more you can ground into your body, the easier it is to bypass the stress of the mind. When it comes to processing foreign feelings, your mind only complicates things. However, your body is your remedy as an empath. Ground into your feet and your womb/pelvis. The lower you drop your awareness, the clearer the mind becomes, and the more you allow yourself to be present with the feelings.

That brings me to my next point…

Be Present with What You are Feeling

Awareness moves energy. When you are feeling energy that is not yours, the goal is to move it through and OUT of you. So naturally, your awareness is the key you are working with here.

When you feel an uncomfortable emotion, it is natural to want to hide from it and repress it; however, this will only make the feelings worse. The remedy here is to LEAN IN.

It’s awful at first and actually challenging, but it gets easier with practice and dedication: lean into your emotions. Lean into the butterflies in your stomach, lean into the shortness of breath, lean into the shaky legs, lean into the anxiety, and allow yourself to FEEL IT ALL. The more you feel it, the more the energy moves.

I do this exercise all the time to help ease physical pain (such as cramps or aches). At first, I resist because I don’t want to lean into my pain, but I find that the more I try to shove the pain signals to the back of my mind, the more they persist. It’s because the pain is my body telling me something.

It’s the same for you when you are feeling emotional pain: your body is trying to talk to you. It’s trying to bring your attention to the energy that wants to move through and out. So as much as you might think it will make things worse, lean in.

When you lean in, allow yourself to be present with everything that comes up. You will want to judge what you are feeling and make it wrong. Resist this urge and see if you can simply be present with the discomfort. See what happens when you spend some time with the feelings you have been outrunning. See what happens when you surrender a little to your anxiety or tension.

The reason why you want to avoid judging what you are feeling is that this brings you back into your head, which is where you can get tangled into stories around these feelings. The reality is that, if the feeling is coming from someone or something else, it won’t make sense to the head. So keep leaning into the body, dropping your consciousness down into the energy so that you can bring awareness to it.

Use the Breath

Finally, use your breath to move your energy through you. As you lean into the feelings, take the deepest breath you can possibly take and allow that same breath to pour out of you in a satisfying exhale. Let your breath cleanse you like the ebb and flow of ocean waves. Your awareness paired with intentional breath will allow you to work with the energy you are feeling.

I know it can be overwhelming and even scary when you are feeling emotions that aren’t even necessarily your own, but this is not a death sentence. It’s part of being a sensitive, tuned-in person, and as your personal journey unfolds, you will begin to see how this sensitivity is a gift for you (plus I will be writing on this topic soon).

The thing to remember is that you are equipped to handle your sensitivity and to handle the myriad of emotions that you face as a sensitive person. I will be preparing quick energy healing videos on my YouTube channel in September, so if you would like more support, you can subscribe to my channel here. The videos will be released soon, each with different breath work and energy healing that will support you in handling uncomfortable energies.

I hope this blog post serves you in the deepest way and restores your hope in your abilities to handle the heaviness that you sometimes feel. You are safe, and you don’t have to take ownership for every feeling that crosses into your aura. Some feelings don’t need to be figured out; they just need a little energy work.

Wishing you all the best xoxo

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Quinn Downie