It was probably a mistake to check email right before bed. The blue light from your laptop signals your brain that it's daytime, further complicating your efforts to convince yourself that it's the middle of the night. Moreover, reading emails and reviewing your meeting agenda likely created unnecessary stress. Stress is poison for sleep. It broadens perspective. These examples are only a sample of what empathy can do for anyone in the world. It hasn't been socially regarded as a therapeutic tactic, but it has been shown to be a way to give people a quality of emotional and mental support that can relieve stress, tension, anxiety, and depression and deliver people to a better feeling of emotional control and stability as they grow on their path. Hence, for the person who is the more empathic, or rather, the shoulder to cry on, you will have a lot to offer someone in need of your emotional and empathic support and like with anything else, there are downsides to consider. Before we get to the possible issues of being an empath, let's consider the different types of empath there are. The following section will illustrate some of the more common ways that empathy can manifest for a person. Keep in mind that if you are an empath and not just empathic, then you will likely feel some of these things in a more heightened way. The most common kind of empath is an emotional empath, and it is just what it sounds like. In general, the article you are reading pertains mostly to an emotional empath. An emotional empath will pick up someone else's feelings easily, to the point that you experience them as your own and have difficulty distinguishing the difference between yours and theirs. This increase in sensation `wakes up' your mind. When you do the Body Scan a second time, focus on any energy that you can feel pulsing through - is it tingly, vibrating, pulsing? Is it warm or cool? Is it heavy or light? As we said, you become more experienced and your awareness deepens, let yourself become immersed in the physical experience. Try to move away from consciously acknowledging and analysing a sensation to simply experiencing it.
Mindfulness practitioners will often ask you to place your feet flat on the floor, even when you are sitting, to help you get the feeling of being grounded. Certainly, the feet play an important part in the sensation of being centred. Stand in a comfortable position with your feet shoulder width apart. Feel the energy dropping through you with gravity towards the floor, until it is centred in your feet. Consistency is key. Make it part of your routine. Decide on a time and place, and a length of time you're willing to meditate. Use a guide, like an app above or even a recording online. Try to meditate first thing in the morning, or earlier in your day, so meditation doesn't get pushed to the back burner behind the rest of your to-do list. During meditation, breathe naturally, and sit comfortably. Don't allow the picture of meditation in your head to decide what your meditation has to look like. Don't shy away from being uncomfortable. It's going to be uncomfortable to be that present and recognize your thoughts and feelings all at once in a concentrated time frame. Use meditation to create mindful goals. I recall several times hearing about these undelivered documents from my dry cleaners . After awhile, my staff approached me as if I were a five-year-old. On one occasion they said, This document has to go to New York. Will you be sure to deliver it this time? I said, Of course. You can count on me.
Hey, I'm not flaky. Needless to say, the document was still in my briefcase when I returned. So now the word is out. Every new employee is indoctrinated by my staff: Don't give the chairman anything to deliver. If a child learned to follow the rule of touching the cat gently, he is also more likely to pet the dog gently, because both animals have many features in common. As another example, both of us authors enjoy articles by Chris Crutcher so much that when he writes a new one, we read it right away, because we know that his newest novel will have many of the same features as his other articles (good writing, humor, important topics, relevance to young people). This is generalization (the process whereby a learned response is made to a situation similar to, but not identical with, the situation in which it was first learned). Generalization happens in rule-following, as well. Consider a child whose parents have built several histories of rewarding their offspring for following health, hygiene, and social harmony rules. This child is likely to follow new rules those parents give in new situations. An instance might be how the kindergarten classroom looks scary on the first day of school, but Mommy introduces a new rule: You'll have fun playing with all these other kids. The slightly anxious child follows Mommy's new rule, overcomes hesitancy, and gets the rewarding outcome of fun play on the first day. Most people become generalized rule-followers sometime in childhood. Under normal circumstances, when a rule is given from a seemingly responsible source, people comply with it, because they have gotten so much reward in the past for other forms of rule following. The warm PJs didn't help, either. Your body cools down as you enter the throes of sleep. In fact, a slight cooling is one of the defining features of sleep onset. It's tough to sleep in a sauna. Finally, you could have popped a melatonin tablet. Melatonin is a hormone produced by your brain's pineal gland.
The molecule is your signal that night is approaching and it's time to wind down. Melatonin doesn't actually cause sleep. Rather, it acts as a messenger to notify the sleep circuitry in your brain that it's showtime. Think of it this way. It is a much deeper emotional sensation, leading to having emotions that don't belong to you, simply because you are near someone who is feeling a strong emotion. The most important thing for an emotional empath is to learn the difference between your feelings and someone else's so that you can better help others with succumbing to emotional exhaustion. A physical empath is able to read the emotional energy of someone's physical body, meaning that they can interpret what is ailing someone on the physical level. This can be like seeing someone's posture and immediately being able to sense that they have chronic pain in their low back. Some physical empaths choose to work as doctors, healers, and medical professionals because of their skills. Sometimes, this ability will be felt, or picked-up in your own body and can lead to chronic fatigue symptoms if you are not aware of your ability to pick up on this kind of energy. For someone with this type of empathy, they can understand the energy of the environment. This could be like walking into a room or a building and automatically being able to discern the energy of the space. Many people associate this form of empathy with environmental studies and those with an urge to help with ecology and sustainability might be a geomantic empath. Usually, you sense this ability if you either feel incredibly uncomfortable or alternately, incredibly at ease and at peace, in certain environments. Spend two minutes experiencing this swell around your ankles and feet, and then concentrate for one more minute on the feeling of each foot's connection with the floor. Imagine the energy moving through the feet into the floor, grounding you. Walk for two minutes somewhere; where it is practical and comfortable do so with bare feet. As you walk, register each tiny sensation that occurs as your weight moves through each of your feet. Awareness will, as we have said, sharpen the experience provided by your senses.
If we think about feeling happier, more vibrant, more alive, this heightened sensory perception is probably a good part of what we are imagining. I (BW) know that fairly soon after I began the Mind Fitness process I had a very clear feeling of having woken up, of having a different level of sensory awareness than I had had before. Many poets through the centuries have used the metaphor of senses `dancing'. In school, we were taught that we have five senses: sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste. Decide what you're going to take from the session to go through your day. After meditating, check in with yourself. Do you feel any different? Did you make any major epiphanies? If you have trouble sticking with it, get some accountability by doing it with a friend. Text each other when you complete your meditation session for the day to keep each other on track. Don't judge yourself or your session. There's no such thing as a `bad' session. You showed up. That's what matters. He's good at a lot of things, but he's a poor courier. Make other arrangements. And that's my point. There is nothing shameful about admitting that you aren't good at everything -- as long as you are wise enough not to let your weaknesses stop you from accomplishing your goals. Indeed, knowing oneself is a crucial aspect of time management. We have all learned to take the telephone for granted.