Empathic Overload
Heidi Dellaire

Heidi Dellaire

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Empathic Overload: How to Ground and Regulate in a World of Intense Emotions

As empaths and highly sensitive people, we have a unique way of experiencing the world. Our heightened sensitivity to the emotions of others and our environment can leave us feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. We may struggle with anxiety, depression, and chronic stress. In order to heal and thrive as empaths and HSPs, it’s important to understand the connection between our minds and bodies and to learn how to regulate our nervous systems.

One of the ways that empaths and HSPs cope with overwhelm is through disassociation – the separation of the mind and body. We may find ourselves daydreaming, spacing out, or losing track of time. While disassociation can be a helpful coping mechanism in the short term, over time it can lead to a sense of disconnection from ourselves and our emotions. We may feel like we are living life on autopilot, going through the motions without really feeling present.

I remember back many years ago, when I was in a toxic relationship and how my emotions were all over the place. I couldn’t do anything without feeling overwhelmed. One of my many guides at the time, as I was starting to heal, told me to get out and hike. But hike fast and hard and feel my feet hitting the ground and say “fuck”  a lot and feel my feet really grounding down into the earth as I was doing all this. That summer, I was in the best shape of my life. I felt the freest I had in a long time. I started to open up to my own intuition again. By connecting to my body, my creativity started to flow. It was the starting point of my book. 

So, you see, in order to heal as empaths and HSPs, it’s important to learn how to regulate our emotions and reconnect with our bodies. This can be a challenging process, as many of us have spent our lives avoiding or suppressing difficult emotions. We may have learned to intellectualize our feelings, analyzing them from a distance rather than experiencing them in the present moment. We may have developed coping mechanisms such as substance abuse or compulsive behaviors to avoid feeling overwhelmed.

The first step in healing as an empath or HSP is to recognize that we are not alone in our experiences. Many others share our sensitivity and struggle with similar challenges. We can seek out community and support from others who understand what we’re going through. Additionally, it’s important to seek out professional help if we’re struggling with anxiety, depression, or trauma.

Another key aspect of healing is learning to regulate our nervous systems. This means finding ways to calm ourselves down when we’re feeling overwhelmed or triggered. For some, this may involve deep breathing or meditation. For others, it may mean engaging in physical activity or spending time in nature. Whatever the method, the key is to find ways to ground ourselves in our bodies and connect with the present moment.

It’s important to note that regulation isn’t just about avoiding difficult emotions – it’s also about experiencing them in a healthy way. As empaths and HSPs, we may be tempted to try to think our way out of difficult emotions or avoid them altogether. However, this approach is not sustainable in the long term. The only way to truly heal is to learn how to safely experience and express our emotions in a way that feels authentic and true to ourselves.

Part of this process involves learning how to set healthy boundaries. As empaths and HSPs, we may be prone to taking on the emotions and needs of others to the point of neglecting our own needs. Learning how to say no, and how to prioritize our own self-care, is an important part of learning how to regulate our emotions and connect with our bodies.

Ultimately, healing as an empath or HSP is a journey that requires self-compassion and patience. It’s important to remember that we are not flawed or broken – our sensitivity is a gift that allows us to connect deeply with others and the world around us. By learning how to regulate our emotions and reconnect with our bodies, we can learn to thrive as empaths and HSPs and make a positive impact in the world.

If you want to learn more about empaths and HSPs, you can get my free guide called, Am I an Empath or HSP: A Checklist and 6 Tips to Help Empaths and HSPs Thrive.   

If you are looking for a coach/guide to help you on the road to better self-regulation, then sign up for a Heal Your Story Strategy Session. You deserve to be living your best life. 

I leave you with this reflection: Sometimes, you might punish yourself for not being productive enough, but it’s important to remember that you’re only human and breaks are necessary. Don’t feel guilty for putting something on pause temporarily while you take time to reconnect with yourself and find balance. Remember, your mental health comes first and taking care of yourself is always a priority. So, give yourself permission to take a break when you need it and don’t let guilt or shame hold you back. You deserve the time and space to recharge and come back even stronger.

Sending lots of love. 


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