Empathy is getting a lot of press these days.  But with a culture of extreme individualism where online interactions outnumber in-person conversations, it can be hard to cultivate an empathetic mind-meld.

images (13)But the benefits of strong empathic skills are legion: first, you’ll understand the motivations and needs of people around you. People’s actions, no matter how wacky, will start to make sense (“Well, duh, if that happened to me I’d probably act like that, too.”), which will in turn make you less judgy and defensive – and that will make you less stressed out.

Here are 6 ways to become more empathic and enhance this gift so you can center your energy and even share your gift with others:

Trust What You’re Feeling

An empath should learn to trust the thoughts and feelings that come their way even if they don’t completely make sense right away. Eventually, a seemingly innocuous word or odd feeling will make sense. It’s like having that “Ah-Ha moment.” Letting the feelings flow freely always leads you to the answer. This practice is like bodybuilding—you build strength as you learn to trust the process and practice it. Trusting your feelings builds your psychic confidence and makes you a better empath.

Find Time for Quiet Meditation

Meditation, as in sitting in the lotus position, is great if you can do it, but it doesn’t always come easily to everyone, even the psychically in-tune. But just having a little alone time can be enough to quiet the mind and center yourself. I like to say, “Find your zen any way you can.” If you enjoy being creative, do something daily to calm the mind.

Ground Yourself in Nature

images (15)Part of taking on other people’s emotions and energies involves being somewhat of a sponge. You’re soaking up someone else’s feelings and it’s important to wring your spongy self out, so to speak. Spending time in nature is great for empaths. Grounding yourself by literally touching the earth with your feet and/or hands helps you to dissipate any energy you’ve absorbed from others, negative or otherwise. It also gives you that centered feeling that’s so necessary to do what you do—help others.


Get Near Your Astrological Element

If you know your astrological Sun Sign, then you know whether you’re an Earth, Water, Fire or Air Sign. Getting near your element brings you fully back to that connection with “self.” Think of the relaxed feeling you get when you sit near a lake or stare at a roaring fireplace; that’s how Water and Fire Signs do it. Air Signs can simply open the door and breathe in the fresh air and Earth Signs find peace in planting gardens or walking in the woods.

Avoid Loud and Crowded Places

No one is saying you should become a hermit, but empathic people just seem to flourish when the environment is calmer and quieter. If you’re empathic then you know how overwhelming it can be after a while when you’re in a loud bar with people chattering and music playing and emotions flying all over the room. Go out and have some fun, by all means, but make sure you have an exit strategy for that moment when you realize that you’ve had enough “fun” for one night.

images (14)Get a Pet or Play With Someone Else’s

Animals remind us that there’s only one way to live—in the present. Being “fully present” brings clarity of thought, eliminates distractions and quiets the chatter that sometimes goes on in an empath’s head when there are so many messages and/or emotions coming through at once. Pets are an example of unconditional love at its best.

All of the things mentioned here are focused on centering your energy. If you’re an empath or a highly sensitive person and you’re looking for ways to become more empathic, follow these suggestions (one or all) and you’ll find that centering yourself will enable you to enhance your abilities more and more over time.