This summer, I’ve decided to give some solid time to introspection. I’ve never believed that health issues are random (eye surgery fail notwithstanding), so I wanted to get to root cause.
I’ve read a bunch of books and listened to many podcasts on everything from anxiety to depression to trauma survival to spiritual awakening to adrenal fatigue. Eventually, I was led to Judith Orloff’s The Empath’s Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People.
Ding ding ding.
We have a winner!
Orloff is a psychiatrist associated with UCLA. This is important to me as I’m a total snob when it comes to qualifications. It’s a little like my view on artists: you need some training in the rules to be able to break the rules.
Where Orloff deviates from many of her psychiatrist peers is her focus on intuition and spirituality (say what now?) She combines traditional science with energy work, which is right up my alley. She’s identified a category of highly sensitive person who is very tuned into other people’s feelings. They love people and also find them overwhelming en masse.
If you go into a crowded store and feel overwhelmed with all of the energy coming at you, you might be an empath (or just super hate Walmart, which is understandable too!)
Here is Orloff’s quiz to determine if you are an empath (more than three yes answers in an indicator that you might be an empath):
Have I been labeled as “too emotional” or overly sensitive?
If a friend is distraught, do I start feeling it too?
Are my feelings easily hurt?
Am I emotionally drained by crowds, require time alone to revive?
Do my nerves get jarred by noise, smells, or excessive talk?
Do I prefer taking my own car places so that I can leave when I please?
Do I overeat to cope with emotional stress?
Am I afraid of becoming engulfed by intimate relationships?
If you think this might be you, you will love this book.
Do you think you might be an empath?