How to avoid empathy burnout

burnout

What is burnout?

Physical or emotional exhaustion, especially as a result of long-term stress or dissipation.

In an empathic context, based off of this very limited definition, Empathic Burnout happens when an Empath suffers from emotional and/or physical exhaustion, due to the long term stress of taking on the emotions of others. Burnout can cause significant physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual damage to people. So you, as an Empath, must be aware of the symptoms, characteristics, and traits that foretell the onset of this kind of burnout.

5 Strategies To Prevent Empathy Burnout

Appropriately dosed, empathy is undoubtedly a good thing, but we need to consider the strategies to protect ourselves if we are in professions that require high degrees of empathy.

1. Know Your Vulnerabilities
Each of us has a body part that is more vulnerable to absorbing others’ stress. Scan your body to determine yours. Is it your neck?  Do you get sore throats? Headaches? Bladder infections? At the onset of symptoms in these areas, place your palm there and keep sending loving-kindness to that area to soothe discomfort. For longstanding depression or pain, use this method daily to strengthen yourself. It’s comforting and builds a sense of safety and optimism. Remind yourself that the pain of others is not your own.

2. Surrender To Your Breath
Concentrating on your breath for a few minutes can dramatically alleviate energetic pain which manifests in the physical. It is centering and connects you to your power. Yoga is also excellent to facilitate this process.

3. Set Limitations and Boundaries
You don’t have to be an open book all the time. Control how much time you spend listening to stressful people or their pain, and learn to say “no.” Remember, “no” is a complete sentence. If you are in a profession where you can’t say “no,” then try adaptive strategies that allow to set limits on and foster a balance between that which is negative and positive.

4. Develop A Support System
Build a network of positive influencers, acquaintances and professional contacts. Have the emotional intelligence to recognize when you need help and when your empathy is turning toxic to yourself. When you find yourself becoming overly emotional, call a friend or mentor and calmly explain the situation. Often times an objective person can provide you with a different perspective or a new approach.

5. Embody The Philosophy That Everything Is As It Should Be

Some people will always have pain. That is their path and there will be nothing anybody else can do about it until that person that decides to do something for themselves. Know that they are exactly where they should be at this point in time. Comfort them, guide them and influence them, but nobody will ever change their situation but themselves. You are a conduit to their change, nothing more.

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