Dr Judith Orloff's Blog

Why Empaths Are at Risk for Adrenal Fatigue

Judith Orloff - Monday, April 28, 2014


(Adapted from The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your Life Harmony Books, 2014 by Judith Orloff MD)

As a psychiatrist I treat many empath-patients who come in exhausted with a syndrome known as adrenal fatigue. This is a collection of symptoms such as exhaustion, body aches, anxiety, trouble thinking clearly, and insomnia. In this condition, the theory is that the adrenal glands can’t keep up with outside stress so the hormones such as cortisol that normally keep you energized begin to get depleted.

In my book, The Ecstasy of Surrender I discuss the very real situation of empathic illnesses where empaths literally take on the stress and symptoms of others. Unfortunately, conventional medicine doesn’t have a context with which to understand this and many empaths are left in the lurch or misdiagnosed. Because empaths can be emotional sponges and take on the literal symptoms of others, it adds to their stress levels and leaves them more vulnerable to adrenal fatigue. To learn more about Empathic Illnesses including strategies to stop absorbing other people’s toxic energy read the chapter “Harmonizing with Illness & Pain” in my book.

Here are some solutions for empaths to treat adrenal fatigue that can turn your symptoms around and restore your energy. But remember, for empaths this isn’t a one-time fix—it requires some basic life style and diet changes so that you can effectively manage your energy over the long term.

Strategies to Relieve Adrenal Fatigue

  • Get a blood test to measure your cortisol levels.
  • Consider temporary natural cortisol replacement per your physician’s recommendation.
  • Get as much rest as you can on a regular basis (sleep is very healing and restorative!).
  • Eliminate the energy vampires in your life or at least set clear limits and boundaries with them so they don’t chronically sap you. (Read Chapter 5 in the Ecstasy of Surrender for tips and strategies.)
  • Eat a natural whole food diet and avoid junk food
  • Add Himalayan Red Salt to your diet and get rid of low quality salts (always check with your physician if your blood pressure is high).
  • Avoid white flour and other toxic grains
  • Minimize your sugar intake
  • Gentle exercise and stretching—gradually build up stamina and challenge yourself as your energy increases
  • Meditate: Use the three minute surrender to your heart meditation in The Ecstasy of Surrender to take mini breaks throughout your busy day to replenish yourself
  • Take 2,000-5000 mg Vitamins C orally every day
  • Consider IV Vitamin C drips (10-25,000mg) delivered intravenously that can jump start your energy level and support adrenal health (holistic physicians often offer this treatment in their offices). I get one whenever I feel like I’m coming down with a cold to build up my immune system—and it works!
  • In addition to these practical tips, get in the habit of practicing positive thinking. By this I mean, do not beat yourself up with negative thoughts such as “I will never feel better” or “I am weak and sick.” Rather focus on the surrender affirmations I present at the end of every chapter in the book such as “I am healthy, happy, and deserve to have vibrant well-being.” You might not have control over some stresses in your life but you can have control of your attitude. To relieve adrenal fatigue, you can remove a great deal of inner stress by surrendering patterns of self-loathing and embracing self-compassion and self-love!

    Judith Orloff MD is a psychiatrist, intuitive healer, and NY Times bestselling author. Her latest national bestseller is The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your life. Dr. Orloff's other bestsellers are Emotional FreedomSecond SightPositive Energy, and Intuitive Healing. Dr. Orloff synthesizes the pearls of traditional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, energy, and spirituality. She passionately believes that the future of medicine involves integrating all this wisdom to achieve emotional freedom and total wellness. To learn more about the power of surrender visit www.drjudithorloff.com

    Cindie commented on 29-Apr-2014 06:42 PM
    Omg Dr.Judith! Amazing!
    Elisabeth commented on 29-Apr-2014 07:27 PM
    Thanks for your input! It encourages me to trust more my intuitive feelings than I have done so far.
    Anonymous commented on 29-Apr-2014 07:29 PM
    Thank you <3
    Ugie commented on 29-Apr-2014 10:00 PM
    Thank you Dr. Orloff,
    For many, many years I have known that I am an empath. This is the very first time twelve known ths condition to be addressed. This is not something I asked for, and I have felt so tired sometimes, but did not know why. It felt like someone drained all the energy from my body with a vacum cleaner hose. You put a name to what I have experienced.
    I love the affirmations and the suggestions to address my health a a result of this.
    My goal is to begin a better nutritional way of eating and taking better care of my body. I pray and meditate daily, and have done so for many years.
    Thank you again, and may you be continually blessed,
    Anonymous commented on 30-Apr-2014 01:39 AM
    As a Reflexologist I see so many unbalances in my clients feet.... especially in the younger generation... due to lack of poor diet. Adding Omega 3 fish oils into our diet can have a huge positive effect....our bodies feel so much more nourished....it feeds our skin and is so good for our hair.....and lots more...........
    Becky commented on 30-Apr-2014 01:41 AM
    Great article! Will definitely get the book! I have a predicament though that I really need help getting through. I can take this advice and apply it everywhere but this one spot! I actually manage my empathetic self well, but I realize it's mostly through avoidance. I don't mind being a hermit and when I'm around friends, I'm great! When I'm around people with energy I don't do well with, I need to flea. I'm usually ok getting through this, as my husband knows I can only handle small doses. But, this one topic, he is blind to. It just seems like nothing works and my mind then goes into the gutter. My mother inlaw, which is why he can't see it, is extremely present and it creates my husband to completely shift his normal energy onto her and I am ignored most of the time when we're all together (they speak a different language also). I've told them they do this but it doesn't seem to phase them. I know I'm sensitive and usually it's my own perspective which needs adjusting, but this one feels different and I just don't know how to block her energy. She feels like a force that demands a red carpet and he rolls it right out and presses it down and then walks her right down it, and he's 40. It's just the relationship they have. I love and respect my mother, but she's a capable human being and we don't baby one another like these two. It's frustrating. I get so irritated and anxious with her, especially when there's a possibility she may be coming around. She comes to town frequently and for usually 1-2 weeks and expects us to have dinner with her almost nightly and to hang out and be at her beckon call. My husband goes with it without a thought and he will set aside plans (or lie to her rather than say no) or even invite her out with our friends! But being empathetic, I need preparation and space and I find it disrespectful and cowardly that he rearranges life for her. The thing is, she may be upset if he tells her no, but I wouldn't know because he won't! And really, I think she'd be ok, so long as he doesn't do it more than once because she likes to use the pity card and is always inserting herself asking, "did I do something wrong" when it has nothing to do with her. This type of oerson is someone I would not associate with, for I know what they do to me, but how do I manage it when we're currently living so close to her? Anyone have ANY type of advice for me? Thank you in advance and cheers to all of the empaths out there! We may be a "difficult breed", but we're so beautiful at the same time!!
    Anonymous commented on 30-Apr-2014 02:22 AM
    This makes so much sense! With some people I can feel as though the life is draining out of me!Now I understand that I can do things to protect myself already I feel less vulnerable. Thank you! En
    Betterlife commented on 30-Apr-2014 03:05 AM
    I love how you break down in a simple-but very profound manner your concept of 12 ways of letting go & surrendering to the moment,to happiness,to love & to a BETTERLIFE!!!

    From your biggest fan!!
    Betterlife commented on 30-Apr-2014 03:06 AM
    I love how you break down in a simple-but very profound manner your concept of 12 ways of letting go & surrendering to the moment,to happiness,to love & to a BETTERLIFE!!!

    From your biggest fan!!
    DULCEMARIA ORELLANA commented on 30-Apr-2014 06:01 AM
    Hi Dr. Orloff!
    Who would´ve thought that helping others can put a person at such a risk? Thanks for sharing your wise advice to protect ourselves while helping others.Once I read that the sick person gets better by taking other people´s health. The sick one may not have that intention, however that happens since the exchange of energy is based on a asymetric relationship.
    Take care.
    paulette commented on 01-May-2014 12:55 AM
    thanks for your work, i have more patient and compassion for myself now, the vit c work great, when i get super drain i do a vit c flush and it helps lots.also i found a niacin flush also helps too, that rush of blood seem to cut the anxieties i am picking up.
    your work change my life i feel, accepting of my sensitivity.
    Anonymous commented on 03-May-2014 10:17 PM
    Thank you for recognizing this condition and offering ways to deal with adrenal fatigue. I will get your book. Blessing to you for helping the empaths of the world:)
    Jan commented on 07-May-2014 03:12 PM
    Want to thank you for the presentation you gave at Powell's bookstore in Cedar Hills. This was my first introduction to your books. Right now I am reading The Ecstasy of Surrender and appreciate all that I have read thus far. On page 27 I read,"You are a vessel for this power, never the master of it," Your words made me think of this short prayer---"O God, make me a hollow reed, through which the pith of self hath been blown, so that I may become a clear channel through which Thy love may flow to others." Wishing you well on your journey.
    Christopher Antoine marchand commented on 09-May-2014 12:06 AM
    Iam waiting for a cd from the library ! Iam so excited I can hardly wait !!!!
    jeanne commented on 15-May-2014 02:19 PM
    I am exhausted. When I have the $ I will look into this book! I have weeded my friend garden, avoid places with much negativity, anger yet it seems it is everywhere this days! It saddens me greatly! So there is hope! thanks
    marilyn jones commented on 03-Aug-2014 12:48 PM
    Great advice
    Rebekah commented on 04-Feb-2015 04:45 PM
    I'm curious.....I wonder how many empathic people have Pisces as their moon sign?

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    4 Ways Surrendering Control Makes Us More Successful

    Judith Orloff - Saturday, March 15, 2014


    (Adapted from The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your Life Harmony Books, 2014 by Judith Orloff MD)

    We live in a culture that encourages type-A personalities who engage in multitasking, getting ahead, competing, and growing profits. The problem is, behaviors such as trying to control the outcome, working overtime, and pushing ourselves to the limit leaves us exhausted, stressed out, depressed, and depleted.

    There's a better way, and it involves learning how to surrender or let go of control. When we invite spontaneity, let ourselves be "in the flow," and when we're able to trust that everything will get done, it opens us up to more creativity, serendipity, and unexpected benefits such as joy, balance, and better health.

    In The Ecstasy of Surrender, learning to let go of our need to control difficult people, win arguments, or be in charge changes the way people relate to us. Instead of arguing, pushing back, or escalating the conflict with a rageaholic or passive-aggressive person, we can let go of the tension we feel. Once we do that, we can find a simple way to navigate the interaction, by agreeing with part of what they say, for example, or by offering a solution that has a common benefit.

    Surrender helps us stay focused.
    In our business and personal lives, it's easy to get distracted by wrong-headed ideas of success. We compare ourselves to others who are wealthier, higher up the corporate ladder, thinner, younger, or more attractive. Learning to surrender comparisons enables us to wish others well, and then we can refocus on energy on our own opportunities, talents, skills, and assets. As a result, we get instant relief from self-doubt, and a big jolt of confidence and purpose.

    Surrender enables goal attainment.
    We've been taught to keep our eye firmly on the goal we want to achieve so that everything we do, say, and accomplish gets us closer to that goal. The problem with this approach is that it's premise is faulty: We cannot control outcomes. There's a better way. By keeping your eye on what you can control--your breath, your emotions, your outlook, and your self-care--surprising things will begin to happen for you. You'll feel positive, happy, and healthy. People will respond to you. You'll feel energized and inspired. Soon, you'll have exactly what you want.

    Surrender expands creativity.
    Being rigid and single-minded in the pursuit of success is like walking on a railroad. You may miss great things that don't fall within your view. Letting go of our addiction to stress and struggle allows us to change our relationship to time and organization. We may find, for example, that looking up at the sky in the middle of a particularly jam-packed day lets the mind wander to the shape of the clouds, which leads to another thought. When we go back to our work, we have a new idea about how to tackle the task.

    Want to find out how "surrendered" you are? Take a free quiz HERE.

    Judith Orloff MD is a psychiatrist, intuitive healer, and NY Times bestselling author. Her latest national bestseller is The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your life. Dr. Orloff's other bestsellers are Emotional FreedomSecond SightPositive Energy, and Intuitive Healing. Dr. Orloff synthesizes the pearls of traditional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, energy, and spirituality. She passionately believes that the future of medicine involves integrating all this wisdom to achieve emotional freedom and total wellness. To learn more about the power of surrender visit www.drjudithorloff.com


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    Empathic Illnesses: Do You Absorb Other People’s Symptoms?

    Judith Orloff - Saturday, January 25, 2014


    (Adapted from The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your Life Harmony Books, 2014 by Judith Orloff MD)

    Empathic illnesses are those in which you manifest symptoms that are not your own. Many patients have come to me labeled “agoraphobic” with panic disorders, chronic depression, fatigue, pain, or mysterious ailments that respond only partially to medications or psychotherapy. Some were nearly housebound or ill for years. They’d all say, “I dread being in crowds. Other people’s anger, stress, and pain drain me, and I need a lot of alone time to refuel my energy.” When I took a close history of all these patients I found that they were what I call “physical empaths:” people whose bodies are so porous they absorb the symptoms of others. I relate because I am one. Physical empaths do not have the defenses that others have to screen things out. As a psychiatrist, knowing this significantly changed how I treated these patients. My job became teaching them to center and protect themselves, set healthy boundaries, and let go of energy they picked up from others.

    To determine if you are a physical empath take the following quiz.

    Quiz: Am I a Physical Empath?
    Ask yourself:

  • Have I been labeled as overly sensitive or a hypochondriac?
  • Have I ever sat next to someone who seemed nice but suddenly my eyelids got heavy and I felt like taking a nap?
  • Do I feel uneasy, tired, or sick in crowds and avoid them?
  • Do I feel someone else’s anxiety or physical pain in my body?
  • Do I feel exhausted by angry or hostile people?
  • Do I run from doctor to doctor for medical tests, but I’m told “You’re fine.”
  • Am I chronically tired or have many unexplained symptoms
  • Do I frequently feel overwhelmed by the world and want to stay home?
  • If you answered “yes” to 1-3 questions you are at least part empath. Responding yes to 4 to5 questions indicates you have moderate degree of physical empathy. 6 to 7 “yeses” indicate you have a high degree of empathy. Eight yeses indicate you are a full blown empath.

    Discovering that you are a physical empath can be a revelation. Rest assured: You are not crazy. You are not a malingerer or hypochondriac. You are not imagining things, though your doctor might treat you like a nuisance. You are a sensitive person with a gift that you must develop and successfully manage.

    Strategies to Surrender Toxic Energy

    Physical empathy doesn’t have to overwhelm you. Now that I can center myself and refrain from taking on other people’s pain, empathy has made my life more compassionate, insightful, and richer. Here are some secrets to thriving as a physical empath that I’ve learned so that it doesn’t take a toll on my health.

    A Survival Guide for Empaths: 9 Strategies To Stop Absorbing Other People’s Illness and Pain (from The Ecstasy of Surrender)

  • Evaluate. First, ask yourself: Is this symptom or emotion mine or someone else's? It could be both. If the emotion such as fear or anger is yours, gently confront what's causing it on your own or with professional help. If it’s not yours, try to pinpoint the obvious generator.

  • Move away. When possible, distance yourself by at least twenty feet from the suspected source. See if you feel relief. Don't err on the side of not wanting to offend strangers. In a public place, don't hesitate to change seats if you feel a sense of “dis-ease” imposing on you.

  • Know your vulnerable points. Each of us has a body part that is more vulnerable to absorbing others’ stress. Mine is my gut. Scan your body to determine yours. Is it you 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.

  • Surrender to your breath. If you suspect you are picking up someone else’s symptoms, concentrate on your breath for a few minutes. This is centering and connects you to your power.

  • Practice Guerilla Meditation. To counter emotional or physical distress, act fast and meditate for a few minutes. Do this at home, at work, at parties, or conferences. Or, take refuge in the bathroom. If it’s public, close the stall. Meditate there. Calm yourself. Focus on positivity and love.

  • Set healthy limits and boundaries. Control how much time you spend listening to stressful people, and learn to say “no.” Remember, “no” is a complete sentence.

  • Visualize protection around you. Visualize an envelope of white light around your entire body. Or with extremely toxic people, visualize a fierce black jaguar patrolling and protecting your energy field against intruders.

  • Develop X ray vision. The spaces between the vertebrae in your lower back (lumbar spine) are conducive to eliminating pain from the body. It’s helpful to learn to mindfully direct pain out of these spaces by visualizing it leaving your body. Say goodbye to pain as it blends with the giant energy matrix of life!

  • Take a bath or shower. A quick way to dissolve stress is to immerse yourself in water. My bath is my sanctuary after a busy day. It washes away everything from bus exhaust to long hours of air travel to pesky symptoms I have taken on from others. Soaking in natural mineral springs divinely purifies all that ails.
  • Keep practicing these strategies. By protecting yourself and your space, you can create a magical safe bubble around you that nurtures you, while simultaneously driving negative people away. Don’t panic if you occasionally pick up pain or some other nasty symptom. It happens. With strategies I discuss in my book to surrender other people’s symptoms you can have quicker responses to stressful situations. This will make you feel safer, healthier, and your sensitivities can blossom.

    Judith Orloff MD is a psychiatrist, intuitive healer, and NY Times bestselling author. Her latest national bestseller is The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your life. Dr. Orloff's other bestsellers are Emotional FreedomSecond SightPositive Energy, and Intuitive Healing. Dr. Orloff synthesizes the pearls of traditional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, energy, and spirituality. She passionately believes that the future of medicine involves integrating all this wisdom to achieve emotional freedom and total wellness. To learn more about the power of surrender visit www.drjudithorloff.com

    Joe Chasko commented on 18-Feb-2014 12:22 PM
    Good advice. Also, you may be a psychic empath, with the ability to feed energy back to "emotional vampires" to their benefit and your cost.

    A psychic healer can guide with tools to shield yourself from these attacks. Another remedy is to continue improve your "vibrational frequency" through therapies or meditation, moving from darker thoughts to lighter ones.

    With the combination of these, I can now attend of funeral, which used to be terrible for me.
    Roni Wise commented on 18-Feb-2014 04:29 PM
    Wow,what an eye opener, I've been told I was empathic, but never wondered why I physically am I'll all the time. I scored an 8, which got me thinking, maybe this is not all my illness, or I am not ill at all. Because I'm a nurse, I am in contact with toxic, I'll and stressed people every day. Finally I went on disability, and stay in my room a lot meditating, avoiding people, places and events, and feel exhausted the day I planned to have an outing, and cancel at the last minute. Thanks for the wonderful information. Although I use a energy crystal blanket at night to protect me , I like the idea of a jaguar roaming my room , or house at night
    Anonymous commented on 18-Feb-2014 04:41 PM
    Deep thanks Judith! This came at exactly the right time.
    Georgina commented on 18-Feb-2014 09:12 PM

    Hi Judith,

    Thank you for your email, I found it very confirming.

    I especially enjoyed the visual picture of the "panther".

    Daily I will be applying these strategies when I feel discomfort and other people intruding into my personal space and mental state.

    Please contintue to send emails.

    Thank you once again for your intuition, knowledge, experience and inspiring world.

    Kind regards,

    karla malcolm commented on 19-Feb-2014 10:55 AM
    thank you for giving a name to this! When I was growing up I was always sick and school was a tough environment for me- easy academically but tough energetically... Now I am an animal communicator and physical empath- I have learned to use it as a gift and clear it from my body- yay your techniques are terrific! Thanks to you, I love your work. xoxo Karla
    Mary-Anne Wielinga commented on 19-Feb-2014 06:38 PM
    As a young health practitioner occasionally I would come across a patient that would drain me , it would take three days to recover. I found washing my arms and saying a prayer helped. As time has passed I find the cycle of reaction and recovery has shrunk, I rarely feel really sapped after working. Now ( after 13 years) I am becoming like a tuning fork, and bits of peoples bodies will sing out to me as I work, when I have cleared or resolved the problem in them my pain leaves. The physical empath capacity has become a tool. I do have areas of my own body that react more severely, to others, like my hands or heart. I think you can be a empath without reacting so severely as you mentioned above in your list.. I love people. I usually only react to people in my care, my friends or hostile people; perhaps thats the only difference.
    Brilliant insight as usual Judith!
    terry rutherford commented on 02-Mar-2014 10:09 PM
    I was a social worker for 18 years when I got cancer. After chemotherapy I went back to work and developed a series of other illnesses. I finally quit but continue to experience agoraphobia, depression and anxiety. I have tried surrounding myself with light for many years but it doesn't seem to help. Years ago I discovered I was an impath when one day I was all of a sudden feeling anxious for no reason. It was two days before April 15th, tax day. I continue to be challenged with sadness and anxiety. If it wasn't for my husbands understanding and support I do not think I would still be here. I can only do 3 things in a day and then need to come home and lay in bed for an hour. I struggle with hopelessness and do not see an upside to being on this planet. I see a psychologist that keeps me active with yoga and socialization but it feel empty. I don't mean to be so negative but this is my current experience. I will cont. to put one foot in front of the other as long as I can. May you all be blessed. T.
    victoria commented on 22-Apr-2014 04:57 AM
    Thank you, a way to rid of what I pick up or share can sometimes
    be hard to get rid of! A roomate whose knee
    operation pain seemed to always come my way.
    A friend whos symptoms from his weekend
    phone calls ranged from sickness to anus discomfort. Feeling sick just
    begore the cat pukes. Crying when friends
    and family members are upset at the same time when there miles away.
    Knowing when someone's died without being told.
    At last a like minded soul. I love the big black cat, and sickness release from the back.
    Thank you I will work with your methods.
    Lora commented on 13-Jun-2014 02:46 PM
    Growing up, I could sense something in the air that other people could not pick up. I could sense sore throat particles in the air so I always knew that someone was sick near me - later on in life i realised that i was sensitive to many things in the air. When i got to work, i knew my colleague had sore throat and I immediately told her that she had sore throat, she was baffled and shocked. Another person said that if there was a nuclear war, i would be the first person to die. Is there any other people like me?
    Manon commented on 19-Jun-2014 12:07 PM
    I've suffered from pain, sinusitis, arthritis, fatigue, among many other "mysterious" illnesses. This Spring, my dog and myself fell ill and I've had to put a hold on my wellness consultation work.

    After a month, I made a mind map of all the little things that were wrong with me, and put it away. This week, I felt compelled to take it out again. This time, I was guided to write the names of the people close to me--over the illnesses.

    I was astounded to see how many illness I share with people I love. Then I found this blog post! Major ah ha moment!

    I am extremely sensitive and still can't figure out how to stop other peoples energy to lodge into my own. I hope I figure out so I can continue my journey of promoting wellness.
    Micheal commented on 23-Jul-2014 11:45 AM
    I would like to know more about this if you can contact me so me and my girlfriend can fix these problem
    Lee commented on 09-Sep-2014 10:16 PM

    I feel similarly. I never really thought about the air that way, but all my life I have also been conscious of illness particles in the air. I can sense them and can always tell the moment they enter my body and that I will get sick.

    @ Dr. Judith Orloff:

    Thanks so much for writing this, it is infinitely comforting to hear these confirmations coming from a trained medical professional like yourself. It validates my concerns and is a huge relief! Thank you, thank you.
    Ruth commented on 19-Sep-2014 09:33 PM
    I have experienced some of the symptoms above. I suffer from deep depression, anxiety and for a whole month a few years ago. I didn't leave my house for almost 2 months. I often get chest pains in my heart area. Upset stomach, weakness and nervousness. I swear sometimes I already know what a person is thinking or feeling. I'm very emotional and many things upset me. I often feel like I care more about a person than they so themselves.
    Samantha commented on 25-Nov-2014 12:14 AM
    So good to know there are many people out there who are like me. I always thought I was a crazy girl. I cry for everything. Be it a wedding of a stranger to a baby being born etc... I don't watch violent movies or movies that are sad. It affects me so bad. Can never say no. I'm always the soft one who helps everyone. Animals and kids are drawn to me. When out I feel overwhelmed. When I get home I'm so physically and emotionally drained. Love the jaguar.
    Anonymous commented on 12-Dec-2014 01:10 AM
    wow holy crap that what has been going on with me i have all 8 symtoms people. what can i do????
    Anonymous commented on 12-Dec-2014 01:27 AM
    im drawn to the woods and holy places that are tranquil after dealing with the exhausting day of peoples emotions over running me im drawn to particularly women and people's silent agony it bugs me to no end when people im close to hide it from me. and i often experience all 8 of the symtoms yesterday was the worse ever. i
    Anthony Nunez commented on 02-Jan-2015 09:41 PM
    I would like to discuss this further. Hear from you soon.
    Sissy commented on 13-Jan-2015 10:27 PM
    I know what I am but I am so tired of being this way. I can't be sober even anymore and deal with these crazy "normal" people who can't see past his or her own nose.
    Christina commented on 23-Jan-2015 12:19 PM
    Hello, Dr. Orloff!
    I was excited to find this blog post from you. I've read two of your books ("Positive Energy" and "Second Sight"), which brought me to the realization that I am an empath. I have had chronic pain and migraines since I was a child, was diagnosed with a chronic illness two years ago, and have since been undergoing treatment. But my docs have been stumped on why my recovery is so sluggish. Now I can clearly see that maybe a larger part of the problem for me is that I've been soaking up everyone's pain and emotions for years! I have been studying on how to protect and heal myself as an empath, reading Rosetree, McLaren, etc. But I had to fly yesterday, and today I'm physically a mess. I spoke to a local empathic teacher, and she insisted that I can't heal myself on my own--that I need to get help from a healer. Do you believe that's true? Thanks so much for your great books and work. You are a gift to all of us!!
    Lydia commented on 19-Feb-2015 06:58 PM
    I have been a very depressive person since I was a child, I have always known that I feel others emotions very keenly, but not physicaly thankfully. I just happened to type into google how I feel and found this article. First time I realized there is a name for people like me. I find it is more an issue with the people I love the most. I am constantly hurting for the things that hurt them and it is exhausting to the point of never wanting to leave the house. I have always preferred being at home and even feel "safest" in a closet or under a blanket and I feel like I am a complete weirdo. Thank you for shedding light on this. My friend told me I am a sponge absorbing everyone elses emotions...I have to find a way to control it but that seems impossible
    Shannon commented on 25-Feb-2015 01:43 PM
    OMG!!I can not believe after almost 45 years..i finally have a name put to this. the last straw was today when i had severe knee pain without any reason except for my husband falling and injuring his knee yesterday.Prior to this.I have felt every pain my son has had. He has CP and when he has a surgery, my husband is usually caring for both if us because i am bedridden also. I knew my Mom had passed without being informed. I take on otherels anger. I am always drained. I sleep my weekends away because I have no energy.I know and sense things that others do not. My friends and family are always amazed of the accuracy. I have not been happy in a very long time because I draw a lot of people who wants to befriend me no matter where i am. That's why i prefer being at home and away from the phone. The stories they share are usually sad and down. sigh....I really need help with this because i am exhausted. I literally feel like I am carrying the weight of the world on me.
    Anonymous commented on 21-Mar-2015 11:34 PM
    Great article
    Anonymous commented on 22-Mar-2015 12:27 AM
    Thanks for this article. I recently had an experience. My friend got sick with fever. I was 6 feet away from her bed, but I can feel her fever or energy. I don't feel it in other parts if the room. I am not sure if everyone can do that. The next day, my friend said she is fine. I was standing closer to her. Though the energy or heat is not as strong as yesterday, I still feel it when I held my hand up without touching her. She didn't believe me but 2 hours later, she came back and said I was right. Could this be a valid sign that I am an empath?
    Anonymous commented on 22-Mar-2015 12:32 AM
    Thanks for this article. I recently had an experience. My friend got sick with fever. I was 6 feet away from her bed, but I can feel her fever or energy. I don't feel it in other parts if the room. I am not sure if everyone can do that. The next day, my friend said she is fine. I was standing closer to her. Though the energy or heat is not as strong as yesterday, I still feel it when I held my hand up without touching her. She didn't believe me but 2 hours later, she came back and said I was right. Could this be a valid sign that I am an empath?
    Lucas Aoki commented on 27-Mar-2015 08:54 PM
    after a anxiety issue last year, all the sudden i started to feel others... and i scored 6 in the questions above....
    its like it drains my energy.... i am trying to control it... to make it an ability to scan others, control so it can not harm me and then i can help others.... i received this for a reason.... and we can use it for the good.... its hard...
    i am from brazil - Sao Paulo. Big cities, traffic, crowds... i feel the energy...the feeling.... it drains me! i need alone time every day!!
    Nancy commented on 17-Apr-2015 04:11 PM
    When I was younger I always had pain in my feet and legs whenever anyone around me would get hurt. I'd come home from school and crash from exhaustion. I've been ill forever. They tried to tell me it was depression, though when they talked with me couldn't see any reason I needed to go to a counselor. They finally labeled me with chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. I've never believed that, so this makes sense. One time when I was making lunch it felt like something sharp hit my back so hard that my knees buckled and I went down. Later I found out my best friend had been hit in the back with the steel part of the school door at the very same time. When giving back rubs I can feel where the pain is, and where it's coming from. Likewise if I cup my right hand and run it above your body I can feel where you hurt. Never really talked to anyone about this though. Just did this for close friends, or my husband at the time. He had a bad knee and I would cup my right hand over his knee and feel it drawing the pain out and through my arm to my other arm and out through my left hand. It helped him sleep better at night.
    Nancy commented on 17-Apr-2015 04:25 PM
    One more note, when I was young I could hear spirits sometimes and feel their presence.(not happily) I've only actually seen 3 fully in my lifetime. But I could walk into a house and tell if someone was murdered or died there. I heard the spirits say "Can you hear me?" or "Help me." A lot of the words were unclear, but they'd catch me sometimes when I was between being awake and being asleep. That's when everything was extremely clear. And some of those spirits were nasty! But I mostly haven't wanted to deal with any of that so I've become a pro at blocking them! It seems so many couldn't forgive themselves for one thing or another and couldn't go to God with their guilt. So I did talk to some of them to let them know it's what God wants. If they can't forgive themselves, then they're hurting God, because He wants them on His team. So by allowing God's forgiveness you are giving Him your trust and going to His side. Anyway that's basically what helped them.
    Christina commented on 08-May-2015 01:52 PM
    I looked over the questions and have answered them to myself honestly. "YES" for all of them. While being an empath is a gift, since I don't know how to switch it on or off, or if that's even possible, my life is miserable. I am so fatigued, exsausted physically and mentally and can hardly keep my eyes open. Even while I'm typing this I feel like im just going to fall asleep. I've gone to a few doctors and had blood work done. Everything comes out normal. This is etremely frustrating. I live with my boyfriend in New Orleans. I moved out here in april 2013. Ever since I've been out here my health and empathetic feeling have been at its worst! My boyfriend suffers from Psoriasis. He gets it from the stress and BS at work. I feel his stress, and now I have the psoriasis around both my eyes and his is gone. I have photos to prove it from yesterday 05/07/15. If anyone would like to see feel free to message me. Christina_Citsay32@yahoo.com

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    3 Steps to Rekindle the Passion in Your Job

    Judith Orloff - Tuesday, June 25, 2013


    Adapted from Dr. Judith Orloff's ”Positive Energy: 10 Extraordinary Prescriptions for Transforming Fatigue, Stress, and Fear into Vibrance, Strength, and Love ”

    I’m a fanatic about following your passion. As a psychiatrist and intuitive when I work with my patients and workshop participants my mission is to hunt down and reinforce what creatively jibes for them from jobs to finger-painting. In my book, Positive Energy I devote a full chapter to help people to reconnect with their passion and creativity. Whether you’re writing the great American novel, laying bricks, or sprinkling rose petals on a salad, your delight and surrender to the impulse is what catalyzes energy.

    Now this is your chance to investigate what does or doesn’t inspire you. The purpose: to honestly access where your energy goes so you can constructively re-route it. To remember all inspiring inklings, I suggest you keep a journal and review it. Don’t be discouraged if you’re stuck in a rut or feel far from inspired right now. This inventory will turn all that around. Re-inspiring your life takes courage. It’s a solution-oriented process of uncovering, then commencing change.

    My focus will be helping you to re-inspire your current job, even tiny bits of it--there’s always a way. Throughout this process, the poet Rumi’s words will be our mantra:

         “Let the beauty you love be what you do.
          There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.”

    But how do we get there? Here are some basic steps from my book, Positive Energy.

    Step One: In A Journal Define the Conflict About Your Job.

    For instance, “I’m exhausted after eight hours, and I hate my work.” Or “I’m bored and need a change.” Or “I feel taken for granted.”

    Step Two: Ask yourself the following questions:

    Why doesn’t my job inspire me? Pinpoint the cause.

  • Is it the particular circumstances--your boss, office politics, or irritating coworkers?
  • Do I dwell on all the negatives, rather than looking for a piece of my work that could give me more juice?
  • The most basic issue: Am I following my heart’s desire or mired in a career that doesn’t feel center for me?
  • Can I work within the system for change? Or do I need to seek another job?
  • Step Three: Modify Your Current Work Situation

    How to Re-inspire your Job:

  • Sometimes lack of inspiration comes from difficult relationships, not the work itself. If there’s bad energy between you and a coworker, try to correct the situation instead of aggravating it. Be the bigger person. Start being pleasant instead of prickly. Nastiness can be a mask for a person’s insecurities. Kindness often penetrates that. Offer a word of appreciation. Surprise the person with a rose. Do everything possible to shift antagonism.

  • Don’t expect your boss to be a mind reader. Instead of stewing in boredom or discontent, express your needs. If you know how you’d like to better your job, explore options. See if they are do-able within the framework of your environment. For years a patient of mine had been paralyzed by fear of rejection. It stopped her from asking for what she wanted. When she finally summoned the courage to present a project she loved to her boss, and he agreed to it, her job took on new energy. The point is to risk. You’ll never know what’s possible until you do.

  • Intuitively micro-analyze your day. Look for any aspect of your job that has some sparks. Remember what initially attracted you to the job other than money. Also notice what perks your magic up and relieves apathy or fatigue. When you hit upon it, you’ll experience a more-alive feeling, an excitement, or simply a gentle interest: these are signs of life force in your work. Spend more time in these areas. Document them in your journal.

  • Gravitate to coworkers who inspire and energize you. One publisher-patient who thrived on her busy job, often came home tired. Once she realized what a kick she got from interacting with the art department she upped her visits there. They had loads of laughs, which tweaked her energy at work and afterwards. Fatigue is lethal to inspiration. Avoid anyone who drains. Go towards energy hot spots in your job--people and activities--so your time is skewed towards inspiration.

  • Make your work about service and meaning: how to make a difference in the world. This can entail being kind to others and injecting friendliness into your milieu, which will nurture you too. Give a co-worker a pat on the back; don’t lay into a delivery guy when he’s late, turn people on to ideas to better the environment and the world. One of my patients is a producer for national news. Though deadlines are brutal, he’s in an ideal position to get positive messages across. Framing his work in service keeps him aligned with inspiration. Whatever your job, the ethics and love with which you conduct yourself, and the positive messages you share can be of service and spread inspiration.
  • If you’ve tried to re-inspire your job, but the situation is unredeemable, you may want to look for another. It could be an upward or lateral move. This may make all the difference. One of my patients who felt battered by her Napoleonic boss’s mood swings, found her blood pressure normalized and her inspiration returned when she quit that job and began working with another boss she enjoyed. In these cases, a change of place is just what’s needed.

    Judith Orloff MD is a psychiatrist, intuitive healer, and NY Times bestselling author. Her latest national bestseller is The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your life. Dr. Orloff's other bestsellers are Emotional FreedomSecond SightPositive Energy, and Intuitive Healing. Dr. Orloff synthesizes the pearls of traditional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, energy, and spirituality. She passionately believes that the future of medicine involves integrating all this wisdom to achieve emotional freedom and total wellness. To learn more about the power of surrender visit www.drjudithorloff.com

    paulette commented on 19-Jul-2013 04:13 PM
    when i actually think about my job, i love it,
    my husband has made some degrading statement in the pass about my job and i started to question my self,

    i was fatigue at the end of a shift, at the time i was reading your book, Emotional Freedom, and topic of emotional energy, empath and energy vampire , really applied to me ;so i was investigating where my
    energy is drained and i realized it was draining before work , by my husband ,so i left for work already exhausted, then there was some energy vampire at work that i learn how to block their energy, and then my husband drain my energy when i came home, soo
    i was always exhausted , and i was blaming it on my job.
    so i remedy most of the problem, and i feel alive again, thank you soo much for these valuable information, soo instead of switching job, i stay with my beautiful loving clients ,and i can give love and joy and be myself and continue to grow,
    thank you ,i love you

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    Power of Love: Recognizing our Collective Unity

    Judith Orloff - Tuesday, December 18, 2012


    Adapted from Dr. Judith Orloff's "Positive Energy: 10 Extraordinary Prescriptions for Transforming Fatigue, Stress, and Fear into Vibrance, Strength, and Love ”

    There is much speculation and anticipation about the advent of the winter solstice on December 21, 2012. This is the date that the Mayan calendar ends and their prediction of the 2012 Galactic Alignment phenomenon, which happens every 25,800 years or so. Some say this represents an opportunity or gateway for the re-birthing of humanity and our planet if we can come together and realize the strength of our collective unity. This means there’s no arbitrary division between Us and Them. That’s only our small-self’s hallucination, but one that can kill off civilization.

    In Positive Energy I emphasize that every human being is of one family, a truth I’d bet my life on. Alas we no longer have the luxury to keep debating this. Our Earth, our home, is being plundered. No survival without Her. The fate of our species, of all species, depends on caring for nature’s ecosystems. At a subtle energy level, when wilderness is raped, so are we. When oceans are poisoned, our bodies wail. Causes of physical and emotional suffering are not as pat as they may seem. No coincidence that depression is epidemic and cancer is ravaging so many people dear to us. In our own way, we energetically process the surrounding violence. There’s a metabolism between the exchange of nations, communities, the earth, and our bodies. We must do our part to fight for the abundance of a healthy Earth and its people.

    Recognizing that the path to peace is not outside us, we must be cognizant of the energies we project. Remaining naive to this is irresponsible; so is lip service. Though talk alone can uplift, its power pales next to embodying the change we long for. Practicing what we preach is the imperative of our millennium. It may be hard, we may falter, but so what? There’s no escaping that our energy as human beings collectively mingles. “Evil doers” never do it alone. Apathy to healing makes us their accomplices.

    The key to this realization is that love is a sustainable energy. Always remember that. The mandate is simple. If you’re tired, love. If you’re happy, love. At your final breath, love some more. When it feels utterly impossible--such moments arrive--try to love again later. I promise: you’ll never leave empty handed when the heart is true. There comes a point when we must decide what our endgame is going to be, personally and for the planet. To me, the only one that makes any sense is love. It’s how we have to define ourselves beyond all other criteria. This will ensure the health and abundance for all.

    The present informs the future. So make your present bright. A belief in love is unstoppable. You’ll have the courage to do anything. I want to share with you from my book, Positive Energy an interview I did with the legendary Rosa Parks, the mother of the civil rights movement and recipient of the Martin Luther King Jr. Nonviolent Peace Prize. Rosa Parks exemplifies what the power of love can accomplish.

    Interview with Mrs. Rosa Parks from Positive Energy

    On December 1, 1955 in Montgomery, Alabama my decision not to give up my seat on a bus to a white passenger was intuitive and spontaneous. Like usual, I was just headed home from work at the department store. I was forty-two then, had always thought about freedom. My grandfather and mother taught me that all human beings were equal. But on that bus I just knew that we, as a people, had suffered too long. Even though I was afraid to make a protest--I risked being beaten or killed--I set my mind not to give in to fear. I couldn’t continue to be mistreated for no reason. Then things would never get better. After my arrest, the bus boycott began. We were fortunate that Dr. Martin Luther King, at twenty six, was willing to take the lead. After 381 days of the boycott, the Supreme Court overturned the old laws and made segregation illegal on public transportation in Alabama. This became the model for other southern states to change. I don’t feel angry or victimized about the past, just grateful that the conditions we were under came to an end. If you stay angry at other people, you might miss finding friends among those you were angry with.

    I believe that the most positive quality in the human spirit is love. The most negative quality is hatred that has no reason. We can create a more loving world by learning to respect our differences, not judging them. Hatred, like other negative emotions, is a choice. If you choose kindness and humanity you will have peace and prosperity. It also comes from being generous to others when there is no benefit to yourself. My friend, Dr. King, set a profound example for me and many others. He was an extremely kind person. He understood the soul of man.

    I know that we can achieve Dr. King’s dream of a world where we come together and live as one. Love, not fear must be our guide. I see a world where children do not learn hatred in their homes. Where people don’t call each other names on the basis of skin color. I can see a world free of violence, where people from every race and religion work together to improve life for everyone.

    As we step through the threshold of December 21st let us as one family, hearts joined, keep saying a prayer for the world: “May our people and planet be healthy. May our people and planet be happy. May suffering be lifted. May we know enduring peace.”

    Judith Orloff MD is a psychiatrist, intuitive healer, and NY Times bestselling author. Her latest national bestseller is The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your life. Dr. Orloff's other bestsellers are Emotional FreedomSecond SightPositive Energy, and Intuitive Healing. Dr. Orloff synthesizes the pearls of traditional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, energy, and spirituality. She passionately believes that the future of medicine involves integrating all this wisdom to achieve emotional freedom and total wellness. To learn more about the power of surrender visit www.drjudithorloff.com

    Evelyn Pearl Dodero commented on 20-Dec-2012 09:32 AM
    You have the same wisdom as St Francis of Assisi....thank you for these words...our world need them.
    Best and Blessings
    Jesus and Evelyn
    Meg commented on 20-Dec-2012 08:19 PM
    I liked the answer to the question "Would you recommend surrender to adolescents?" Very sweet. Love this interview.
    Ivybelle Curtis commented on 28-Dec-2012 10:17 PM
    I enjoyed reading your blog it is totally a good one.
    Betterlife commented on 06-Jan-2013 05:07 AM
    Your a great teacher and I'm going to let someone with lots of groceries in front of me at the supermarket when I'm in the back of a long line and only have 2-3 items...smile. THANKS FOR ALL THAT YOU DO! HAVE A HAPPY NEW YEAR!
    From one of your biggest fans

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    Celebrate Laughter: Reconnect with Your Joyful Inner Child

    Judith Orloff - Thursday, November 15, 2012


    Adapted from Dr. Judith Orloff's "Positive Energy: 10 Extraordinary Prescriptions for Transforming Fatigue, Stress, and Fear into Vibrance, Strength, and Love ”

    As a psychiatrist, I’m a big prescriber of laughter. Not the contrived or canned kind, but laughter from the soul. Just as I guide patients, I’d like you to sense when your funny bone is legitimately hit, an energetic place that resonates. True laughter is a surrender to hilarity; a sound, a smile, a heart opening. You feel it in your chest, or your whole body may shake. Also, notice that prior to a joke, there’s an air of expectation, a subtle shift in consciousness and attention, the promise of mood transformation. But faking laughter is like faking orgasm; no positive energy to be had there. Since I’ve never gotten most conventional jokes, I know the awkward position of hating to fake a smile but being afraid to offend or seem clueless. Now I just make a joke out of my not getting it: that feels more authentic and relieves me of the negative fallout of pretending to be something I’m not.

    Energy comes from humor. However, each of us, even the crotchety, must locate our sense of what’s funny, raucous or wry. Although jokes often elude me, I really respond to the spontaneous comedy of life itself. I get a huge kick out of quirky little things such as children squealing as they pop bubble wrap. I consider loss of laughter a crime against psyche and spirit. With my patients, laughter’s absence never gets by me; I make it my business to notice when it’s missing, and help them recoup it. Otherwise, laughter-less, they’re unknowingly living in energetic poverty. We don’t ordinarily equate lack of laughter with deprivation, but, from an energy perspective it is.

    Here are some pointers from my book Positive Energy: 10 Extraordinary Prescriptions for Transforming Fatigue, Stress, and Fear into Vibrance, Strength, and Love I give patients to help them reconnect with their inner child to get them laughing. In this exercise be authentic, have fun, and feel the positive energy. Sometimes laughing has become so alien, it helps to have a plan.

    5 Strategies to Reconnect with Your Inner Child and Laugh More

  • Reclaim your inner child’s life force
    Every grown-up has an inner child. Both are distinct energetic aspects of our life force. For full vigor, each must be accounted for. Your inner child may need urging but it wants to be embraced. (Having kids often naturally spurs this reconnecting process in parents who otherwise might never get there.) For starters, bring out your baby or childhood photos. Really look at them. The photos can rematerialize shelved energy. Next, with photo in hand, promise to honor that child’s needs. For example, I promised mine: “You’ll never have to smile for a camera again unless you want to--”an expectation I despised when growing up. Recall ordeals you had to endure; vow no repeats. Also, begin to recognize when your inner child is in jeopardy. The tip offs? Perhaps you’re laughing less, feeling overtired or overworked.

  • Find activities your inner child loves.
    Explore what your inner child genuinely finds fun or funny. First, recall activities from your youth that made you smile. Miniature golf. Bugs Bunny. Elmer Fudd. The fast-forward chipmunk voice you get from inhaling a helium balloon. Memories can get rusty laughter synapses cranking. Second, see what sorts of fun your inner child responds to now. Peruse the newspaper’s leisure section, ask friends what’s funny, check out genres of comedy from standup to radio.

  • Seek out people who laugh.
    We absorb funniness by osmosis. Hearty laughers spread those positive vibes to us. What counts most, though, is the energy behind the laugh, not just sound or facial expression. Take the Dali Lama’s infectious giggle which comes from a place of love and wonder--its healing energy goes straight to our hearts. The other extreme are people who have grins on their faces, but whose laughter often stems from malice or psychic pain. So confusing. They’re laughing, yet you’re being slimed with negative vibes. There’s no joy coming your way. Don’t be fooled; trust your energetic assessment.

  • Play with children.
    Children have PhD’s in play; their lack of inhibition is contagious. Spend time with them. If you’re lucky enough to be around infants, watch how they grin at six weeks, then laugh at four months, a natural instinct. Or observe children at play; they haven’t learned to guard their emotions or hold in squeals and giggles. They’re just beaming. Try to open your heart, and absorb these vibes.

  • Set you intention to laugh as much as possible.
    From the moment you wake up in the morning, look for things to laugh about. Regularly laughing buoys our energy field, reverses learned seriousness. If our parents had said at breakfast, “Be sure not to miss out on any laughs today,” it’d be a lot easier. But most didn’t, so we have to teach ourselves. At Santa Monica’s Wellness Community, cancer survivors have laugh-a-thons. They share jokes, crack up at just about everything including medical misadventures, and know that this will help healing. Real wisdom we all can benefit from, but let’s not wait for a health challenge to catch on. So, be amused by whatever you can, especially your own foibles. Laughter is a way of cherishing your energy.
  • I see laughter as a survival tool. As Emerson says, “The earth laughs in flowers.” When you laugh at something everything lightens up. Whatever tightness you have, that particular log jam is broken. The energy of your life force begins to flow again.

    Judith Orloff MD is a psychiatrist, intuitive healer, and NY Times bestselling author. Her latest national bestseller is The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your life. Dr. Orloff's other bestsellers are Emotional FreedomSecond SightPositive Energy, and Intuitive Healing. Dr. Orloff synthesizes the pearls of traditional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, energy, and spirituality. She passionately believes that the future of medicine involves integrating all this wisdom to achieve emotional freedom and total wellness. To learn more about the power of surrender visit www.drjudithorloff.com

    Patricia Powell commented on 27-Nov-2012 12:38 PM
    Loved what you said,and agree..I connect with nature to stay sane..and in the flow of life..its my healing place, my church,my meditation place and so more more..giving thanks for color comes to mind in nature,and all kinds of thanksgiving..even for textures..its all so wonderful. I try to remember to white light my car,before taking a drive,and feel very protected..Thanks for your encouragement and joy..Love, Pat
    Isabella commented on 27-Nov-2012 12:47 PM
    I love this. If feels so amazing to laugh! I was so happy to hear you don't get jokes, either. Every day serves up some cosmic hilarity. I recently turned one of my greatest pains (getting organized) into laughter and made an Amazon ebook out of it (Funny Woman Guide to Get Organized NOW!...or at Least Sometime Before You Die). It was so healing to do that and I had so many laughs over the funny things I have done and thought. Last night my kids and I laughed for an hour straight about the worst possible Christmas gifts you could get (freckle vanishing creme and deodorant were at the top of the list). We were so connected after all that laughing we started knowing what the other person was thinking! They both figured out what I was going to give Dad without me even saying anything. WOW!!
    Karen commented on 27-Nov-2012 01:55 PM
    No Joke. And that comment is funny in itself. An oxymoron? This is great! There is nothing more refreshing than a hearty belly laugh which curls your toes. Thanks!
    Richard commented on 27-Nov-2012 01:55 PM
    I have lived with anxiety and depression for years. PTSD or war trauma, and through EMDR have found feelings that I have locked away and that have unknowingly influenced my emotional reactions today. Now 70, I have begun to regain my emotional life, to be alive for maybe the first time in years.

    I say all of this publicly because, your info, at its core is so simple and helpful. I am glad I am getting your emails and can read your blog.

    Linda commented on 27-Nov-2012 02:11 PM
    Laughter Yoga, created in 1995 by the Indian physician, Dr. Madan Kataria, can help you get in touch with your playful spirit and add more joyful laughter to your life. Check out www.laughteryoga.org and find a free laughter club in your area today!
    Marjane commented on 28-Nov-2012 09:12 AM
    So true it is good to hear it again...Thanks for this few moment of pleasure
    Walter Gottesman commented on 01-Dec-2012 05:45 AM
    Reminds me of the quote from Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, S.J., that "Joy is the infallible sign of the presence of God." It's good to be reminded of that. Thank you Dr. Orloff!
    Anonymous commented on 01-Dec-2012 02:20 PM
    Get This, my sister in watching Madagascar, thought the saying from the female leopard "Why yes I AM five" was very cute and funny. It serves as a happiness trigger. I noticed everytime she says it (and she likees saying it) her whole aura smiles and changes to happiness. Its like you can almost see the seratonin release in her brain and bathe her whole body, spirit and psyche!! So it is very important to recall, pleasant, happy or things that make you smile, feel good or laugh, IT WORKS!! And its lovely to watch happening in real life, the change and transformation it immediately does!!! How awesome is that!!
    Annie Conneau commented on 03-Dec-2012 08:45 PM
    I throughly enjoyed your article on laughter!
    A friend recently sent me a card that said "laughter is like internal jogging".
    I start my day with an Aloha Laugh and before you know it the motion creates the emotion.
    Happy Holidays to all!!

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    How Patience Can Empower Your Life

    Judith Orloff - Friday, August 10, 2012


    Adapted from Dr. Judith Orloff’s NY Times bestseller, “Emotional Freedom: Liberate Yourself From Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life” (Three Rivers Press, 2011)

    As a psychiatrist, patience is an invaluable skill that I teach all my psychotherapy clients. In my book Emotional Freedom I emphasize the importance of patience as a coping skill and how to achieve it. Frustration is not the key to any door. Patience is a lifelong spiritual practice as well as a way to find emotional freedom.

    We need a new bumper sticker: FRUSTRATION HAPPENS. Every morning, noon, and night there are plenty of good reasons to be impatient. Another long line. Telemarketers. A goal isn’t materializing “fast enough.” People don’t do what they’re supposed to. Rejection. Disappointment. How to deal with it all? You can drive yourself crazy, behave irritably, feel victimized, or try to force an outcome--all self-defeating reactions that alienate others and bring out the worst in them. Or, you can learn to transform frustration with patience.

    Patience doesn’t mean passivity or resignation, but power. It’s an emotionally freeing practice of waiting, watching, and knowing when to act. I want to give patience a twenty-first-century makeover so you’ll appreciate its worth. Patience has gotten a bad rap for the wrong reasons. To many people, when you say, “Have patience,” it feels unreasonable and inhibiting, an unfair stalling of aspirations, some Victorian hang-up or hangover. Is this what you’re thinking? Well, reconsider. I’m presenting patience as a form of compassion, a re-attuning to intuition, a way to emotionally redeem your center in a world filled with frustration.

    To frustrate means to obstruct or make ineffectual. Frustration is a feeling of agitation and intolerance triggered when your needs aren’t met; it’s tied to an inability to delay gratification. At our own risk, we’ve become too used to immediate results. Emails zip across the globe in seconds. Parents text messages to their kids to come in for dinner instead of yelling from a front porch. You can get the temperature in Kuala Lumpur or the Malibu Beach surf report with a click of a mouse. Despite the digital age’s marvels, it has propagated an emotional zeitgeist with a low tolerance for frustration--not just when you accidentally delete a computer file, but in terms of how you approach relationships and yourself. Without patience, you turn into your own worst taskmaster. You treat spouses and friends as disposable instead of devoting the necessary time to nurture love. But with patience, you’re able to step back and regroup instead of aggressively reacting or hastily giving up on someone who’s frustrating you. You’re able to invest meaningful time in a relationship without giving up or giving in. In fact, patience gives you the liberating breath you’ve always longed to take.

    Frustration prevents emotional freedom. Expressing frustrations in an effort to resolve them is healthy, but it must be done from a non-irritable, non-hostile place. If not, you’ll put others on the defensive. Wallowing in frustration leads to endless dissatisfaction, placing us at odds with life. This emotion makes us tense, kills our sense of humor. It also leads to procrastination; we put things off to avoid the annoyances involved. Conquering frustration will revive your emotional life by making it your choice how you handle daily hassles and stresses.

    I’m defining patience as an active state, a choice to hold tight until intuition says, “make your move.” It means waiting your turn, knowing your turn will come. Once you’ve gone all out toward a goal, it entails trusting the flow, knowing when to let the soup boil. With patience, you’re able to delay gratification, but doing so will make sense and feel right. Why? Intuition intelligently informs patience. It’ll convey when to have it and if something is worth working on or waiting for. As a psychiatrist, I’m besotted with patience because it’s intimately intuitive, all about perfect timing, the key to making breakthroughs with patients. I can have the sharpest intuitions or psychological insights, but if I don’t share them at the right moment, they can do damage or else go in one ear and out the other. With regard to this, I strive for enormous patience; anything less would impede healing.

    I’m also struck by the fact that every world religion sees patience as a way to know God, an incentive for me to practice it, and perhaps you too. Whereas frustration focuses on externals, patience is a drawing inward towards a greater wisdom. Lastly, patience doesn’t make you a doormat or unable to set boundaries with people. Rather, it lets you intuit the situation to get a larger, more loving view to determine right action. Patience, a gift when given or received, moves within reach when you can read someone’s deeper motives.

    To practice patience, try this exercise. I do it all time to turn frustration around in long lines. I advise my patients to do this too.

    Emotional Action Step. Practice Patience In A Long Line

    To turn the tables on frustration, find a long, slow-moving line to wait in. Perhaps in the grocery store, bank, post office. Or if you’re renewing your driver’s license, dare to take on the mother of all lines in the DMV. But here’s the switch: Instead of getting irritated or pushy, which taxes your system with a rush of stress hormones, take a breath. Tell yourself, “I’m going to wait peacefully and enjoy the pause.” Meanwhile, try to empathize with the overwrought cashier or government employee. Smile and say a few nice words to the other beleaguered people in line. Use the time to daydream; take a vacation from work or other obligations. Notice the stress release you feel, how your body relaxes. Lines are an excellent testing ground for patience. To strengthen this asset, I highly recommend standing in as many as possible.

    Practicing patience will help you dissipate stress and give you a choice about how you respond to disappointment and frustration. When you can stay calm, centered and not act rashly out of frustration, all areas of your life will improve.

    Judith Orloff MD is a psychiatrist, intuitive healer, and NY Times bestselling author. Her latest national bestseller is The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your life. Dr. Orloff's other bestsellers are Emotional FreedomSecond SightPositive Energy, and Intuitive Healing. Dr. Orloff synthesizes the pearls of traditional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, energy, and spirituality. She passionately believes that the future of medicine involves integrating all this wisdom to achieve emotional freedom and total wellness. To learn more about the power of surrender visit www.drjudithorloff.com

    Stella commented on 10-Aug-2012 03:02 PM
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    PsychedinSF commented on 14-Aug-2012 11:49 AM
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    Anonymous commented on 14-Aug-2012 11:59 AM
    Spent my entire holidays in Portugal stuck in hospital with bad break in leg . Surgeon advised me to be patient and relax. Leg in cast for six weeks. Am stuck here now on sofa back home in Ireland but am lucky to have sons to look after me and do the chores.
    My husband Paul cooks dinner after work. I really enjoyed blog by dr orloff on patiience having come across the name in an article in the Sunday times style magazine can you feel the force aug12 . Many thanks
    laura52 commented on 14-Aug-2012 04:40 PM
    I was given Emotional Freedom by a friend of mine and it helped me so much. I lent this book to a friend who has been unable to find it so that I could re-read it; so this post was a great reminder of how freeing your book was to read in my life. I will
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    Once more...Thank You..it's paying off " Emotional Freedom " Thanks Judith..always
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    Hi Dr Judith, I just want to say thanks for this blog post. I find it both comforting and reassuring and appreciate your sharing. All the best, Anna.
    Melanie Webb commented on 14-Aug-2012 10:44 PM
    So timely! Thank you Judith!
    Helen commented on 15-Aug-2012 06:38 AM
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    Judith Peach commented on 16-Aug-2012 12:16 AM
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    Anonymous commented on 05-Dec-2013 03:47 PM
    wow synchronicity, intuition found its way to me when i asked how to respond to a relationship I want to go forward in but was not patient enough to wait for him..even tho i knew in my heart (intuition) that i should. last night after reading several of your articles I asked for information a to how to handle it.. reconfirming for myself..thank you. i plan to buy a couple of your books.
    keith cooper commented on 27-Aug-2014 08:41 AM
    Dear Dr.Orloff,
    You`re absolutely right!Patience helps!
    Tell me more.
    Keith P.Cooper

    Post A Comment (comments with links will not be posted)

    How to Protect Your Energy

    Dr. Orloff - Tuesday, May 29, 2012


    Adapted from Dr. Judith Orloff's Guide to Intuitive Healing: 5 Steps to Physical, Emotional, and Sexual Wellness

    As you go through the intuitive healing process you need to know: each of us has our own special power. We carry it within; it waits to be awakened. Call it your inner self, your spirit, or light--however conceived, you must meet and come to know your core-essence. The source of all intuition, it is your fiercest ally and advocate against danger. By connecting with this part of yourself you'll mount confidence, feel safer in the world. Then whatever or whoever crosses your path--even the devil incarnate--will be no match for your resilience.

    I want you to flush out beliefs that divert you from your intuitive healing power. Begin by asking yourself, "What in my life throws me off center and why?" I'm referring to everything from a stranger flashing you a dirty look, to fear of rejection, to dealing with someone in pain. Interactions where your energy dims. Weak spots, points that need securing. And what about negativity? How do you deal with yours, or another's? If a supervisor says, "You'll never be successful," or an ex-lover announces, "You're incapable of a healthy relationship," do you buy into it? We each have our triggers. The basis for centering and protection is grasping where we get caught, and then disengaging the trigger.

    Four common beliefs that drain your intuitive healing power:

    1. I'm not strong enough to protect myself.

    As children, many of us aren't taught to believe in the full power we contain. Yes, our parents may support our intelligence, talents, physical attractiveness--even teach us sound ethical values, the difference between right and wrong. But what happens to our inner self? Might even devoutly religious parents fail to realize it is there? Our starting point is to recognize we possess a very real internal source which enables us to deeply see and know. Yet when something goes wrong, frequently our first impulse is to look outside ourselves for someone to "fix" us. We get sick; we rush to the doctor. We become depressed; we call a therapist. We're in pain; we take a pill. It's fine to seek expertise--but we have it backwards. Look inside first. Really, it's not a big blank in there. Then act on what your wisdom tells you. What stops us? A likely culprit is the vulnerable child we each carry within. Mogul or mailman, mother or monk, this aspect of our psyche yearns to be taken care of, protected, and is unequipped to do it alone. He pops up in the darndest circumstances, reducing us to a helpless tiny tot. Of course we must tenderly acknowledge her needs--but know where to draw the line. Would you want a baby running your boardroom? Your life? Remember: Your inner self is more than your inner child. Far grander--capable of ministering to all your needs--is the radiance of your spirit. Feeling this, knowing this, is the best protection of all. You must become your own champion before anyone else can. When you believe in yourself, no one else can diminish you.

    2. Other people's negative thoughts can harm me.

    In my workshops, I'm struck by how worried participants are about being thwarted by other people's negative thoughts. Such concerns need to be addressed. On an intuitive healing level, ill intentions or feelings can affect us, creating anxiety or physical dis-ease. We must train ourselves to deflect them. What is negative energy? Any force antithetical to your well-being. How does it turn up in everyday life? Let's start at the lower end of the spectrum. Your neighbor doesn't approve of you. A friend puts down your plan to start college at forty. Your ex-boyfriend's girlfriend is sending you bad vibes. What do you do?

    Strategies to develop intuitive healing:

  • Don't lead a lifestyle based on assuming others are out to get you. This perpetuates fear.
  • If someone is sending you negative thoughts, avoid dwelling on them. The more attention you pay to negativity, the more influence you give it.
  • Focusing on the strength of your inner self is the best defense against negativity, no matter how dramatic its manifestation. If you are solidly connected to yourself, nothing can get you.
  • 3. I'm too sensitive for my own good.

    The arch-enemy of intuition is lack of sensitivity. Know this: There is no such thing as being overly sensitive. To grasp the concept, you may have to reconfigure old ideas that have been drummed into your head. When parents or teachers said, "You have to toughen up," or especially with boys, "only sissies cry," unknowingly they were undermining the very crux of your intuitive tie with the world. Male sensibility, in particular, has been bludgeoned by such rigid conditioning. But, for both sexes, to break down childhood armoring requires extraordinary commitment, trust, and resolve.

    What I'm speaking of isn't simply expressing your emotions. It's slowly learning, in your own time frame, to remain wide open to an intuitive realm--being one with the wind, the moon, other people's joys, sorrows, the continuum of life and death. From this comes an intimate ecstatic bond with all of existence, exactly what you don't want to protect yourself from. Sensitivity only turns against you when you feel overwhelmed. But how do you stay receptive and not get obliterated by the intensity of such input? It is possible to remain vulnerable and feel safe. The answer is never to shut your sensitivity off but to develop it as a creative resource.

    4. It’s my job to take on the pain of others.

    We're trained that as big-hearted people it's laudable to try to relieve the pain of others. A homeless person holding a cardboard sign, "I'm hungry. Will work for food" at a busy intersection; a hurt child; a distraught friend. It's natural to want to reach out to them, ease their angst. But many of us don't stop there. Inadvertently, we take it on. Suddenly we're the one feeling desolate, off kilter, bereft, when we felt fine before. This loss of center is what I want to address. It does not serve us. I am adamant: the most compassionate, effective route to healing people is to be a supportive presence, not attempt to live their pain for them. Moreover, sometimes suffering has its own cycle that has to be respected, hard as that may be to witness.

    We must lie to rest the old metaphysical prototype of the empathic healer. Typically grossly obese women (extra weight, they mistakenly argued, was the only way to stay grounded), who cured patients by absorbing symptoms with the technique of laying on of hands. The result? Patients would leave feeling better; the healers would be a sickly wreck. These women were convinced such a sacrifice was necessary to lessen the suffering of others. As a young physician, I almost got snagged in the same trap. During the first months of private practice, I used to drag myself home, flop into bed half-dead from everything I'd absorb: a sure path to burn-out. This tack wasn't good for me or my patients.

    I've learned the value of being a catalyst for people's growth without compromising my well-being. Patients themselves have taught me I can't do the work for them. That is not my job. Nor is it yours. Keep this in mind: it is none of our business to deprive anyone else of their life experiences. I understand the impulse to want to make things better. Compassion and the desire to console are human. But there's a fine line between supporting someone and trying to do it for them. No matter how well-meaning or heartfelt your intention, doing too much is not an act of love but of sabotage. You can be caring and honest with someone, yet still let them be. Don't equate honoring their growth process with abandoning them. A practical philosophy of intuitive healing must include preserving your energy as well as serving others. Striking a balance is essential.

    Learn the Art of Reading People's Energy

    Judith Orloff MD is a psychiatrist, intuitive healer, and NY Times bestselling author. Her latest national bestseller is The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your life. Dr. Orloff's other bestsellers are Emotional FreedomSecond SightPositive Energy, and Intuitive Healing. Dr. Orloff synthesizes the pearls of traditional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, energy, and spirituality. She passionately believes that the future of medicine involves integrating all this wisdom to achieve emotional freedom and total wellness. To learn more about the power of surrender visit www.drjudithorloff.com

    Paula commented on 29-May-2012 05:21 PM
    The reminders are so important!!!! About a year ago, I started working with energy healing, and I wanted to help everyone I could. I found that I was taking on one health issue after another. I did energy work on a friend who had recently had vaginal radiation
    for uterine cancer, and my hands remained red and swollen for nearly seven hours. As you mention, my friends left feeling so much better, and I was left with anxiety and/or physical health issues. I am now able to prevent issues like these, but from time to
    time I still have clairsentience. I might have a severe headache and then be with a friend who needs my help for a migraine. Or I might get pain in my esophagus during dinner and find out a friend of mine hasn't been taking her Prilosec. These episodes are
    particularly tricky because I never know if they are my issue or the issue of a friend until a few days later when we are having a conversation, or when they seek me out. I am hoping you experienced something similar early in your career and you have some
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    move me from person who never understood the gift of her sensitivity and intensity to someone who is now using those gifts for the good of herself and others. Thank you, Dr. Orloff!
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    This began a series of work I initiated to include deeper dives into both my own light 'glass ceiling' and the dark shadows lurking in the background. Coming out on the other side of all by accepting both light and dark has left me with a resounding inner
    peace and love for all as I no longer cover the Divinity within by denying the full expression I am.. I simple allow my hyper-sensitivity to my environment to flow around me. I do 'take note' when the situation warrants as my intuition has become so much more
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    Divinity. Namaste', my dear Dr.
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    oh one interesting thing, that i have notice, when my energy is really high ,people say wow you look bright ,and they come closer to try to figure what it is. i really love your work it encourage me to be more real, and aware of my intention ,since i know people can pickup my energy too..
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