Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Share

 

Excerpt from The Empath’s Survival Guide: The Importance of Meditation

As a psychiatrist and empath, I know how easy it is to experience empathic overload sensory symptoms and the importance of meditation to help me stay grounded and centered.

In my book The Empath’s Survival Guide I discuss techniques to help sensitive people deal with sensory overload. When I feel overwhelmed I need to slow everything down and unplug from all stimulation. If it gets really intense, I feel like a flower that’s wilting and in need sustenance from stillness. Then, I often retreat to a room without sound or light and sleep or meditate to recalibrate myself at lower level of stimulation.

Of course for many empaths isolation is not possible. One of the meditations I recommend to counteract emotional or physical distress is the following three minute heart meditation.

The 3 Minute Heart Meditation

You can do this at home, at work, in the bathroom at parties, or on a park bench. Take a short break to get out of the immediate toxic situation. Close your eyes. Take a few deep breaths and relax. Then place your palm over your heart chakra in the middle of your chest.

Focus on a beautiful image that you love: a sunset, a rose, the ocean, a child’s face. Feel the love building in your heart and body. Let this loving feeling soothe you. Toxic energy leaves your body as you become purified with love. For just three minute bursts throughout the day, meditate on the loving-kindness in your heart, feeling that energy clear stress.

You can send this loving-kindness to other areas of your body too. My most vulnerable point is my gut. If I sense that I’ve taken on someone else’s symptom, I place my hand over my belly and send it loving-kindness. This dissolves discomfort. What area is your most sensitive point? Is it your neck? Do you get bladder infections? Headaches? Be prepared to send these areas loving kindness to clear toxic energy so it doesn’t lodge there. (Note: It’s sometimes easier to meditate 200on the wellbeing of someone else than on yourself. You can do this if you’re having a hard time meditating just on you.)

 

Judith Orloff, MD is the New York Times best-selling author of The Empath’s Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People.  Dr. Orloff is a psychiatrist, an empath, and is on the UCLA Psychiatric Clinical Faculty. She synthesizes the pearls of traditional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, energy, and spirituality. Dr. Orloff also specializes in treating empaths and highly sensitive people in her private practice. Dr. Orloff’s work has been featured on The Today Show, CNN, Oprah Magazine, the New York Times and USA Today. Dr. Orloff has spoken at Google-LA and has a TEDX talk with over half a million views. Her other books are Emotional Freedom, The Power of Surrender, Second Sight, Positive Energy, and Guide to Intuitive HealingExplore more information about empaths and intuition on www.drjudithorloff.com.

Connect with Judith on  Facebook and  Twitter.