Healing Emotional Pain That Is Not Yours

By Dr. Wendy Nickerson

Do you ever find yourself reeling from emotional upheaval after spending time with family? Rest assured you’re not alone. Psychologists and mental health providers receive an influx of new and returning clients in January of each year, due to the surfacing of emotional pain caused by family holiday gatherings. For some it brings up grief of those who have transitioned, family gatherings where toxic family dynamics run highly charged, and a sense of loss of one's self due to the busyness that society has bestowed upon us. The only way to truly heal from the holidays is to become aware of and get in a state of Higher Consciousness. Yes.....YOU are very capable of doing this.

For a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) or an Empath, this emotional pain gets heightened ten-fold. Gain insights on how to strengthen your full sense of SELF to prevent the default state of taking on the emotional energy of others.

BECOME AWARE — Remember that you are much more than your body. You are a spirit encompassing your body, but your spirit extends far outside of the physical parameters of your tangible being. Since quantum physics has indicated that on some level, we are all connected, we are bound to feel other people's emotions even if we don't recognize ourselves as an HSP or an Empath. Because we are all ONE experiencing in different dimensions, to some extent we are feeling others' feelings all the time.

The first step is discerning which emotions are actually yours. "But, they all feel like mine," you say? Yes, they do all feel like your emotions, but begin to entertain the idea that they are not all yours. Then you say, "But how does someone else's emotions get in my body?" And you are reminded that emotions are actually energy in motion and this energy can travel into and through these cellular structures we call 'bodies'. We can only deal with our own emotions, so it is important to recognize when you are attempting to process or take on the emotions of family, friends and loved ones. It is biologically impossible for you carry this heavy of an emotional load. No wonder you are feeling so exhausted!

STAY IN YOUR OWN EMOTIONAL BODY One sure sign that you are taking on someone else's emotions is that they feel 'bad', unexpected and out of the blue, and you experience a sense of dread because your soul knows that these feelings do not vibrate with your authentic self. There is a sense of confusion, feeling overwhelmed and fatigue. The irony is that if you were born an HSP or an Empath, these feelings and common conditions will feel normal to you. As a matter of fact, some Empaths actually feel empty when they are learning to only experience their own emotions. However, this changes over time as one learns how to integrate their whole unique emotional self. The first step to accomplishing this is forming the habit of staying connected to your spiritual self. Your Higher self. I refer to this as “strengthening your I AM.” The stronger your “I AM” is, the less receptors you will have to take on other peoples' emotional energy. So, the next question is: How do I strengthen my “I AM”? 

CONNECTING WITH THE FIELD — When you stay connected to your own inner self, you strengthen your sense of "I AM". This reduces any space in your essence for drama connections, emotional contagion, disharmony or emotional dysregulation.

Many people think that connecting with the field of our soul's essence is a cumbersome and complicated task. Ironically, it is quite simple. We merely ask our soul to connect with us and then sit in the feeling and the knowing of what this experience feels like. Some find it easier to do this in nature, amidst a forest or by the ocean, for example. Either way, we all have access to this amazing quantum field that provides the power to strengthen and solidify the core of who we are. That is the I AM of who we are. It is the incredible essence that we were born with.

Just as you would plug in a lamp to get light, plug into your I AM first thing in the morning and often throughout the day. While you are walking.... on the toilet... or making love. When your I AM is strengthened, there will be no need to learn methods to protect yourself from other people’s energies and emotions.

Dr. Wendy Nickerson, a self-proclaimed empath, is a Licensed Psychologist, Integrative Health Coach in holistic mental health care, speaker, and author of Wild Women Never Get the Blues: How to Tap Into Your Intuition to Create Your Best Life. 

She's the founder of the Nickerson Institute of Integrative Health Training, and has developed an international, virtual, comprehensive. and accredited Integrative Health Coach Training Program based on holistic mental health care using evidence-based principles and strategies. A passionate pioneer in bridging the gap between conventional and holistic mental health care practices, she holds a special interest in trauma as it relates to the empath experience and intergenerational dynamics.

The Nickerson Institute of Integrative Health Training offers additional integrative mental health and wellness programs, including an accredited Corporate Integrative Health Coach Training Program; a Highly Sensitive Persons (HSPs) certified program for mental health professionals; and Optimum Brain Health: Improve Sleep, Memory, Focus and Cognition with Dr. David Bardsley.

Through years of personal experience and a decade of discussing intrapersonal and interpersonal difficulties with clients in Canada and the United States, Dr. Nickerson understands the detrimental effects of a depleted self-image, detachment from self, lack of empowerment, and overwhelming stress. She's developed innovative strategies for achieving the highest levels of wellness for both individuals and organizations. Dr. Nickerson's interventions are designed to enhance and promote a sense of empowerment, motivation, a core sense of identity and purpose, authenticity, self-image, and emotional and spiritual wellbeing.

Click here to visit Wendy's website.

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This article appears in: 2020 Catalyst, Issue 5: Evolved Empath Summit