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How Being an Empath Can Lead to Adrenal Fatigue, Insomnia & Exhaustion.

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It is often said that if we had more hugs and fewer guns the world would be a better place. Society has lived through centuries of kind-hearted people, like Mahatma Gandhi and Mother Teresa, who have gone above and beyond for their fellow man. Many of these people would be considered empaths, and without them, the world would not be as bright of a place. But, the energy that it takes for an individual to give their heart and soul to another also comes with a price, and many empaths find themselves experiencing adrenal fatigue and burnout.

If you find that you wear your heart on your sleeve you may just fit into this category, and there are ways that you can take care of yourself to make sure that that doesn’t happen to you.

First Of All, What Exactly is an Empath?

Chances are you have met an empath at some point in your life; perhaps you even have one in your family. Empaths are a category of people that are highly sensitive, so much so that they absorb other people’s emotions and/or physical symptoms. These people filter the world through their intuition and have a difficult time intellectualizing their feelings.

Common Empath Traits:

  • Highly Sensitive
  • Absorb Others Emotions
  • Often Introverted
  • Highly Intuitive
  • Needs Alone Time
  • Overwhelmed in Intimate Relationships
  • Replenished in Nature
  • Highly Tuned Senses
  • Have Huge Hearts but Often Give too Much
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While all of these traits are typically seen as very valuable, they can actually cause a lot of strain on the individual, both emotionally and physically.

Empaths Are More Likely to Experience Adrenal Fatigue

What is Adrenal Fatigue?

The adrenal gland produces a variety of hormones that are essential to life. Adrenal fatigue refers to the inability to produce one or more of these necessary hormones as a result of an underlying disease[2]. This happens when the adrenal glands are unable to keep pace with the demands of the fight-or-flight response, and as a result, they are unable to produce the appropriate amount of hormones to keep you feeling good[2].

Signs and symptoms of adrenal fatigue include:

  • Fatigue
  • Body aches
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Low blood pressure
  • Lightheadedness
  • Loss of body hair
  • Skin discoloration (hyperpigmentation)

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Empaths, in particular, are at a higher risk of adrenal fatigue. Empaths are known for taking on the feelings of others, whether they wish to or not, so spending time in the presence of others may inadvertently put stress on the individual. Empaths need a great deal of alone time in order to recharge their batteries, and if that time is not achieved their adrenal glands could go into overdrive, and eventually become exhausted.

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When we overstimulate our adrenal glands they will keep producing energy, which causes a conflict when we try to sleep. This causes excessive stress on the adrenal glands, causing them to eventually burn out and malfunction, leaving the body drained. It is because of this that it is very important for empaths to get enough rest, relaxation, and recuperation, and to figure out their own personal way to do that.

Attention Empaths! Here’s How to Reverse Adrenal Fatigue

Being an empath and caring deeply for those around you, is a gift that needs to be nurtured. If you’re unsure if you fall into the empath category, watch the following video to see how many empath qualities relate to you, and then establish a plan to keep yourself happy and balanced.

Establish Boundaries in Relationships

Whether they can help it or not, empaths tend to take on the emotions of the people that they’re surrounded by. Because of their kindness, it can be difficult for an empath to turn someone in need away, even if it becomes detrimental to themselves. In order for an empath to feel balanced and avoid adrenal fatigue, they must find a way to establish boundaries in relationships for the sake of everyone. It is not rude of you to take time for yourself, and if those around you understand your need for those boundaries then everyone will benefit from it.

Improve Your Diet

Skipping meals, eating junk food, and overly intense workouts will cause your glands to overwork. It is important to maintain a healthy, well-balanced and nutritional diet in order to give your adrenal glands the best possible chance to recover. Also, avoid the consumption of alcohol, and reduce your caffeine and refined sugar intake.

Meditate

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Meditation is a helpful tool to allow anyone to check in with their mind and body, and heal. For an empath, who tends to carry the emotions of others around, it creates a time to turn the attention inward, to rid yourself of the emotions of others. Try incorporating 10 minutes of meditation, especially at the end of the day, in order to cleanse yourself of the stresses of the day, and to encourage a restful sleep. There are plenty of meditation classes online that you may use as a guide to meditating.

Go Out Into Nature

For an empath, being around people constantly, and carrying around their emotions, can often be exhausting. Many empaths will spend time in nature in order to energize themselves and rid themselves of those negative feelings. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, take some time to go for a walk outside to clear your head.

Whether you identify as an empath or not, adrenal health is important for us all. Exhausting our adrenal glands can lead to a multitude of problems in our lives which can stop us from living out our true potential. Never view your ability to relate to others emotions as a negative thing, but rather as a gift, and always be sure to find ways to check in with yourself and heal.

[1] Judith Orloff M.D. (Feb. 19, 2016). 10 Traits Empathetic People Share. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/emotional-freedom/201602/10-traits-empathic-people-share

[2] Mayo Clinic Staff. (April 12, 2017). Adrenal Fatigue. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/addisons-disease/expert-answers/adrenal-fatigue/faq-20057906

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