The Struggles of an Empath

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Being an empath is a superpower. We can frequently sense other people’s emotions often without them having to explain themselves. The people who have made a positive impact on this world are most likely empaths. The ability to be considerate, compassionate and harmonising truly makes us empaths blessings to humanity.

Definition- “an empath is someone who absorbs other people’s emotions because of their high sensitivities”.

But what are the cons of being an empath? In a world with so much pain and suffering, being an empath can be exhausting, to say the least. Not only are we confronted with our personal issues, we constantly feel the pain of other people’s problems.  I love being an empath but recently I’ve noticed how my self sacrificing ways has caused me to neglect my personal needs. My inability to say no out of fear that I will be disappointing others has resulted in feeling burnt out and drained. I’ve exhausted my time and resources to help others when the same was never reciprocated. Wanting to wear a cape and help everyone with their problems is virtually impossible.

To use our empath power in an empowering way, I thought it’d be interesting to explore the negatives of being an empath.

Unhealthy side of being an Empath:

Overthinking – Misinterpreting someone’s mental state. Even though we tend to be highly intuitive, sometimes our perceptions are wrong. Constantly trying to figure people out and imposing on them what we think they are feeling can prove annoying and draining for the person on the receiving end. Sometimes when people they are doing fine, they being honest!

Overanalyzing- Similar to the previous point. Sometimes things are as they seem and don’t need much more analysis. Things like a disagreement with a friend or family member can easily turn into a long-winded battle within ourselves over what went wrong. Overanalyzing can result in us being unnecessarily harsh on ourselves especially when we think we’ve done something wrong. Self forgiveness is harder to practice for empaths who care deeply about people’s feelings.

Boundaries- Not being able to implement healthy boundaries with others. Typically empaths attract emotionally draining people who often pour onto them all their issues. Empaths becomes an emotional blanket for those who are egotistical and self-serving. We find ourselves in unbalanced relationships and tend to feel like we are giving much more than we are receiving.

Saying no- Empaths find it more difficult than the average person to say no because they are highly receptive to the emotions that result in disappointing others. We end up exhausting ourselves trying to please others around us. Saying yes to everyone often leads us to say “no” to our self-care. Our inability to turn things down makes empaths feel unsatisfied and drained.

Evolved Empaths

Learning the possible negatives of being an empath helps us to use our empath traits in an empowering and self-fulfilling way. I am learning that I am not responsible for other people’s moods and I don’t need to absorb their emotions. I have a skill for understanding other people’s emotions and I use that as a tool to create community and have genuine interactions.

5 Affirmations for Empaths:

1.Setting boundaries is a self-care ritual. When I express my boundaries, I am honouring my integrity and standing in the truth of who I am and what I deserve.

2. Saying no allows me to communicate realistic expectations of myself. I trust the universe will guide others and bring them in the path of someone else who is assigned to help them.

3. I allow myself to go into nature to be recharged. I take time out for self-care rituals and make a conscious effort to be present to avoid being overwhelmed by emotions. I make space for relaxation without feeling guilty.

4. I let go of the idea that I can fix everyone and allow others to be. I realise my own limits and let people figure out things themselves. I make peace with the fact that some things can’t be ‘fixed’ and that people need to go through certain things for their own personal growth.

5. I allow positivity to enter my life. I express gratitude daily and celebrate my joyful moments. I release the need to fester onto negative experiences and let go of the need to hold onto pain. I allow myself to experience joy in its entirety because that’s what I deserve.

A Question to you: 

Are you an empath? 

 

I always love to hear your thoughts!

Blessings, Ash xx

 

The Gratitude Journal: August 19’

Happy August,

For this month’s gratitude topic, I want to talk about uncertainty!

When we are uncertain about a decision we need to make, it can make us feel stuck and unsettled. The fear of missing out or potentially making the wrong decision can be very daunting. We all feel uncertain at times and somehow we always figure it out. If you are currently feeling stuck, just remember that it will not last forever.

Perhaps we need to feel uncertain at times to get us to pause and really think. When we are sure about where we are heading, we are less inclined to take time out to observe all areas of our lives. Uncertainty allows us to take a birds eye view at our life and begs us to ask the questions; What area in my life do I need to pour more energy into?, Am I happy?, What needs shifting?

Uncertainty doesn’t last forever so take advantage of the need to pause in order to re-evaluate your life. Consider it as an opportunity to prioritize self care and put joy at the centre of your life. Don’t feel compelled to make an instant decision if you have the privilege of stalling it until you’re more certain. Life isn’t about getting to a destination “fast” but it’s about enjoying the ride. Maybe you’re uncertain because you need to show more gratitude for where you currently are in order to invite in something new and abundant into your life.

So whilst you’re feeling stuck, frustrated and uncertain, remind yourself that it won’t last forever and allow your intuition to guide you into making the best decision for you. Don’t be so attached to the outcome. And remember that you can always make another decision.

What are you focusing on this Month?

Have a great one!

Love Ash, xx

 

Copyright © 2019 AshAlves All Rights Reserved

How to overcome feeling not good enough

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Are you struggling with feeling not good enough? No matter how much you accomplish or try, you still feel this lingering feeling of not being enough. You might be in a perpetual cycle of doing things to fill a void to distract yourself from feelings of unworthiness. 

Typically the narrative we tell ourselves about not feeling good enough derives from our upbringing. If you are fed messages by your caregivers that you are enough and valuable, you are more likely to have that foundation of self-acceptance and worthiness. If you were raised in an environment where you were criticised and felt like you had to shrink parts of who you are, you’re more likely to struggle with low self-esteem. However, it isn’t always this binary. Some people come from loving backgrounds who still suffer from not feeling good enough because of other negative experiences such as social media, bullying or even academic pressures. We are not born with feeling not good enough, we are taught to think that way about ourselves as a result of negative experiences we go through in life. 

Overcoming feeling not good enough is a process that takes times. When we’ve become accustomed to that feeling for such a long time, our brain convinces us that it’s a part of our reality which is non-fixable. By letting that narrative of unworthiness win, we cheat ourselves out of opportunities that will make us feel loved, valued and that invites emotional healing.  However, just because you don’t feel good enough right now doesn’t mean that you can’t change the narrative. You can choose to take control of how you think about yourself. 

Three reminders for when you don’t feel good enough:

1.  You are enough- You were born enough and nothing can take that away from you. Sometimes circumstances arise which make us doubt who we are. When we are used to disappointment, it reinforces that narrative that we aren’t enough for good opportunities, love or abundance. We believe that if we acquire more things, or become more of something else we would become more worthy. In a society where our value is closely tied to our status, material possessions, it’s normal to feel like this. Just because you don’t feel good enough in the present moment doesn’t mean that you always will.

2.  Comparison is the thief of joy- Not everyone has it all figured out. No one is in your lane and no one is your competition. When you compare yourself, you’re unfairly putting two completely different lives and human beings in competition with the other. You do yourself a disservice when you compare yourself. They don’t know the challenges you’ve endured. Your progress does not have to look like anyone else’s. This is your life and you are in control.

3.  Give yourself love- You’re deserving of love and compassion even when you feel like you aren’t enough. Shower yourself with appreciation and love always but especially when you don’t feel good about yourself.  Nothing is inherently wrong with you just because you feel this way. Acknowledging that you are struggling is the first step to transformation. 

Five tips to help you overcome feeling not good enough:

1. Inner Child Work- Inner child work is an opportunity to resolve your childhood emotions and experiences. Go into a quite space and write down all the negative experiences you remember in your childhood. Then reflect on how they may have impacted you by asking yourself; has this experience shaped the way I think about myself now?  When you start to see a direct correlation between not feeling enough and your childhood experiences, you’ll start to see that the way you feel is a narrative that has been taught to you but can be changed. If this work is too much for you, I would suggest seeking help from a therapist who would be able to offer you professional support. 

2. Get intimate with your inner critique- In order to fully understand why you don’t feel good enough, you have to unravel your thoughts. Next time you find yourself not feeling good, interrupt your chain of thought and ask yourself the following; How you are feeling? Why do I feel like this and what triggered those feelings? Then start to think about alternative ways you can look at the problem.

3. Separate yourself from your negative thoughts- When negative thoughts about yourself arise, try to separate yourself from the thoughts you are experiencing. For example; if you feel not good enough say “my thoughts are telling that i’m not good enough”. You will begin to gain better perspective and start to realise that we can change the narrative we tell ourselves. 

4. Mantra- Write down anything that can trigger you into feeling like you’re not good enough. For example; being rejected from an opportunity. Find or create your own affirmations that you can refer to when those feelings arise. Find some comforting words that help you feel good and refer to them when you’re feeling low. 

5. Talk to someone- The hardest thing is going through it alone. Talk to a friend or family member and tell them how you’re feeling. If you need extra help, look for a support group near you or call your GP and ask for to get in contact with a therapist service. 

Questions to you:

Do you ever feel like you’re not good enough?

What advice would you offer a friend who feels like this?

I’d love to hear from you! 

Love, Ash xx

 

Copyright © AshAlves 2019, All Rights Reserved

Hey! Back from a Mini Break

Heyyy all 😊,

I don’t know about you but this May has been so intense! I’ve been feeling a multitude of emotions and have experienced some deep revelations. My internal world is shifting- for the better. The full moon has just moved into Scorpio. According to gurus this is supposed to be a time of releasing any negative energy. But I’ve felt the need to release, cleanse and address some unwanted energy all month. I’ve been doing a lot of personal writing. I think when you get so used to blogging publicly you tend to censor yourself in some way. This month I’ve allowed myself to write unfiltered and just for my eyes only.

This personal development work is so tough at times right? My intuition has pulled me towards delving into my childhood and teen years, forcing me to finally make peace with certain things that I’ve experienced. Sometimes we think we’ve gotten over something but end up being triggered later in life. Lately when I feel triggered I’ve sat with it and gotten to the root of the issue. I am working currently on making peace with my pain.

Did I tell you that I live by myself? Well that’s added a whole layer of intensity to this month. My partner stays with me occasionally but he lives in another city so I spend most of my time alone unless I am with my friends. I always thought I was comfortable being alone but being by yourself with no one else in the house is a whole other level of intensity. I’ll be honest, I am still getting used to it. I have cried, felt lonely and scared. But over the past week, I’ve felt at peace being alone. I know this is bringing me greater self-acceptance and the opportunity to truly appreciate my own company.

So yes this month has been so intense for me hence my absence from the blogging world. Also I am happy to announce that I will be doing a workshop in London called Challenging Low Self-Esteem on June 1st! So excited to finally talk publicly about something that is so dearest to me. Planning and preparing for that workshop has also occupied my time. Anyhoo, I have a blog post coming out this Sunday so keep an eye out!

Questions to you: 

How are YOU doing today?

What is your mental health like today?

 

Love always, Ash xx

Copyright © AshAlves 2019, All Rights Reserved

Self Care for Workers w/ @amaraamaryah

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For those of us who spend the majority of our day working, it’s often difficult to make the time to practice self-care. Dealing with work, life’s problems ontop of taking care of our own needs can become a tedious task. That’s why it’s fundamental that we have non-negotiable selfcare acts that we can do throughout the day which are accessible, not time consuming and overall improve our well-being!

Me and the lovely @amaraamaryah reflect on acts of self care we do on a daily basis which truly make a positive difference in our lives.

Before we get into it, let me first introduce you to Amara. Amara Amaryah is a UK poet and blogger. Her blog is a platform for intentional living encouragement, travel moments, books shenis reading and poetry she is writing. Amara also uses her blog to document self-care events in the West-Midlands. She has performed her poetry at Heaux Noire, the Black Lives Matter lunchtime conversation with Patrisse Khan-Cullors and at Out-Spoken Ldn Birmingham Book tour and has most recently been selected as a Hippodrome Young Poet.

Amara:

Morning

i like to start every morning differently. every morning starts in prayer, poetry or gratitude. i try and find fresh ways to start the day with one or two acts of self love. sometimes it is waking up to a mug of my favourite tea and a chapter of scripture. another morning it might be laying out my yoga mat for 5 minutes and mini meditation. the next morning it could be as simple as washing my dishes to have a clear sink when i come home. whatever i do, i do it for myself so i can enter the day knowing that i listened to myself first-thing this morning. as part of being intentional about the thoughts i let in first, i try and walk to work without any headphones and i don’t touch instagram until i have reached my desk.

Midday

a confession: i work in an environment where i’m constantly creating content and it makes me think about how i can create content for my own blog/instagram. sometimes lunchtimes are spent writing/planning/creating using apps on my phone. this is something i’m trying to step away from to give my mind a different thinking space for the lunch hour. i think using lunch to get away from a screen is best. leave your phone in a safe place (if you can) and take your book or just go with conversation. i try and enjoy as analogue a lunch as possible. i’m still learning though! also- i try and get outside of the building for fresh air. i rarely spend my lunch at my desk.

aside from this, i think midday affirmations are super important. reminding yourself of the scripture you read in the morning, the podcast you listened to, the text your mum sent back this morning and just speaking over your affirmations for the week is an important part of being present. *a note on if you dislike your job: i know, i’ve been there. at this point in the day it is easy to dream of going home. i recommend bringing something to your desk that motivates you. a mini vision board, a memory, a quote, anything. having something physical on your desk which reminds you why you’re in the job, what you’re saving for and the fact that it is a temporary position can help you through the day.

Evening

Wind-downs are the best. in my new years blog post i wrote about stepping back from excessive selfcare to get more time to create. i think because i practice acts of self-care during the day,i don’t always need to over-do it in the evening. my evening rituals are always small ways to ensure i can start fresh. i’ve learnt not to over-plan for the evening. your 5-9 doesn’t need to exhaust you. plan your evening and allow an hour for time wasting and doing nothing. and then begin creating/working on the blog or whatever you do. a massive part of my self-care practices include writing. i generally set time aside for Journaling and making sense of my thoughts. i don’t follow any plan yet, i usually brain dump. as a poet, i am on a journey to writing 1000 poems in a year so i try and write something every night (or if not every morning).

the final thing i do is forgive. anything negative that has happened to or because of me, i forgive. i believe that we carry our daily worries into our dreams so i try my best to eradicate the heavy thoughts and make space for good ones.

and then i go again the next day. pushing for new ways to love myself.

Ash:

Quick Side note: “Show me your morning routine and I’ll show you how the rest of your day will pan out”. The way you start your day sets precedent over the rest of your day. The mornings are a perfect way to clear any lingering negative thoughts and to start your day with more clarity and peace. The mornings are an excellent way to check in with yourself. I find the mornings my absolute non-negotiable self care routine.

Morning: A typical self care morning ritual to me looks like waking up, praying or reciting affirmations then doing yoga. I use a yoga app and choose one relating to what my body needs at the time. Then I would watch a motivational video whilst I get ready for work. Once I get into work, one of the first things I do to settle into work is make myself a herbal tea/ coffee. Green tea or any other herbal tea is a must for me because of its healing & cleansing properties.

Afternoon: In my job position you don’t get much time for yourself. Like in many industries the focus is on productivity and getting the most out of your working hours. As a response I make an effort to find time for myself in a few ways; taking intentional breaks away from my computer, spending my breaks reading or watching something fun. I also integrate my passion for blogging into my daily routine by writing / jotting notes down in relations to a blog post when I am inspired.

Evening:

My evening self-care practices differ and are relational to my needs and desires at the present moment. It usually consists of making myself a meal, putting on my fairy lights and burning candles burning. I try to make time to exercise, listening to podcasts and music. I focus my energy in enjoyment so listening to stuff unrelated to blogger or work but based on my other interests like Music. I typically end my night by watching something on Netflix or reading a book when I can.

Follow Amara on her socials:

Insta: amara.amaryah

Twitter: amara_amaryah

Pinterest: amaraamaryah

 

Thank you for reading!

 

How do you take care of yourself on a daily basis?

 

What are your self care tips?

 

Love Ash, xx 

Copyright © Amara Amaryah and AshAlves 2019, All Rights Reserved