Life of an Empath

06:00 December 29, 2015
By: Aidi Kansas

Hello Aidi,

Being surrounded by negative people has always had a tremendous effect on me. Lately, I feel anxious and panicky in public, especially if I'm in a busy public setting like the mall. It's like I'm picking up everyone's feelings or something because when I'm alone or with my children, I am at peace and my outlook on life isn't so bleak.

I've always been a sensitive person, but now my sensitivity level is at its maximum and it's starting to really affect my health and state of mind. I'm trying to stay positive, but it's not easy when I turn on the TV and there's another mass shooting or a terrorist attack.

I would love to know how you stay grounded or are you not affected by these events as much?

Thanks for your insight.


Hello Amber,

I know how you feel and the truth is, because of my sensitivity level, I absorb quite a bit of the fear and negativity that people constantly pour into the universe. I guess that's part of the downside of being an empath, which sounds like what you may be too.  Thankfully, I've learned how to ground myself over the years so that I don't get stuck with these feelings for very long.

Let me start by explaining what an empath is because I'm pretty sure you've heard the term thrown around in the psychic realm or alternative community, but most times it doesn't come with an explanation.

Scientific research has shown that emotions can be contagious. 

An empath is a person that has the power to feel other people's emotions, which is quite different from sympathizing or even empathizing with a person. Being an empath means that you can absorb other people's energy and emotions and feel what they're going through.  This is a great gift that many people have.  You may be an empath or just someone that is highly sensitive to the emotions of others.  I encourage you to explore this more deeply.  It's important for you to understand how other people's pain and suffering can combine with your own and, if not handled correctly, make you live in a perpetual state of anxiety with constant feelings of being overwhelmed.

Scientific research has shown that emotions can be contagious. You can potentially catch fear, anger and all forms of negative energy from other people, without even realizing what is happening or why. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that more than two million Americans suffer from chronic fatigue. I bet that in many cases we're dealing with people that are emotional empaths who are overwhelmed by the energy they absorb from others.  It can be a bad snowball effect – when we are stressed, depressed or anxious, then our defenses are down. we turn into emotional sponges, taking in even more negative energy from those around us near and far. Becoming more hyper-attuned to other's emotions, especially if you have unresolved issues in your life, makes you even more susceptible to health problems.

So, how do you fix the problem?

For starters, you should read more about empaths and identifying their traits.  Whether you check all the boxes or not, become aware and honor who you are by allowing yourself time to recuperate after outings. Take inventory about which places make you feel anxious and around what time of day and time of year this happens. Avoid the situations that consistently bring negative energy to you.  For example, the mall might be better to avoid completely during the holidays. The stress energy that circulates around the mall hits me so hard. I physically start to feel changes in my body within a mile of the parking lot. But in June, when people are not rushing around trying to do holiday shopping, the mall does not affect me the same way.

The same goes with sports arenas. I love the New Orleans Saints, but I absolutely can NOT stomach a game at the Superdome. I get so nauseous regardless of the score and, to be honest, it's miserable for me whether they're winning or losing. Obviously winning is better, but if things aren't going well for the home team, I get extremely queasy and it takes me a couple of hours to bounce back. Why does this occur?  Because people in the Superdome are emotionally charged up for the game and with all the fans in such close proximity, energy fields overlap. So if I'm sitting in the middle of 80,000 diehard fans and they're living or dying with every single play, I'm going to absorb a lot of their stress energy.  In fact, this happens to some degree at every sporting event I attend – but I think the Saints fans have some particularly strong energy and that probably combines a bit with my own inner fan to make me seriously anxious and overwhelmed.  After too many difficult Sunday's at the Superdome, I have decided I'm better off staying away.  Finally, considering the amount of random and senseless violence we have recently seen and heard about going on all over the world and the intensity of news coverage of these events, it is quite possible that the crowds you are finding in busy public places are emitting more fear and other negative energy than we are used to.  And an empath will be affected by that.

I want you to start looking at the situations that make you anxious as well as people in your life and make decisions about who brings you joy and who doesn't. Stay away from the energy vampires – they suck the life out of most people but when you're an empath, you'll suffer the most. And do not worry about offending people – whether you need to leave the room or change seats, the more you get comfortable finding your happy place, the easier it'll be to make moves to get there.

Meditation helps for anxiety and my favorite kind is walking mediation (with my dog). Pets are wonderful creatures that absorb a lot of our sadness and anxieties and replenish us with so much love. If you don't have a pet - get one soon. (But please rescue one from a shelter).

Lastly is every psychic's go to before we enter any situation that may cause us discomfort. Engulf yourself in a peaceful white light - If you're religious, say a prayer. If you're not, create an affirmation specifically for this purpose to give you strength and protection. This can shield you from some of the negative energy you encounter.

The world is filled with wonderful events and people who want to be with us and vice versa. Life has to go on regardless of our sensitivity level. Being aware is the first step to making these much needed changes.  Like I said earlier, being an empath, or even someone who is just highly sensitive to other's emotions, is a gift. The world needs compassionate people who will create positive changes. In time, you could help people neutralize their fears and give them the tools to live happier lives instead of spreading fear when they're feeling hopeless. It took me many years to figure out how to be good to myself without fear of upsetting those that I loved. I'm so much better for it and feel that I have a true purpose now. Being a psychic healer happened because I decided to take care of my sensitivity levels and now I'm helping others do the same.

Good luck and keep me posted

Have a question for Aidi Kansas? Aidi addresses readers’ questions in her column, “NOLA Spirit Girl,” published every other Tuesday on You can reach out to her through her Facebook page.

Sign Up!