Dr Judith Orloff's Blog

The Power of Being an Earth Empath

 
Judith Orloff - Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Adapted from Dr. Judith Orloff's ” The Empath's Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People,” a guidebook for empaths and all caring people who want to keep their hearts open in an often-insensitive world.


I’m a psychiatrist and also an empath. An empath is someone who is highly sensitive and tends to absorb the emotional and physical energy of other people into their own bodies. Empaths also have an intimate communion with nature, including with the Earth, plants, and animals.

The positive side is that we can deeply feel all that is positive, wholesome, and healthy in others, and the world.

The downside is that empaths become exhausted, anxious, and burned out from sensory overload.

Many of my empath patients come to me with these symptoms but were never diagnosed properly by conventional physicians—rather they were seen as simply having panic disorder, depression, or anxiety, and thus given medications. If you identify as an empath, the secret to nurturing your intuitive connection to all living things, is to develop centering and protection strategies such as meditation, setting clear boundaries, creating adequate alone time to refuel and many other strategies I present in The Empath’s Survival Guide. Then empaths can revel in the joy of their sensitivities.

Earth Empaths

Earth empaths are a special type of empath who is keenly attuned to the natural world and all of the Earth’s changes. The beauty of a waterfall can exhilarate and energize these empaths, whereas the toxicity of air pollutants can make them feel sick, exhausted, or depressed. How do you know if you are an earth empath? You are highly sensitive to intuiting the Earth’s changes in your body. Sensually and energetically, you can feel the power of a thunderstorm, the loveliness of the moon, the warmth of the sun on your shoulders. What happens to the Earth is intimately connected to your body. The beauty and health of the earth nourishes and sustains you. The ocean and tides affect everyone, but especially you. The moon and the tide regulate menstrual cycles in women and sleep-wake cycles for both genders. You are sensitive to weather changes and the amount of daylight. Earth empaths may experience Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), becoming depressed in the winter when the days are shorter.

The earth, its elements, and the universe feel like family. The moon and stars have always been my companions. Since childhood, I’ve looked up at the heavens and felt that my true home was there. (One patient told me that she prefers stargazing as her “night life” instead of bars and clubs.) But, interestingly, I’ve found that empaths, like myself, who have a hard time adjusting to being on this planet, need to connect to the earth’s energy so that we can more fully inhabit our bodies. Learning how to do this (and not fighting it) is part of our healing.

The Earth loves you. You can feel it. If you’re an earth empath, that’s why you get so hurt, anxious or have health problems when she is harmed or destroyed. Your body is intimately connected to the Earth. You experience her changes as if they were happening to you. When the Earth is happy, you are happy. When the Earth is in pain, you are too.

Earth empaths may have premonitions about natural disasters or feel them intensely in their bodies as they are occurring. One patient told me. “I frequently wake up just prior to earthquakes. Then boom, it hits.” Another said, “Before earthquakes or volcanic eruptions, my body begins to shake. I feel ‘off,’ not on solid ground.” Another told me, “During the last tsunami, I awoke from a deep sleep in a state of agitation and dread.” An empathic friend said, “I felt like I was hemorrhaging,” as a response to a catastrophic oil spill. Similarly, try to be aware of how your body reacts during dramatic earth changes. Then you can put your feelings in context and practice more self-care when they occur.

As an Earth empath, you may also be sensitive to solar flares. These magnetic storms on the sun affect the magnetic fields around the earth and our bodies. Earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, hurricanes, and tornados appear to occur after intense solar activity. During these periods, you may experience headaches, mood swings, anxiety, or heart palpations. Studies have shown an association between solar flares and increased depression, anxiety, suicides, and episodes of bipolar disorder. Revolutions, riots, and unrest across the globe are associated with solar flares. Remember, the sun is responsible for life on earth. When it goes through changes, we feel it 93 million miles away. This experience is amplified for empaths.

To stay vibrant, you want to frequently connect with the Earth. Spend time in forests, by the ocean, or in the mountains where you can commune with the elements and feel at home. To deepen your bond with the Earth, eat clean, healthy, organic foods (even better, grow them yourself). A junk food diet separates you from the Earth because you’re not ingesting her energy. Regularly practice Earthing: lie flat on the earth to soak up her positivity and strength. Wade or swim in lakes, rivers, or the ocean. Gaze at the stars. Walk barefoot on the grass.

To intentionally communicate with the Earth, you can tune into her by asking, “What do you feel?” Then be open to any intuitions that come. Or you can use the Earth as an oracle, directly asking her questions about yourself or others. She will answer you though your intuition. Then follow her guidance.

In Native traditions, earth medicine represents the healing that nature imparts. Mother Earth is to be revered and cared for. As empaths, you can practice earth medicine by doing whatever you can to treasure our precious mother planet. This is part of your purpose, and a way for you to feel happy, healthy, and whole.

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Judith Orloff, MD is author of The Empath's Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People, upon which her articles are based. 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, the Oprah Magazine and USA Today. She is a New York Times best-selling author of Emotional Freedom, The Power of Surrender, Second Sight, Positive Energy, and Guide to Intuitive Healing. Connect with Judith on  Facebook and  Twitter. To learn more about empaths and her free empath support newsletter as well as Dr. Orloff's books and workshop schedule, visit her website.

Comments
Carol Durso commented on 19-Apr-2017 07:21 PM
Dr Orloff, I need your help, I would like to know as much as I can about Epaaths
Elisa commented on 20-Apr-2017 05:31 PM
Your suggestions are wonderful and I would love to take some of that advice. However, for the most part, I don't feel I can lie on Mother Earth with the ongoing assault of aerial chemical pollution descending on us daily. Any thoughts or suggestions knowing this is happening all the time now? Thank you for your response.
Ingrid commented on 21-Apr-2017 09:55 AM
You have helped me keep / find my balance and, for that, I am grateful

^I^
Paulette Melanson commented on 21-Apr-2017 03:05 PM
Dr. Orloff, thank you for sharing this information. I think I'm starting to understand myself more and this article sheds a lot of light of why I feel the need to in nature, especially around the ocean.
Anonymous commented on 24-Apr-2017 11:57 AM
I am old and always felt what you write about, did not know it had a name or a way to deal with the pain. I now know that I am a true empath and more! I have ordered the book from Amazon and am so looking forward to getting it. thank you for your work and sharing this so valued information....deg
SumerSkye commented on 26-Apr-2017 05:49 AM
I am definately an Earth Impath..Wow! I always find the need to be outdoors and actually feel my body yearning for nature.. Trees are so important to me, especially the Live Oaks where I'm from in Southern Louisiana, because they make me feel alive.. I am a musician and my spirit is at ease when I'm sitting underneath an Oak, on the bayouside, playing my guitar and singing.. I know I have the ability to make plants grow by exchanging with plants, and I can even makr 4-Leaf Clovers more abundant around my home... I love Mother Earth and I am so happy to be so connected to her..
Cathy Helgerson commented on 06-May-2017 01:44 PM
My son seems to hate me and after learning about the Power of Being and Earth Empath I can see why he just does not understand me at all. I keep trying but nothing seems to work can you tell me why? I think drugs such as alcohol and pot have something to do with his crazy ways he works hard has a girl friend but it seems I am the worst thing to him. He keeps pulling further away and as a Earth Empath I am in great pain he is 28 years old and I am alone what can I do?

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