I often read and see that healers give the healing advice of feeling your emotions, not avoiding them and accepting them. If you are an empath and feel everyone's emotions, is this good advice?
While feeling emotions and processing them can be very healing, as an empath first you should determine who the emotions belong to and where the emotions are coming from. This blanket advice of feeling the emotions can be draining, especially if the emotions you are feeling are not your own.
Empaths feel other people's emotions and energy so it might be challenging for an empath to differentiate whether the emotions are theirs or someone else's. Before I became aware of this, I would be on a constant emotional rollercoaster. I thought that I was just moody and over-emotional. When I realized I was empathic and learned to question those emotions, it became clearer and easier to be able to distinguish when the emotions were mine and when they were someone else's. The combination of learning to question the emotions and realizing where they come from has been extremely helpful to better manage my emotions.
Many times, I would be in yoga class and as soon as a person sat next to me, I would feel whatever they were feeling. One day, one of the yoga instructors at the yoga center was participating in the class and sat next to me. As soon as she sat down, I felt an overwhelming sadness. It was so intense that I silently cried throughout the whole class. I kept thinking to myself, "Why do I feel so sad right now? I have nothing to feel sad about and I certainly do not have anything to cry about right now." I wanted to reach out to her, ask her what was wrong, and comfort her, but I doubted myself. Days later, I had the opportunity to speak with her and she confirmed that she had been sad and going through a difficult time that day. Since then, it has become clear to me that I need to ask myself first, whose emotions I was feeling before taking them on.
It's essential to learn to ask yourself first! When you start to feel emotions, especially sadness, frustration, and anger ask yourself questions such as, "Why am I feeling like this?, Are these feelings mine?" If you have determined that the emotions are indeed yours then, yes absolutely, feel them, process them, accept them, find the root cause, heal them, and release them.
Questioning yourself and your emotions empower you and it is freeing! Rather than your emotions taking control of you and/or the situation and possibly ruining your moment, your day, or sending you into a downward spiral, you can use your wisdom to guide you, take charge, make wise decisions, and take appropriate action(s). Remembering to ask yourself before the emotions become overwhelming might be a bit challenging at first but take easy on yourself. It will become easier and like second nature with practice and time.