Advice for Empaths: Sonia Choquette on Observing, Not Absorbing Energy.

If you are an empath, there are times when you might feel caught up in an emotional maelstrom. People’s energy seems to come rushing towards you, and you lose your footing and are swept off by the current.

For me, I have started noticing how and when this happens because this doesn’t happen all the time. There are times when I am centered in myself and when I don’t absorb the rush of energy as much. There are also those times when I am overstimulated and one additional thing pushes me over the edge.

I have also been finding new ideas and perspectives that point out all the little things I had been doing for years and that were making me more susceptible to other people’s energies. One of them was a habit I had developed where I almost never crossed my arms in front of me.

I remember reading as a teenager that crossing your arms was body language that indicated that you were on the defensive. I didn’t want to be defensive at all. I wanted to be open, and I got into the habit of always keeping an open posture. Recently, I read something in Sonia Choquette’s book Trust Your Vibes that really stood out to me because what she said is almost the opposite of what I had practiced many years back.

Sonia talks about how, when we are sensitive and tuned in, we can absorb energy that we don’t really want. We have to learn to observe, and not absorb as much. This is what she says about protecting ourselves in an emotionally charged situation when we can feel the onslaught of someone else’s energy coming at us:

“One of the best ways to remain grounded in your own energy whenever exposed to an intense emotional outburst is to cover your solar plexus (the area around your belly button) with your arms folded, which is something we tend to do anyway. Notice how natural it is to cross your arms over your stomach whenever you feel defensive. I was reminded of this instinctive protective maneuver in an airport recently while I waited for my flight. I saw a child of about two being reprimanded by his overwrought mother, and as she scolded him, he looked directly at her with his arms folded defiantly across his chest, unfazed by her outburst. He was so effective in blocking her tirade that I had to laugh.”

As that child demonstrated, folding your arms across your chest or belly button blocks negative energy from entering your body and protects you from its debilitating effects. Breathing as you do this also keeps foreign energy from invading your aura, and the more slowly you breathe, the more grounded and protected you are.”

Sometimes, simple things like these, which are also significant things because they help us own our space, can help us feel protected and centered. Always being open to anything, like I used to be when I was younger, doesn’t help because we want to be open to the right thing and closed off to what is intrusive or overwhelming. In fact, being indiscriminately open does us harm, especially for people like us who absorb energy so readily.

Ritu Kaushal is the author of the memoir The Empath’s Journey. Set during the first few years after she emigrated from India to the United States, it connects personal stories with practical tools to help highly sensitive people channel their gifts.

Ritu is the recipient of the Silver Medal at the prestigious Rex Awards, presented by the International Confederation of NGOs in partnership with the United Nations in India and given to people creating social impact through their work.

Originally published on Ritu’s site: on November 18, 2015.




Author of The Empath’s Journey. Silver Medal Awardee at the Rex Awards, co-presented by the United Nations. Writing Coach.

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Ritu Kaushal

Ritu Kaushal

Author of The Empath’s Journey. Silver Medal Awardee at the Rex Awards, co-presented by the United Nations. Writing Coach.

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