How to set healthy boundaries as an empath

How to set healthy boundaries as an empath - Jen Merkel Holistic Hypnosis and Wellness

Many empaths often feel depressed, sad, upset, overwhelmed, and anxious. Some extreme cases may even result in serious problems affecting their psychological and physical health. This is most often because they haven’t yet learned how to interact with people around them without taking on their energy. If this sounds like you, read on about how to set healthy boundaries as an empath.

First, let’s address the question: What is an empath?

Empaths, also known as Highly Sensitive People (HSP), are intuitives who can feel the emotions of others. If you often feel sick, anxious, or drained after having an interaction with someone, you are likely an empath.

I’m sure you have your own issues and battles that you fight every day. That’s why it’s so important to set boundaries so that you aren’t taking on energy that isn’t yours. And it’s not meant to be!

How to set healthy boundaries as an empath

Do your best to avoid energy vampires

Have you ever had a conversation with someone who just drains you? Perhaps you notice that after the interaction you feel heavy, down, and even depressed? These people are often called energy vampires. I associate this term with characters like Charlie Brown or Eeyore.

Do you best to avoid, or at least minimize your time with, this type of person. If it’s unavoidable, then be sure to immediately counteract their poison with something positive like a quick gratitude practice: Name 5 things that you’re grateful for, and why.

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Become comfortable saying “no”

Some experts believe that the inability to say “no” is tied to a need for the approval of others. I can understand this, but also think that sometimes as humans, we just don’t want to disappoint someone we care about. Whatever the case, if you’re not saying “no” at least some of the time, you’re probably being taken advantage of. And the other person may not even realize it!

If you have a hard time saying “no”, you probably already know this about yourself. Take some time to practice literally saying “NO” out loud into a mirror. Become comfortable using the word. And the next time someone requests something from you that you need to decline, just do so politely. You can say “I’m not able to do that”, “I have something else I have to take care of”, or “I really wish I could.”

And remember, when you say “no”, you don’t have to explain why. You don’t owe anyone an explanation or an apology, and you certainly don’t need to feel badly about it.

The right people will love you for who you are, not what you can do for them

Know your limitations

It’s natural for empaths to feel the need to care for others. In fact their primary Love Language is often Acts of Service. But it’s so important to know your limits, and learn the difference between helping someone and doing too much.

Counteract this habit by increasing the time you spend on self-care. Self-care is so much more than just taking a bath. It’s doing something just for you. Turn off your devices and try one of these ideas.

10 cheap or free self-care ideas:

  1. Take a 30-minute book break.
  2. Stretch your legs – go for a walk!
  3. Soak your feet in some salt, herbs, and essential oils.
  4. Take a nap… with the door locked.
  5. Go for a drive, just to explore!
  6. Meditate!
  7. Do some yoga stretches.
  8. Look through old family photos and reminisce.
  9. Write in your gratitude journal.
  10. Sketch, paint, or color.

I also think it’s important to point out that when we do things for others we are essentially robbing them of an opportunity to learn something for themselves. My 23-year-old son teases his roommate whose mother still does the laundry for him. My kids have been doing their own since 2005! This is a simplistic example of course, but he has grown to be an independent, skilled adult. And guess what – even though I haven’t done his laundry in ages, he still loves me!

How to set healthy boundaries as an empath - Jen Merkel Holistic Hypnosis and Wellness

Create a filter instead of a wall

When you’re setting boundaries, it’s vital that you don’t overcompensate by blocking everything. As a typical air sign (Aquarius sun, here), I have really sturdy boundaries. But sometimes those boundaries are so solid that they don’t let the good stuff in. I have to consciously remember to let them down!

I learned how to empower myself by setting up an imaginary “bubble” around me that acts as a filter. It lets in only the things that I want it to, and shields me from the rest. I can give my “bubble” a general command to let in all loving energy and block out all the negative stuff, along with specific instructions for certain things as they come up.

And if I need some extra help, I like to call in Archangel Michael. I will ask him to use his mighty sword to sever any negative energetic bonds or cords that I wish to remove. And I’m always certain to thank him for his help!

How to set healthy boundaries as an empath

By nature, empaths feel badly for others. However, it takes time to learn how to feel sympathy for someone’s situation without getting caught up in it yourself. Just give it time and don’t be too hard on yourself.


As a lightworker, my life purpose is to bring loving light energy into the world. As a Transformational Life Coach and Certified Hypnosis Practitioner, I help people train their brain to break old, unwanted patterns. Book your free consultation and assessment online.

Jen Merkel Holistic Hypnosis and Wellness
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