A few suggestions on thriving as an empath:
If you are a dowser, you have a powerful tool to dowse your way back to inner balance. If not, you can experiment with how your feelings manifest in your body, follow your intuition, and breathe into those feelings to affect a sigh of physical release.
We all need an outside perspective sometimes. Seek assistance from someone who you know who has the ability to help you clean off the negative energy that you are unable to transmute by yourself, and the wisdom to help you understand why you pick it up. (With my clients, I sometimes see this as the “Pigpen” Character in Charles Schultz’s Peanuts comics. A cloud of “dust” goes with them wherever they go.) Find someone with whom you can safely explore/release the deeper implications of your subconscious judgments.
Dowse or feel your safe time: how long and when you feel safe in certain situations, such as being in the midst of challenging group environments, or alone for long periods, or just on the telephone with someone. Learn to replicate that feeling of safety and use it as a tool to meet similar challenges. If you’ve overstayed your safe time, acknowledge that. Breathe through it and lean into it. Let go of the handrails. We are only asked to try.
Think about prearranging a signal with your closest person/loved one for moments when things get overwhelming, before you start your snapping-turtle routine. Put your watch on the other wrist, or decide on a hand signal (play nice, no birds haha) that lets your partner or friend know that you are processing as fast as possible and may need to be quiet for a little while.
Start your day with a morning routine of doing something physical—a swim, t’ai chi, Qigong, a walk… something to get the physical body moving and the calming endorphins flowing.