The first problem any unshielded empath notices is the overwhelming amount
of impressions from other people. You don't know where "you" stop
and "other people" begin, particularly when you've been around one
or more people for a while. Confusion is common from having multiple emotions
vying for attention, and most of them aren't yours.
The solution? Shields designed specifically to filter out the emotional excess
that would otherwise overwhelm you.
Depending on your shielding skill and/or natural ability to "just do it",
there will be varying degrees of difficulty associated with any of these. Just
practice until it becomes second nature. There's plenty of methods. The thing
to remember, though, is that they're merely visualizations that point you toward
your goal, which is a state-of-mind that enables you to function in a situation
that would otherwise be overwhelming.
If you've ever walked into the back of a bookstore from a crowded area, you
should have noticed an immediate drop in noise level. My method is very much
like that, imposing that sort of quiet in my mind. It doesn't filter out *everything*
- just as if you're in the back of said bookstore, it doesn't block out ALL
the noise, just a lot of it.
OTHER VISUALIZATION METHODS INCLUDE
A "sound filter" between you and the world, with slider switches
that can adjust the noise level coming through - like an audio amplifier can
adjust the amount of balance/treble/base on a stereo.
Plugging your mental ears with cotton balls, or burying yourself in a big
pile of cotton or a fuzzy blanket.
Mentally close in on yourself, ignoring the rest of the world. Dive into
your own thoughts, contemplate your navel if it helps. :) Imagine conversations
with friends, compose a piece of text (story, LiveJournal post, etc.) in your
mind, something to take the focus off the world and into yourself.
Visualize yourself in the background of your current location. Then start
"fading out", until nearly transparent. Then let the thoughts, emotions,
and general "bad vibes" pass through without tangible effect. You
may feel more "detached" than usual from the current situation,
so just be aware of that.
"Know Thyself" - Be sure what you're trying to block is genuinely
not coming from yourself. Be sure your mind hasn't set up an "amplification
loop" where it concentrates on a small tidbit of something in order to
be able to figure out what it is.
Make sure your diet is good, that you're taking proper vitamins, and that
you aren't being hit by medication side effects. Modify your diet and include
more fruits and veggies, particularly if you're normally an example of the
"fast food junkie" method of living. If you're a vegan, make sure
you take plenty of b-vitamin supplements.
If necessary, leave. It may not be an easy decision, but you may need to
leave the area in order to get yourself under control. Sometimes just "stepping
outside for a minute" will do the trick, sometimes you need more time.
It all depends on the situation.
If you need a longer break (Say, continued contact with friends is just getting
to be too much), then just say that you need a little break from everyone
else's problems for a while, and that you'll be back when you've gotten your
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