11 Habits of Happy and Healthy Empaths & Highly Sensitive Persons, Part 2

March 5th, 2017
11 Habits of Happy and Healthy Empaths & Highly Sensitive Persons, Part 2


There are 11 habits I’ve seen that Happy and Healthy Highly Sensitive Persons either have or are cultivating, numbers 7-11 are below. For numbers 1-6, see  11 Habits of Happy and Healthy Empaths & Highly Sensitive Persons, Part 1.

7. We Cultivate Meaningful Relationships

8. We Understand Expectations and Attachments

9. We Welcome All of Our Emotions

10. We’re Okay Doing Nothing

11. We Follow the Heart’s Guidance

Please don’t feel you have to master any one or all of them. Just do your best. Each day. And then do your best again the next day. And the next. All is unfolding in a perfect manner. 


7. We Cultivate Meaningful Relationships

Relationships thrive when there is honesty, courage and vulnerability. Happy and Healthy Empaths & Highly Sensitive Persons know that speaking or acting out of alignment with our highest selves creates energetic constriction and distrust. To really connect with anyone, we must be authentic in our communications. Even when it’s scary to speak our truth, authenticity expands our energy.

Many people go to extraordinary measures to be liked, but to paraphrase the late Debbie Ford, there already are people that don’t like you and you’re still okay. I’ve found that even if what I need to say may rock the boat, speaking my truth garners respect. As André Gide said, “It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.” I’d rather be respected than liked. Partly because speaking my truth can invite others to do the same. I’ve also found that if I’m really present, the right (most compassionate) words come effortlessly. And I found a big part of my own growth was no longer looking to others to be liked but rather seeing who I like first.

Happy and Healthy Empaths & Highly Sensitive Persons seek out conversations of depth. We dislike gossip because we understand it’s wasted energy and often judgmental. We dislike small talk. One of my friends who emigrated here from Russia said, “It took me a few years to understand that “How are you doing?” really meant, “Hi.” We want to know if your chakras are open, or if you’re feeling heard and seen today. We want to hear that you’ve been working on yourself and how you are helping other people, the environment, animals, and the world. We talk about Spirit, life, the afterlife, and the meaning of it all. Granted, sometimes we need a break from that too!

When we feel triggered, we observe our reaction and then remember that whatever we’re feeling is an old wound, not the fault of the person in front of us in that moment. We therefore challenge ourselves to stay present and don’t lash out. We don’t take what’s being said personally, knowing all people perceive and then speak through their personal filter—but we don’t discount what’s being said either. We remain open to hearing other points of view and recognize that ALL humans—no matter how much work we’ve done—have personal blinders on.

We understand that as we create safe space for others, they tell us their deeper truths. Happy and Healthy Empaths & Highly Sensitive Persons know that if we’re in a place of compassion, others can feel that and we can connect with them better. And isn’t that a big part of why we have relationships at all? We want to connect with everyone and everything!  

The Happy and Healthy Empath & Highly Sensitive Person chooses their relationships based on safety, integrity, trust and the space created to be our true selves. We seek to support others and also be supported, knowing that if we were meant to go at life alone, the Universe would have 7 billion planets with just one person on each.

Affirmation: I am authentic, courageous and vulnerable, and live with integrity. 


8. We Understand Expectations and Attachments

Mental and emotional attachment to any thing, place, feeling or person is a guaranteed road to minimizing joy. To paraphrase Pema Chodron, there is no security in a world that is inherently insecure. Everything changes. Constantly. To fight the flow of life doesn’t bode well for your personal or spiritual growth. People die and stock markets and governments rise and fall. Happy and Healthy Empaths & Highly Sensitive Persons do our best to release attachments and recognize the inherent shifts in all things and people, and the futility of trying to recreate the perceived glory days. We appreciate what we have and whom we’re with in the now.

Happy and Healthy Empaths & Highly Sensitive Persons have realistic expectations of our own growth and healing. The promise of quick healing sells lots of books and workshops, but is it really working to the desired degree? Many well-meaning practitioners and modalities promise quick healing or quick manifestations of money, relationships and vibrant health. But all too often, the weekend workshops and Monday morning highs are soon followed by the Friday night blues.

You can’t magically or quickly clear out all the anger from your body any more than you can magically clear out all the love—they have to be integrated. Think of growth and healing more like the Cha-Cha dance rather than a race to the finish line. Even the expectation that there is a finish line is a distraction from true healing and growth, and actually separates you from what is true in any given moment. Misery is the distance between what is and what you think should be.

If humans have between 70 and 90 trillion cells, and each cell has a memory, how long would it take to consciously “cancel-clear” each of them? It’s not going to happen. Knowing there will ALWAYS be a pull toward the old way of being releases perfectionism and self-criticism for not getting it right, right away. 

Similarly, trying to eliminate all negative thoughts from your mind or life is not possible. It’s far better and more realistic to catch ourselves when in that place, accept that we are temporarily in that place, and then invite in the next higher thought. As needed, we do this several times a day. What is done consciously enough eventually becomes an unconscious pattern. If the new way is replacing an old habit that may be decades old, we don’t expect miracles. It’s okay to open to miracles of course, but I’ve only seen those happen when people are at a full place of surrender—something the ego doesn’t want you to achieve. Think of this like chipping away at the stone and know that deep transformation takes time. Happy and Healthy Empaths & Highly Sensitive Persons are okay with that. 

Emotional and spiritual growth are never finished. There are no realistic levels of growth that once achieved will forever eliminate the chance of falling backward, or the occasional off-day, or temporary sadness as long as you inhabit your corporeal form. Even those who are enlightened don’t claim to be in constant bliss. And the illusion that one has to attain enlightenment to share their gifts is a fear-based paradigm that will keep you small and unfulfilled.

 Affirmation: I open my mind and heart to the truth of my temporary existence.


9. We Welcome All of Our Emotions

Many of us felt that our expressions of joy when an infant may have been appreciated for a while, but eventually those same expressions were greeted with the energies of “Be seen, not heard.” The subsequent sadness and anger were also not tolerated. No one ever said, “Yes, please have your temper tantrums whenever you like and at any volume you like. In fact, can you save it for the restaurant? Fellow eaters love a good sideshow.” So we learned to stuff our emotions.

Sadly, this is a major causal factor in decreased joy, and most pains and illness. Happy and Healthy Empaths & Highly Sensitive Persons know we have to make friends with our emotions. In fact, when we’re sad we “ask for more.” Knowing that befriending all aspects of self is the key to wholeness, we recognize that if we’re carrying emotional toxicity, we have to meet it with love to transform it rather than release it. Where and to who would we release our own stuff, anyway?

Releasing works better for empathically transmitted energies. While the casual “cord cutting” or the random “Give it back to the Universe” can feel effective, if we’re not addressing the root issue—our over-empathy—the results are typically temporary. If we have an active role in returning what’s not ours to the original source, we can better learn our lesson of what is and isn’t in our best interest. The processes to do this, the Body Scan and Return to Sender are detailed in my two most recent books.

Affirmation: I ask for more of my own emotions and I return what’s not mine to whom it belongs.  


10. We’re Okay Doing Nothing

How many of you feel guilty taking a day off? Does your self-esteem hinge upon you checking off the things on your to-do list? Happy and Healthy Empaths & Highly Sensitive Persons have, in addition to our to-do lists, the ability to do nothing.

Downtime is as important as uptime. Too much of either is a recipe for frustration and illness. As much as we may enjoy our work, we balance our work with play, and we balance both work and play with nothingness. 

The mind needs down time to process the events and emotions of the day. To avoid processing the day’s events is to invite sleeping difficulties and eventually, much worse conditions. Realizing the power of the mind to distract us from doing or being what’s most important, we make time for meditation to calm the mind. Meditation trains our minds to be in the moment throughout the day.

What makes a good meditation practice?

That you did it.

You don’t need to reach Nirvana or have an hour of bliss each sit to call your meditation successful. These goals are unrealistic and only lead to more self-criticism and judgment. Instead, just be with what is. Happy and Healthy Highly Sensitive Persons know that the effects may not be perceptible, but we trust they’re there. Meditation’s effects are cumulative. With persistence and allowing, all things eventually fall into place.

Affirmation: I meditate to better know myself. And that takes time. And that’s okay.


11. We Follow the Heart’s Guidance

While there is nothing inherently wrong with the law of attraction, much of the current manifestation game appeals to the ego. Many think, “I want this, that, and the other thing or status” or “I need a relationship to complete me” or “I’m one step away from my big breakout” or “I’ve done so much work that I deserve… (fill in the blank)” or “I had a fight with my boss today so it must be the Universe telling me to quit my day job.” 

How much of the above are actually true?

As much as many people on the path feel they’re following a higher calling, we all have an internal and ever-present part of us that likes to call the shots instead, often called the ego. The ego’s job is to challenge you. But it’s not your enemy. Think of it as opponent that you have to defeat in a daily game, not something that you have to kill. If any thing—including an opponent—is a part of us, we might as well accept that and work with it rather than against it.

But we can’t outwit our own wit. We can’t outtalk a part of us that often does the talking. The tools to decrease the ego’s grasp are working in the emotional body. It can only be loved into temporary submission. 

When we consciously choose to not only know about but also deeply KNOW love, we can better receive true guidance from our heart, the Universe, or our Higher Selves—call it what you will.

Following the ego’s endless needs list is an endless and futile game that will always leave you wanting more. Happy and Healthy Empaths & Highly Sensitive Persons follow the heart’s guidance for a much better sense of fulfillment and less reliant on other things, positions, situations, and people to make us happy.

Affirmation: My heart knows more than I do, and listening to it is my key to happiness and health.



  1. Thank you for sharing this blog on social media!
  2. Read Dave’s second book Self-Care for the Self-Aware: A Guide for Highly Sensitive People, Empaths, Intuitives, and Healers which describes the 5 Steps to Healing Empathically Transmitted Pain and Illness. It has been on Amazon’s Top 20 in its category for 41 consecutive months and continues to sell with remarkable consistency, helping thousands of readers to prevent and heal at the root level.
  3. Read the most recent book, Empathipedia for more detail so how to do much of the above and to finally heal as an Empath & HSP. 
  4. Sign up for the monthly newsletter to keep in touch with Dave and receive special, newsletter-list incentives for guidance in being a Happy & Healthy Empath & Highly Sensitive Person!
  5. For more personalized instruction, and guidance on integrating any or all of the above, schedule a Private Session with Dave by phone, Skype, or in-person in Portland, Oregon. If you’re unsure if you’d benefit, schedule a free, no-obligation, 15-minute consult with Dave and he’ll do a reading and answer your questions!
  6. In-joy your life. 


Share Here

When sharing this article, please do so with credit to the original page:

Disclaimer: The author of this article does not dispense medical advice or prescribe the use of any technique as a form of treatment for physical, emotional, or medical problems. The intent of the author is only to offer information of a general nature to help you in your quest for emotional and spiritual well-being. In the event you use any of the information in this article for yourself, which is your constitutional right, the author and the publisher assume no responsibility for your actions.