The Evolving Empath: A Spiritual Perspective on Anxiety Disorder

I believe Mental Health & Spirituality are one of the same.

For as long as I can remember, I have always felt anxiety and uneasy feelings without reason. I never could identify these emotions as a child but finally at 13 years of age I was 'diagnosed' with a severe anxiety disorder. After two years of therapy I was put on anti-depressants. Seems a bit extreme to put a 15 year old on those type of medications, but we tried everything in western practices to 'fix' me, and that was the last resort.

I was always a shy kid, very softly spoken and didn't like being around a lot of people. I remember having panic attacks (not knowing that's what they were) in public and crowded places, I would cry and blame it on feeling sick because I didn't know how else to explain how I felt.

One time overseas, I was 10 years old and we were out at a Museum. It was very crowded. It felt loud and I felt like I was being crushed - when in reality, It wasn't that loud and I wasn't being crushed. But the feelings were so strong I cried to my parents and even a security guard because I was adamant that I was being pushed around, being touched and I couldn't hear properly. No one was understanding me because it physically couldn't be seen. It's only now as an adult I know what happened.

There was so much foreign energy it became so overwhelming that I could physically feel it. It was so loud for me because I could 'hear' everyone. I felt I was being touched because that's how in tuned I was.

From childhood, adulthood to motherhood - these types of experiences would often happen. Everyone told me it was anxiety when really it was ENERGY.

This is just a theory of mine, one I believe and makes sense to me. It just took me many years to learn realise this and re-teach myself that there was never anything 'wrong' with me.

I do feel anxiety but I do not have an anxiety disorder, but my medical records would show otherwise. I continue to use the term though so others know what I'm talking about.

I am an empath.

I absorb much and feel everything and everyone. I know this now, and now I know how to cope with it.

High school was hard. I hated going to school, even though I was an academic and I liked learning. Being around a lot of people just really got to me. Small groups were fine but classrooms or assemblies were horrific. Quiet indoor spaces with a lot of people is when most people go into deep thought. So it gets very loud and heavy for me.

I've run out of class, I wagged classes and faked 'sick' a lot. The energy was just insane, I would get panic attacks. They were the most horrible feelings for me. They would destroy me.

The worse times I wouldn't go to school for months, I wouldn't leave my house, I got depressed, suicidal a few times in my life.

As I grew older, drinking was the one way I could cope with crowds. It was a mental holiday, it is for most people they just don't realise it. This isn't the case anymore though nor is it something I recommend. As an adult I would return to medication when things got really bad, but now I can cope quite naturally.

Panic Attacks are a result of overwhelming stress and increased adrenaline. Where our body goes into 'fight or flight mode' our bodies naturally get into this state when we feel threatened. Now when you have a panic attack where there is no physical or obvious threat in sight - you're considered mentally ill (like I was) What I believe now, is actually my body was still reacting to potential threats or unwelcome energy but at a higher level that nobody likes to acknowledge or accept as reality. I was 'picking up' on energy that felt either negative or threatening and my body reacted as it would have to a physical threat.

I think the hardest part for me was feeling isolated, alone, incapable and that no one understood. Its different now that I have learnt to identify my feelings from my senses and surrounded myself with loved ones of similar vibration. Once you become open with who you are, everything else falls into place.

I wish western medicine and practices wasn't the only option for me in the past. I have a break down of what worked for me during my times of heighten empathy (or anxiety) it's important to be mindful of these

1.) Stop Apologising

Guilt is a horrible feeling. Something we tend to feel often due to feeling like an inconvenience, simply saying 'sorry' when no one understands or because we tend to avoid or cancel plans when we aren't feeling strong enough. Sometimes we apologise out of respect and consideration, but we do not owe anyone an apology due to our feelings of discomfort. Due to our already heighten emotions, we can seriously carry guilt so easily over the smallest things. Be EASY on yourself!

2.) Cleanse & Recover

After most social outings, you'll find me straight in the shower. To literally wash everyone and everything off me that I picked up on. While doing a quiet karakia I will wash off all the energy that doesn't belong to me. I like to take a timeout, my timeout is doing anything alone, chilling, reading or writing is ideal but in this modern life - even working, cleaning etc is helpful as long as I'm alone and my soul can dance freely for a bit to recover. I find if I don't regularly have alone time, I become heavily fatigued, drained and exhausted.

3.) Sex is Sacred

It truly is, despite living in such a hook up culture. We can absorb a lot of stress and energy when we connect with a mate. Promiscuity is popular within this modern age, mostly due to being under the influence where one night stands become too easy. But I do believe no one is truly happy doing this long term, especially us ladies. It is not fulfilling to our soul and our natural purpose here as women (procreation) If you compare sleeping with someone you care about against someone you don't - love always wins. And if it doesn't feel that way, then there's probably some abandon wounds that needs addressing, or unbalanced energy within yourself or between you and your partner. 

4.) For Women: Bleed & Rejuvenate

Do you love the moon? I do. She's my best friend. The lunar cycle and the menstrual cycle are both 28 days long and both represent 'rebirth'. When I have my period I take this time to rejuvenate, I also tend to be more sensitive to energy at this time - so you wont find me out partying or around a lot of people when my monthly friend arrives. I won't make many plans or workout as much when I'm expecting my period. I also believe its natures way of telling us to calm down and reflect for a minute.

5.) Creative Expression

This could sound bias because I'm an artist. But for me expressing myself feels very grounding, it puts my messy mind in order. It's effortless. Art takes me to a meditative state. Writing lets me offload. Music helps me let go. How do you express yourself?

6.) Be PROUD

I always hid my true feelings in fear I sounded crazy and would be judged. Once I started speaking openly about my emotional and spiritual state, the whole world suddenly fell off my shoulders. It was the most relieving feeling. Once you can be so completely yourself everyone else feels safe to be themselves too. You end up surrounded with like-minded people which is so rewarding. Your vibe attracts your tribe.

7.) Pray. They're always listening. 💛

It can be hard creating a lifestyle that can be adapted to who you truly are, especially in a time where people are moving non stop and wealth is prioritised over well being. I find the more you stay in touch with your faith and nature, the more in tuned you become. You will soon be able to literally read the signs leading you to the road you're meant to travel on.

Its not always butterflies and rainbows and I'm assuming its very much the opposite for most of us. Stay strong and focused. Sacrifices often need to be made during our progress to the top. So if you're in a position where you can create a lifestyle that fits with your SOUL - Do it! 🌙

In the meantime, your anxiety is a gift in disguise that just needs to be tamed, not eradicated. Do not avoid your true calling. It will keep flying around you in this life and the next until you let it in. We are IN TUNED. ✨



  • You should definitely write a book. I felt like you were speaking to me and my soul

    Thank you for sharing and amazing mahi x

  • Love your work and love your journey. I relate and so I know. Keep encouraging others always.

  • Your ahua is ataahua 💓
    Thank you for sharing your korero me whakaaro. I think alot of people need to hear this and take in the beauty of a true gift and not a burden 💞💞

  • What a journey it sounds like a lifetime maze for you never knowing what was around each corner…but you got there in the end, amazing work.

    Russell Vella
  • A beautiful insight. Thank you for sharing your experiences and journey xx Nga manaakitanga ki runga i aa koe, i ngā waa katoa xx


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