Do empaths have anxiety attacks?

Do empaths have anxiety attacks?

It is believed that when empaths are overwhelmed or experience distressful emotions, they might experience feelings of anxiety along with panic attacks.

According to the nature of empaths, they tend to internalize the feelings and the pains of others without being able to differentiate themselves from them leading to heightened levels of fear, anxiety, and discomfort.

Everyone has a natural tendency to feel empathy however in the case of empaths they experience very high levels of empathy such that they take on the feelings of others making them more vulnerable to anxiety and anxiety attacks.

What are the two types of empaths?

There are two different types of empaths. This division provides for an easier understanding of how anxiety and empathy are related:


Cognitive empathy

Cognitive empathy describes the ability to understand what someone else is going through. For instance, one’s body language and tone of voice might help to understand their emotions and thoughts.

Affective empathy

This refers to the ability to share what other people are feeling. This emotional empathy usually happens automatically and can foster and motivate you to provide support to another individual.

What an anxiety attack looks like in empaths?

An anxiety attack makes an empath feel overwhelmed with fear, panic, a sense of loss of control over oneself and the environment.

The intensity of the anxiety attacks build up gradually over a few minutes reaches its peak and then subsides.

Anxiety attacks are characterized by a set of signs and symptoms such as:

  • Sweating
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sense of joking
  • Complaints of chest pain
  • Shaking or trembling
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness or Lightheadedness
  • Fear of losing control over oneself and their environment
  • Fear of impending doom
  • Hot or cold flashes
  • Tingling or numbness
  • Increased heart rate

These symptoms vary in severity from person to person.

What are some ways for empaths to cope with anxiety attacks?

Set boundaries

The key to controlling one’s anxiety attacks and keeping away from it empaths is to set personal boundaries. setting limits can lower an individual’s risk of reaching peaks of anxiety

Identify and acknowledge the triggers

The most significant strategy that empaths can use to control their anxiety attacks is by identifying and acknowledging those triggers.

Being able to recognize what makes an individual anxious makes them better equipped to take action.

Relaxation techniques

Even though anxiety attacks can be bought under an empaths control they cannot be predicted. In such situations, it is necessary that an empath actively carries out relaxation techniques.

These might include meditation, yoga, and deep breathing which helps to reduce the intensity of anxiety within a short period.

Seek help

A key to reducing the frequency and intensity of anxiety attacks could be spending time with close family and friends.

The kind of emotional and practical support provided by these social and personal groups help the person feel connected and aid in distracting one’s mind from negative and recurring thoughts that lead to anxiety.

Apart from friends and families, empaths can also consider speaking to groups of people that are experiencing similar problems.

Set realistic goals

When an empath is feeling overwhelmed setting goals and targets keeping in mind priorities can help resolve overwhelming feelings of fear or panic.

Setting goals provides structure and routine to an individual’s life reducing space for uncertainty which can be a major trigger for anxiety attacks in many cases.

Take up new challenges

Apart from doing activities that an individual is usually fond of and has expertise in, trying new and challenging activities that put an individual outside their comfort zone in a healthy manner may help reduce the stress and anger temporarily.

Signing up for new activities also provides a path to meeting people with similar stories and concerns.

Making journal entries

Finally having a journal to write down how a person is feeling and thinking when they are anxious helps them to reflect upon their thoughts and feelings.

Putting down one’s thoughts and feelings onto a paper helps to provide a sense of temporary relief.

In the case of journal entry, a person does not even have to fear being judged by another person regarding their thoughts and feelings.

Looping thoughts

Processing the same negative thoughts over and over again can signify anxiety. Studies indicate that dwelling on negative thoughts might provide a connection between empathy and anxiety.

it is important that an individual actively pushes back the negative thoughts that come to their mind and distract themselves with more neutral or positive thoughts.

Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.

What are the therapy options for anxiety attacks experienced by empaths?

Cognitive-behavioural therapy

Cognitive-behavioural therapy can help empaths to control their anxiety by using strategies like relaxation and breathing. It works on the principles of replacing negative thoughts with positive ones.

Group therapy

It is based on the principle that when an individual interacts with other people who are suffering from the same fears, they might not feel left alone or isolated. Group therapy usually involves a group of individuals who are experiencing similar symptoms and problems.


Anxiety can also be treated with the help of medication prescribed by a health care professional.

Though medication alone cannot help in reducing persistent anxiety it can help in restoring a sense of control and bring temporary relief.


Some individuals quite literally feel other peoples pain and emotion making them their own. Such individuals are referred to as empaths. Every human holds a basic level of empathy in their system however these levels are significantly very high in empaths.

Anxiety attacks can involve extreme feelings of lack of control, difficulty breathing, sense of impending doom, nausea, dizziness, increased heart rate in empaths.

Anxiety though is short-lived concerning each episode they might overwhelm an individual with a sense of fear and panic.

In the case of empaths, the amount of anxiety that the experience might be extreme. This might be because of their very nature of relating to other people’s emotions, fears, concerns and taking it upon their shoulders considering it their own.

Many empaths due to this reason might experience anxiety attacks most frequently than other individuals.

Empaths find it mentally exhausting to be around other individuals due to the amount of stress and anxiety that they experience when in a social setting.

Considering the characteristic symptoms and signs of anxiety attacks by empaths it is best suggested that individuals are well equipped with methods and strategies to deal effectively with anxiety attacks.

In cases managing anxiety attacks and their frequency or intensity is beyond one’s control it is best advised to seek professional assistance for long-term adaptive outcomes.

What we recommend for curbing Anxiety

Below are some of the services and products we recommend for anxiety

Online Therapy

  • Online therapy is another thing we should all try. We highly recommend Online therapy with a provider who not only provides therapy but a complete mental health toolbox to help your wellness.

Anxiety Weighted Blankets

  • Anxiety Weighted Blankets are by far the number 1 thing every person who suffers from anxiety should at least try. Anxiety Blankets may improve your sleep, allow you to fall asleep faster and you can even carry them around when chilling at home.

Light Therapy

  • Amber light therapy from Amber lights could increase the melatonin production in your body and help you sleep better at night.  An Amber light lamp helps reduce the amount of time it takes you to fall asleep and increases overall sleep quality.

Frequently asked questions

Do empaths struggle with anxiety?

The very nature of empaths makes them vulnerable to high levels of anxiety as they tend to take upon themselves the fears, pain, and emotions of other people. Empaths might feel anxious and concerned on behalf of other people.

Why do empaths have so much anxiety?

Empath are those individuals who unconsciously get affected by the troubles, worries, and concerns of other individuals.

They report experiencing the emotions that the other person is feeling. This could be the reason by empaths experience a persistent amount of anxiety at times.

What do empaths struggle with?

The main concern of an empath is that they take on the worries and concerns of others on to themselves. It gets difficult for them to set boundaries and deny other people’s concerns and worries. Due to this reason they might find it exhausting to spend time around other people

What does it look like when one is experiencing anxiety attacks?

Anxiety attacks involve some typical signs and symptoms such as:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Sense of losing control
  • Fear of impending doom
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Shaking or trembling
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness

What triggers an empaths?

empaths can be triggered by their past traumatic experiences which can be both emotional or physical like any other individual.