Triggers For Empaths | Learn What They are and Prevent Emotional Burnout

Have you ever been referred to as an active listener or a very compassionate person? If so, you might be an empath. An empath is a good friend to have as they bear other’s emotions. However, taking too many emotions of others at their expense can sometimes overwhelm empaths, leading to emotional burnout. But what are the triggers for empaths? Let’s find out.

Key Takeaways

  • Triggers for empaths can be emotional or sensory triggers.
  • Empaths can be intuitive, physical, or emotional.
  • Signs of an empath include feeling other people’s emotions, being easily hurt, being highly introverted, being easily overwhelmed, and having social anxiety.
  • Empaths are good friends, but extreme cases can lead to emotional burnout.

What Is an Empath?

An empath is an individual with overwhelming emotions, both theirs and those of the people surrounding them. They intuit what someone is thinking or feeling even before the person speaks out. This group of individuals has a high sense of energy within their environments, which significantly affects them.

Besides, empathic people can easily become upset or overwhelmed by emotions. This situation is because empaths have a sensitive response and can internalize the feelings of the people surrounding them. That’s why they are commonly referred to as sensitive individuals or emotional sponges.

Empaths enjoy a profound life experience which is a good thing. However, they go through emotional burnout in extreme conditions, which may be an awful experience.

a woman covering her face with hands

Am I an Empath? – How to Know

While you may be an empath, you may not realize this sooner. However, some signs show whether or not you are an empath, and these signs are shown below.

  • Feeling exhausted after being in other’s company.
  • Having social anxiety in crowds and social gatherings.
  • Feeling the emotions of other people other than yours.
  • Feeling overwhelmed by emotions.
  • You need more alone time, being introverted.
  • Being a highly sensitive person.
  • Being highly intuitive.
  • Getting feelings easily hurt.

Triggers for Empaths – Emotional Triggers

The emotional triggers of empaths are listed below.

Others’ Pain And Suffering

Life experiences and uncertainties cause us to suffer in different ways. Through these moments, we always have someone by our shoulder who stands with us and tries to comfort us. Empaths are the real heroes of these situations, they’ll do everything they can to help ease your situation. However, the aftermath of these all may cause the suffering to shift from you to the empath.

It is important to know this emotional trigger as early as possible. Knowing it helps you set your boundaries so that even when helping people, you know what limits to adhere to avoid draining yourself emotionally.

a stressed man sitting in the room

Feelings Of Worthlessness

Self-worth is essential to an empath. This empath trigger can cause a sensitive person to become overwhelmed by the feeling of being unworthy. If this is one of your empath triggers, try as much as possible to avoid negative emotions. Encourage yourself that you’re worth it and you have a purpose.


Every individual once in a while has stress. And it is normal, by the way. However, too much stress can cause serious mental health issues. Stress drivers include things that happen around us but seem out of place. This may include the inability to locate something you need urgently, seeing disturbing posts on social media, and some happy events like getting married. A crucial life skill is learning how to manage and control stress.

An empath feels stress with higher intensity than an average individual. An empath can get too emotional when they lose control of things happening around them. Such activities may include but are not limited to:

  • When they lose control of situations
  • Multiple events happening simultaneously in the same environment.
  • Inadequate times for breaks between programs or events.
  • The feeling of being under pressure.

Empaths must learn how to manage their feelings and stress efficiently to avoid emotional burnout.

a worried woman sitting at the desl

Other People’s Behavior

We may have friends or people around us who lack proper mannerisms. While we may find a way to deal with or live with them, empaths find it difficult to cope with them. An empath is likely to be affected by obnoxious people who never prioritize other people’s interests or comfort. They also get affected by people who like controlling others or are attention seekers.

However, narcissists are the most unbearable people an empath can ever imagine. They demand unconditional validation and attention, which the empath is happy to provide. 

Narcissism tends to create a disorder that the empaths need to bring under control. By doing so, they may be subjected to trauma, burnout, and a feeling of self-doubt.

Triggers for Empaths – Sensory Triggers

The sensory triggers for empaths are as follows.


Empaths find it challenging to handle a person with intense emotions, and it gets no better when in crowded places. They find it complicated to sense an individual’s feelings. With so many people around them in a crowd, empaths can be subjected to emotional distress due to the feelings of so many people. They feel surrounded and attacked by emotions emanating from within the crowds. To avoid such feelings, empaths tend to avoid crowded places at all costs.

Noisy Environments

As the magnitude of triggers increases, empaths tend to get more and more overwhelmed. Consequently, they become more sensitive to such triggers. A noisy environment, therefore, brings in more triggers that an empath can find hard to bear, thus resulting in deep distress.

If you’re an empath and get triggered by a noisy environment, you should avoid public transportation routes, open markets, heavy machinery operations, and any other chaotic activity.


Exhaustion can be mental, physical, or emotional fatigue. The feeling of exhaustion of great significance can cause you to be more sensitive to triggers. An exhausted empath experiences an increased sensitivity to nearly everything happening around them. These events can easily trigger emotions.

The inability of empaths to avoid other people’s negative energy makes them more exhausted and vulnerable to fatigue and oversensitivity.

Sensory Overload

Sensory overload is when your senses handle more information than your brain can process. This situation may cause you to become overwhelmed and fail to keep up with the flow of events, thus panicking.

Intense sensations easily trigger an empath with an already increased sensitivity to stimuli. Therefore, their senses feel attacked, and they may not be able to handle them anymore.

Common elements that may stimulate sensory overload include:

  • Too cold or too hot temperatures.
  • Strong smells.
  • Loud sounds and music.
  • Bright light.
  • Too much intimacy.
upset woman with closed eyes

How to Avoid Empath Emotional Triggers?

To avoid empath emotional triggers, consider the tips below.

Set and Implement Boundaries 

While you may find it okay to help others with their emotional issues, having limitations. Learn the art of saying “no” to some circumstances. Also, try not to involve yourself in every difficult situation which may not concern you. Doing so will protect your emotional health.

Self Awareness

You can’t solve a problem unless you know the root cause. The same applies to managing your own emotions. As an empath, it is important to understand your emotions, what triggers them, and how to handle them. After this simple process, you should be in a position to separate them from others’ emotions.

Try as much as possible to live the moment. Pay close attention only to things happening in the present. Doing so will put you in a better position to identify and deal with your triggers more efficiently.


Self-care is a crucial consideration for any person’s well-being. Empaths need a high level of self-care because they have a higher emotional load than others. Find out what your needs are and devise ways to fulfill them. This process is the first step to taking care of yourself and your mental health.

While self-care needs may differ from one person to another, the following are the basic factors to consider.

  • Take care of your physical health by getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet, and exercising regularly.
  • Establish a support system you can rely on.
  • Take frequent and enough mental breaks by having alone time and finding time for your hobbies.
  • Set boundaries by knowing your needs and learning to say no to some situations.
a person among other people


What Is an Empathy Trigger?

An empathy trigger is an event or experience that triggers the sensitive emotions of a highly emotional person. The event can be traumatic or stimulating.

What Are Empaths Sensitive To?

Empaths are sensitive to:

  • Emotional triggers such as your own emotional pain and the emotions of other people.
  • Physical empath triggers such as physical sensations and pain of others.
  • Intuitive empath triggers such as perceptions

What Happens When an Empath Gets Angry?

When an empath gets angry, their heartbeat increases beyond the normal rate. Their anger increases, and their sadness intensifies. At this moment, they find it difficult to control their emotions as they bear their emotions and that of others.

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