18 Ideas for Using Your Empathic Abilities

Updated May 18, 2021
Young woman comforting sad female friend

If you're empathic, then you often connect deeply to the emotions and sensations of others including plants, animals, people, or the planet. Empathy is a gift, and knowing how to use your empathic abilities allows you to make the most of it. How you use your empathic abilities depends on the type you have.

How to Use Emotional Empathic Abilities

If you are an emotional empath, you have profound compassion for the emotions and feelings of others. And while it may take some time to learn to separate your own emotions from other people's, once you do, you can use your intuitive abilities to understand how other people feel. This deep connection is a source of compassion, and people with emotional empathic abilities often do well engaging in activities and professions that are rooted in compassion and understanding of others.

volunteers packing soup containers into crate

Volunteer for a Cause

People with profound empathy often become volunteers for a cause. Some causes emotional empaths might find satisfying include the following:

  • Volunteer with children such as by becoming a Court-Appointed Special Advocate or coaching in a children's literacy program.
  • Become a Special Olympics coach.
  • Build houses for Habitat for Humanity.
  • Serve meals for elderly people or the homeless.
  • Visit nursing homes.
  • Volunteer in a women's shelter or homeless shelter.
  • Engage in clothing or toy drives for underprivileged youth.

Deepen Your Relationships

When you understand how another person feels, you can more profoundly connect to him or her. In this way, your empathic abilities can help you deepen and strengthen relationships as you compassionately seek to better understand and connect with the people in your life.

Work in the Mental Health Field

Empaths often wind up working in the mental health field because of their inherent understanding of others' emotions. There are multiple paths you can take as an empath from working as a psychotherapist, to grief counseling, to life coaching.

Help People Find Their Joy

Helping others find things that make them feel joyful helps you as well, because you experience their positive feelings, which can nourish your own soul. When you notice someone is feeling down, use your empathy to help him or her find something that creates a spark of joy, whether it's a funny joke, a song they love, or something more life-altering like finding a new path or passion.

Things to Do With Physical Empathic Abilities

As a physical empath, you experience the physical sensations of others as your own. When channeled appropriately, you can use this ability to help others.

female masseuse giving a head massage

Learn Energy Healing

There are many forms of energy healing you can learn, from Reiki, to crystal healing, to sound healing. Because you can intuit others' physical sensations, with the proper training in energy healing, you can also direct and channel energy in the best ways to provide support for physical ailments.

Go Into a Healthcare Profession

Your compassion for others' pain also makes you a great candidate for health care as a career. There are many health care careers outside of being a doctor or a nurse, such as occupational or music therapy, hospice care, phlebotomy, speech pathology, or working as a home healthcare aid.

How to Engage Plant Empathy

If it is plants you connect to deeply, then this opens you to an array of activities, hobbies, and professions for which you are uniquely suited.

Man planting plant in a garden

Fill Your Home With Plants

Houseplants bring many positive qualities to your life, from improving air quality, to enhancing decor, to helping change the energy of a space via feng shui. With a deep connection to plants, you can bring them into your home and nurture them. Alternatively, you can gift the perfect plant to someone who could use a little plant energy in his or her life.


Whether you garden by growing veggies and flowers for personal use or make it your profession as a master gardener, landscaper, farmer, or floral supplier, your connection to plants means you have a green thumb that allow plants to flourish under your care. You can even volunteer at a community garden, grow vegetables to donate to food programs, or teach others about plants by leading tours at a local botanical garden.

What to Do With Animal Empathy

If you connect profoundly with animals and understand them on a level others don't, you have many options to channel this energy.

Man working with guide dog at training

Volunteer With Animals

Whether it's working as a leader of a local 4H program, fostering pets through a dog or cat rescue, training service animals, or volunteering at a local animal shelter, your unique ability to connect with animals will benefit both you and the animals you help.

Become an Animal Communicator

As someone who has empathy with animals, you can also become an animal communicator. In this capacity, you can help others gain better understanding of their pets, allowing them to co-exist more peacefully and joyfully. You can also help pet owners make end-of-life decisions about aging or ill pets based on their pet's wishes.

Be an Animal Trainer

Whether you wish to do this professionally or as a hobby, you can also train pets. For example, you may do well training your own dogs for agility courses or helping people with pets that have behavioral issues.

Make the Most of Geological Empathy

If your most significant empathic connection is to the Earth or to spaces and places, you have many options to channel this energy.

Tree planting volunteer holding tree sapling

Volunteer or Work in Conservation

With a personal connection to the Earth, you probably also care about its conservation and preservation. This makes you the ideal volunteer, educator, or conservation specialist. Find an Earth cause about which you care deeply and volunteer your time and efforts to heal the planet through conservation practices.

Improve the Energy of Spaces and Places

Geological empaths connect to certain spaces and intuitively understand what spaces need for improved flow and energy. Use these abilities to improve the energy of your spaces through feng shui and other energy practices, or you can consult with others to help them improve the energy where they live, work, and play.

Send Healing Energy to the Planet

Close your eyes and visualize the Earth surrounded in healing light. Do this any time there is a geological event, or whenever you feel the planet could use a little more loving energy.

Spend Time in Nature

One of the best things you can do with your geological empathy is to find places that call to you and spend your time there. There's a good chance that your presence there and your intention for planetary well-being is enough to send healing energy to the places you love while you receive the benefit of drawing personal strength and energy from spending time there.

Advice From an Empath

Mackenna Long is an intuitive medium, spiritual teacher, theta healer, hypnotherapist, and empath living in Washington State. According to Mackenna, "Being an empath is wonderful and there are many ways to use your ability to help others."

Engage Others at Social Gatherings

When she's at a social gathering, Mackenna can sense if someone is feeling awkward. "I can sense which person is lonely or needing someone to reach out to them first because they are shy," she says. When she recognizes this, Mackenna reaches out to help make the situation better for them.

Navigate After Dark

Mackenna also uses her gifts to stay safe when she's out after dark. "I can feel who is or isn't someone to be concerned with," she says. She explains she uses this sense to avoid people who make her feel unsafe. "It is like a radar in my body giving me signals to use caution," Mackenna notes.

Determine if Your Kids Are Sick

"My kids hate that I can tell if they are really sick or not," Mackenna explains. "One of my daughters always says she is fine, but I can read and feel her symptoms." With this extra sense, Mackenna sends her back to bed so she can get rest and recover. Mackenna notes it works the other way as well. "When another of my children says she's sick because she doesn't want to go to school, I can quickly check and tell her to go get dressed."

Make Empathy Your Superpower

When appropriately channeled, psychic abilities such as empathy exist to serve the highest and greatest good of the person who possesses them and the universe as a whole. This is especially true of empathic abilities, which allow you to feel deep compassion for everyone and everything around you. As an empath, you experience a profound connection to other people, animals, plants, or even the planet as a whole. You can use this connection as a source of personal conviction and direction. When you act from compassion, you change how whomever you are connected to feels, which also helps you feel better. In other words, when you raise someone else's vibe through your compassionate action, you also improve your own vibe. In this way, empathy can become a superpower because it allows you to tune in deeply to those around you and find ways of speaking, acting, and being that can make the world a better place.

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18 Ideas for Using Your Empathic Abilities