"I always just say be nice to people, you don't know what that person has been through," Captuo tells PEOPLE

By Brittany King
Updated September 21, 2016 02:25 PM

Even if you don’t believe in communicating with the dead, Theresa Caputo has some advice she thinks everyone should hear.

The Long Island Medium star, who is gearing up for a national tour kicking off Sunday, opened up to PEOPLE about how her gift has shaped her for the better.

For those who don’t know, Caputo isn’t your ordinary reality star with big hair, she communicates with the dead. Yes, she is a medium who deals with pain and heartache on a daily basis, and that comes with its own awareness for a sense of gratitude and appreciation towards life.

“[Readings] have changed me as a person,” she tells PEOPLE. “I find that Spirit has calmed me in a way and [has] really taught me to really, really, really embrace the fact that it’s important to stop and smell the roses. Also, to really be grateful and thankful for what we have and not what we don’t have. I was raised to know that, but to truly know the true meaning of that [statement], is something completely different, it’s a completely different level.”

“I always just say be nice to people, you don’t know what that person has been through,” Caputo adds. “Some think it’s always easy to judge people and to say things about someone, I did when I was younger, but then you realize that you don’t know what other people may have been through.”

Though Caputo has been giving and receiving messages for quite some time, there are things about her job that still takes a toll on her emotionally and mentally and shifted her life priorities.

“All the readings are hard, but for me there are times I can’t get through a reading when I’m reading a young girl,” she admits. “Say she lost her father or mother, and knowing that she has to get married, have children and go through life without her parent is hard. And here I am at 49 years old and I still have my parents who have been through every milestone in my life … and my children know their grandparents, and to know that [about that girl] is hard.”

“It has changed my perspective on everything. I am so lucky and blessed to have the family I have,” the mother of two continues. “I feel like my journey and the messages that Spirit conveys just validates everything on how I was raised. Having an experience with a medium I think gives people permission to grieve, heal and live life the way that they deserve to.”

One thing the longtime medium feels strongly about is telling the younger generations to “embrace you.”

“Everyone is different, embrace you. Who ever decided what normal is?” she says. “Because what I do is probably the farthest thing from being normal and one of the most valuable lessons that I’ve learned from being a medium is that we are responsible for our own happiness. You can’t be happy unless you embrace it. You’re the only one that is going to know what’s right for you. And whatever it is that you want in life … make it be inspiring in helping be a good person and just don’t veer from your soul.”

“As long as you’re not harming yourself or anyone else than you need to do what’s best for you, because that’s the only way you’re going to be happy,” she adds. “Not everyone is going to like it, not everyone is going to agree with it, but you have to learn to respect people. And I think that’s what people miss out on.”

Click here for more on Theresa Caputo’s “The Experience” fall tour.