This Monday, see how empathy is a valuable tool for reducing stress and strengthening our personal relationships.
Our lives are busy, there’s no doubt about it. In the thick of things, we sometimes get caught up with our own cares and concerns. It can make us insensitive and weaken our social connections. This is normal.
The practice of cultivating empathy — or stepping into somebody else’s shoes — enables us to become more attuned to other people’s feelings and perspectives, especially when their points of view are different from ours. This not only helps others to feel supported, it ultimately benefits our own lives by strengthening our relationships and inspiring collaboration, whether at home or at work.
And science agrees. Empathy is proven to boost the happiness hormone and neurotransmitter, oxytocin.
To reduce stress, find greater meaning in your activities, and strengthen your bond with colleagues and acquaintances try this simple empathy practice:
- Bring to mind what the other person might be experiencing — challenges, stresses, etc.
- Put yourself in their situation and try to imagine what they might be feeling.
- Wish for them what you would want for yourself, such as happiness or peace.
To discover more about empathy, watch this short video by Brené Brown, author of “Daring Greatly”:
Use Monday to step out of your own shoes and into someone else’s shoes. You will gain a greater understanding and be able to share more, which leads to less stress for everyone!