Hey, it’s Barb Earle and this is a brilliant brain and bold body break.
Empathy, it’s the ability to understand and feel someone else’s experience.
It would appear in a world where a lot of us are polarized, there is a lack of it.
Humans are as humans do right? How do we get more empathy in the world?
It is possible to intentionally increase one’s empathy by practising and creating neuroplasticity around it. The brain is malleable and capable of generating new thoughts and behaviour patterns, thus helping make empathy an influencer in our life.
Here are four ways to help:
Intentionally make a choice to be empathetic to someone every day.
A cautionary note: avoid doing this so often that you lose your sense of self.
Do something once a day that you dislike. Say bookkeeping, taxes or doing that ‘task’ you’ve been putting off. This helps bring up the emotions around avoidance and struggling, a strong component for seeing and feeling how others may struggle.
(My son and I have a no-procrastination day once a month. We set aside a Saturday to ‘get things done around the house that need tending to and that we’ve ignored for a while.
Consider volunteering, your empathy thought and behavior patterns become stronger and more developed as you contribute to helping those who need it.
Once a day practice an empathy mindfulness moment. Find a quiet spot where you can send self-compassion and kindness to yourself. Then think of a person and send the same emotions towards them. It could be your spouse, an organization, a co-worker, or someone who could really use some empathy.
Wire your brain for empathy, let the default mode network in your brain support you.
And, let neuroscience do the rest.
I am a neurotransformational coach, speaker, and mental health well-being expert.