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Cultivating Empathy – An Effective Way to Manage Stress

April is Stress Awareness month, for the remainder of April, we are going to share tips on how to manage your stress. Today, we want to talk about managing your stress through empathy.


Did you know that having empathy is key to managing your stress and also has a positive impact on those around you at work and in your community?


First, let’s learn the difference between sympathy and empathy.

Sympathy is feeling sorry or pity for another without fully understanding what it’s like to experience what they are going through.

Empathy is the ability to put yourself in their situation and get a feeling or understanding of what they are going through.

How does empathy help us manage our own stress?

According to psychologist, Arthur Ciaramicoli, in his book, The Stress Solution, “when we give and receive empathy we produce the near magical neurotransmitter oxytocin, which creates a sense of trust and cooperation—keys to negotiating and resolving conflict, whether between couples, communities, states, or countries. Leading with empathy can help those around us to be sources of support in our lives and reduce the likelihood of interpersonal conflicts.”

Research conducted by the Center for Creative Leadership found that empathy at work plays a role in increased performance at work.

Demonstrating empathetic leadership – whether you are a leader or not –helps those around you cultivate empathy too. Showing empathy for another when they are feeling stressed is a beneficial way to help them manage their stress.

Here are some ways from the Center for Creative Leadership to help manage another person’s stress by showing empathy:

·       Watch out for signs of burnout

·       Show a real interest in other people's hopes, dreams, and needs

·       Be willing to help another with a personal problem

·       Compassion is key when another shares a personal loss with you

Tomorrow we will share tips on how to take charge of your well-being with your annual wellness check up and other ideas.

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