Compassion fatigue has become a familiar phrase over this past year. The following excerpt notes the difference between empathy and compassion which points us in the direction of being able to connect with others in healthy ways that help both parties with no negative effects. The link to the whole article is at the bottom of this page> .
“Unlike empathy compassion increases activity in the areas of the brain involved in dopaminergic reward and oxytocin-related affiliative processes, and enhances positive emotions in response to adverse situations”.
Interventions to deal with burnout in health care professionals typically focus on stress management and other self-care strategies, but have little evidence of efficacy (7). While self-care is always a good thing, Singer and other neuroscientists have proven that compassion is a skill that can be cultivated, and that empathic distress can be reversed, by learning how to turn empathy into compassion.
The most well-studied techniques for compassion skills are found in mindfulness meditation programs. Even with short periods of compassion training, participants continue to feel empathy for the suffering of others, but gain the capacity to feel positive emotions without feeling distress (8).
With the understanding that empathic distress is self-centered while compassion is other-centered, it should come as no surprise that wellness is a social phenomenon and the techniques for cultivating compassion are taught in groups with interactive exercises. In fact, many studies now demonstrate that compassion training leads to long-lasting changes in attitudes and behaviors toward other people that transcend the specific situation in which compassionate feelings were evoked, and moreover that these prosocial behaviors transfer to a broad range of people and situations.
To read the entire article go here: https://bit.ly/3eEHcUr