#BrainFactMonday โ€“ What Happens In Your Brain When You Feel “Empathy”?

Posted on 20th November 2023

What happens in your brain when you feel "empathy"? ๐Ÿง  And how can you eventually increase your ability to feel other people's emotions? (Hint: it's a vital skill for effective leaders nowadays).

Welcome to another #BrainFactMonday! Today, you'll learn how empathy works in the brain.

Empathy is rooted in a network of brain regions, with a starring role played by something called "๐—บ๐—ถ๐—ฟ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—ฟ ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐˜‚๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—ป๐˜€." These neurons fire when you see someone else experience an emotion or perform an action, mirroring their feelings and actions within your own brain.

When you witness a friend's joy, sadness, or pain, your mirror neurons kick into action, allowing you to share in their experience. Here lies the beauty of humanity! ๐Ÿ’•

When we empathise it means we are understanding, connecting, and responding to their emotions.

๐—›๐—ผ๐˜„ ๐—ฐ๐—ฎ๐—ป ๐˜†๐—ผ๐˜‚ ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ฐ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐˜€๐—ฒ ๐˜†๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ฟ ๐—ฎ๐—ฏ๐—ถ๐—น๐—ถ๐˜๐˜† ๐˜๐—ผ ๐—ณ๐—ฒ๐—ฒ๐—น ๐—ผ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐˜€' ๐—ฒ๐—บ๐—ผ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป๐˜€?

๐Ÿ‘‰ ๐—–๐˜‚๐—น๐˜๐—ถ๐˜ƒ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ฒ ๐—ฎ๐—ฐ๐˜๐—ถ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ ๐—น๐—ถ๐˜€๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด: during a conversation, give your full attention to the other person while they're speaking, ask open-ended questions, and validate their feelings. Listen with your body as well, notice the variations of energy you perceive in the other person and in the room. This not only deepens your understanding of what they're saying and makes them feel deeply heard, but it also strengthens your connections. ๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธ๐Ÿ‘‚

๐Ÿ‘‰ ๐— ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ฑ๐—ณ๐˜‚๐—น๐—ป๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜€: regular mindfulness practice can heighten your awareness of your own emotions and make you more attuned to the emotions of others. Our old, dear friend meditation plays a key role here as well! ๐Ÿง˜โ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿง˜โ€โ™€๏ธ

๐Ÿ‘‰ ๐—ช๐—ฎ๐—น๐—ธ ๐—ถ๐—ป ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ถ๐—ฟ ๐˜€๐—ต๐—ผ๐—ฒ๐˜€: put yourself in someone else's position to gain a better understanding of their experiences and emotions. This helps you build stronger relationships and make more informed decisions. ๐Ÿ‘Ÿ๐Ÿ‘ 

๐Ÿ‘‰ ๐—ฃ๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—ฐ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ฐ๐—ฒ ๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ๐—ผ๐—บ ๐—ฎ๐—ฐ๐˜๐˜€ ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐—ธ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ฑ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜€: small acts of kindness can go a long way in showing empathy. Even the simplest gesture can make a significant difference in someone's day. ๐Ÿค—๐Ÿ’–

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