How Meditation helps develop empathy?

2 minutes

The so called “practicality” which people seem to be using these days as excuses to zero in on their own selfish deeds has really been bothering mankind. Lately, I have been feeling like people don’t put themselves in other people’s shoes like they used to and it has started to bother me.

Given the situation is as worse as this pandemic, the news and internet are the witnesses that there are people out there making money out of other’s misery. When the mankind has crossed such thresholds, my trembling fingers sweat to conclude that humans lack empathy.

This world has always craved for empathy and I don’t doubt that there is a dearth of it. The empathy it needs dwells in us, for it benefits everyone especially your eternal soul.

But again the question is. “How do we develop empathy?”

Being mean to people can be as easy as breathing but being nice and empathetic may sometimes be choking unless it comes from within. For example, we might snap at our elders for frustrating us with their irritating questions but might help a stranger in the subway with their bags. Not that helping a stranger is wrong but the actual test is when we are with a known person and we might be completely okay with hurting them.

Empathy needs to be developed from within and the meditation is the most credible way to do so. Let’s see how meditation helps develop empathy-

  • Through meditation, we can actually train our brain to respond in a compassionate and empathetic way. Scientifically talking, meditation activates the “compassion” area of the brain. When the brain is scanned during meditation, the “empathy” area of the brain (anterior insular cortex) lights up significantly.
  • Meditation helps enhance awareness, of the self and for others, which helps us in stepping in other people’s shoes and looking past us. It helps us to look from other people’s perspectives by evoking feelings like compassion, love and understanding.
  • It helps you to decode other people’s feelings and connect with them on a better level. It gradually trains your brain to be empathetic by feeding it patience, compassion and love.
  • Meditation helps you to be in the now and perceive situations non-judgmentally. When you are nowful, you respond to situations rather than reacting to it. 

But all this only happens when you awaken yourself and broaden your awareness.  Meditation is a tried and tested practice for achieving this goal. Remember the world needs empathy and compassion and we can fulfill our part by feeding it with what it needs the most right now.

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