Recovery, whether from mental illness or addiction, is challenging. You’re letting go of everything you thought you knew about your life and embracing the change that is necessary to become a better version of yourself. There are many factors that can add benefit to one’s recovery: social support, engagement in treatment, utilization of tools learned in therapy, and more. Positive empathy, also known as the ability to share, celebrate, and enjoy others’ positive emotions, is a phenomenon that has been shown to bolster individual well-being. By engaging in positive empathy, you not only strengthen your relationships with others, but you feel more positive and hopeful for yourself.
First, what are some examples of positive empathy?
- “Today, I felt happy that something good happened to someone I know.”
- “Today, I felt excited when I saw someone else succeed.”
- “I’m really happy for you.”
- “Wow, this is great news!”
A 2015 paper published in the journal Social and Personality Psychology Compass sought to understand previous literature on positive empathy and found that individuals with mental disorders such as mania, depression, social anxiety, autism spectrum, and psychopathy receive a plethora of benefits in recovery by engaging in positive empathy, such as:
- Relationship satisfaction
- Spending on others
- Emotional support
- Tangible assistance
- Positive affect
- Life satisfaction
You can employ positive empathy by placing more of your focus on being genuinely happy for other people. In many cases, this shows others that you truly care about them and, in return, leads to improved social connections to provide more richness and meaning to your life. Whether you’re struggling with mental illness or addiction, positive empathy can benefit your recovery by helping you focus on the positives of other people’s lives, even if you may feel less confident about the positives of your own.
Avalon Malibu is a world-renowned, California state-licensed mental health and substance abuse recovery center. If you are ready to seek treatment to develop the tools you need to overcome life’s obstacles and be on the road towards happiness, health, and well-being, contact us today at 855-668-9094 for a consultation. It’s never too late, and there are people here ready to help you.