Empathy is a vital human ability that lets us connect with others and feel less alone. Here’s how to practice it daily.
We hear a lot about “empathy” these days. It seems to be having a trending moment, and for good reason. Quite simply, empathy is the ability to understand and feel the emotions and experiences of someone else. Why is empathy so important? It helps us to think outside of our own perspective, feel less alone, and understand other people in deeper and more meaningful ways. When we live our lives with empathy, we are less inclined to write people off, express rage or hold grudges, and isolate. We begin to understand that everyone is coming from his or her own life experience. Whether we agree with someone or not, the ability to empathize it deeply important in our collective human evolution. In recovery, empathy can help us forgive, release anger and fear, and experience deeper love and understanding for ourselves and others. While the idea of empathy is quite compelling, it’s sometimes difficult to know how to employ it in everyday life.
One of the simplest ways to develop empathy is to truly listen to other people. Oftentimes, we are so wrapped up in our own opinion or drama that we aren’t taking the time to turn off our judgments and listen with compassion and openness to the feelings of others. Additionally, it’s important to remain openminded and try to suspend some of your own judgments or preconceived notions. The key to empathy is to examine some of our own longstanding beliefs and release them so that we can see others more clearly, unclouded by our own judgment. Lastly, practice treating everyone you come in contact with as important, worthy, and deserving of your attention. We can learn a lot from other people and other people often need a helping hand or a listening ear. When we start to move through the world with an open mind, eager to listen to other people and their experiences, our worlds and hearts begin to open up.
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, call us today at 844-857-5992 for a consultation. It’s never too late, and there are people here ready to help you – it’s never too late to begin taking steps towards a happier, healthier life.