Gratitude as a gateway to empathy
I believe gratitude is one of the best preventative medicines for our overall wellbeing. In fact, many of its benefits have been scientifically proven.
One of those benefits is enhanced empathy. There are two reasons I believe expressing appreciation to others helps us get in a posture of empathy.
First, it shifts our focus outward. It reframes our current reality in the context of others and helps us see different perspectives.
Second, gratitude trains our brain to notice the good in others and their actions. It helps us assume good intent and makes us more observant of what others are doing or experiencing.
So if you’re struggling to show empathy today, perhaps take 5–10 minutes to write a thank you note/email/text (could be to someone completely unrelated to the situation you’re dealing with).
Gratitude empowers us with the perspective and grace to empathize.