How mindfulness training helps build a foundational social and emotional skill
I wanted to reflect a bit on empathy and mindfulness. Humans are social beings and positive relationships are important for our happiness. Empathy is a capacity that allows us to understand the minds of others and to resonate emotionally with those states
Empathy forms a cornerstone of social cooperation.
Mindfulness as Self-Empathy
You’re probably familiar with the saying, “to stand in someone else’s shoes.” That is an aspect of empathy. However, before we stand in someone else’s shoes, we first need to know what it’s like to stand in our own shoes! With mindfulness, we learn to truly stand in our own shoes. From this perspective, mindfulness is a practice ofself–empathy. This kind of self-awareness allows us to develop empathic connections to others.5
As we experience the landscape of our inner life with more detail and richness, our ability to understand the inner lives of others expands.
Written by Matthew Brensilver