We generally think of stress as a big, bad, disease-causing, killer. Yet mother nature didn't give us the stress response to kill us. She gave us the stress response to help us stay alive!
It is easy to understand how showing genuine compassion and helping someone who is suffering could reduce the sufferer's chronic stress. However, an additional benefit of being compassionate may also involve reducing your own stress. For example, you could be disappointed, concerned, or angry -- i.e., stressed -- about the poor performance of someone on your team. Directly taking punitive action would increase your team member's stress, and would also likely increase your own stress levels. If, however, you show compassion and intelligently work with your team member to come up with an effective solution for improving performance, then the compassionate approach is likely to reduce chronic stress not only for your team member but also for yourself.
by Dr. Firdaus S. Dhabhar:
Via Edwin Rutsch, Lawrence Buck