Dr. Rick Hanson presents a FREE 7-part video series -- The Compassionate Brain - that explores effective ways to change your brain and heart and life.
Each week, October 8 - November 19, Dr. Hanson will be joined by a world-class scholar/teacher, including Richie Davidson, Dan Siegel, Tara Brach, Dachar Keltner, Kelly McGonigal, Kristin Neff, and Jean Houston. They'll discuss different ways to use the power of neuroplasticity—how the mind can change the brain to transform the mind—to open the heart, build courage, find compassion, forgive oneself and others, and heal the world.
The word empathy means an affective resonance with someone else. If you are moved by the suffering of someone, even though you make a clear distinction between yourself and that person, you suffer because she suffers. You may also feel joy when she feels joy. Researchers found that a part of their brain network associated with pain is activated in subjects who watch someone being hurt.
When repeated over time, empathic resonance with others’ pain can lead to empathic distress and emotional exhaustion, or burnout. According to a study carried out in North America, 60 % of all nurses, doctors, and caregivers who are in constant contact with patients experiencing suffering have or will suffer burnout at some point in their professional life.
Compassion and selfless love are associated with positive emotions.
The American Psychological Association’s David Ballard, PsyD describes job burnout as “an extended period of time where someone experiences exhaustion and a lack of interest in things, resulting in a decline in their job performance.”
“A lot of burnout really has to do with experiencing chronic stress,” says Dr. Ballard, who is the head of the APA’s Psychologically Healthy Workplace Program. “In those situations, the demands being placed on you exceed the resources you have available to deal with the stressors.”
Left unchecked, burnout can wreak havoc on your health, happiness, relationships and job performance. In order to catch burnout and combat it early, it’s important to know what to look out for.
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