Saturday, April 17, 2021

Learning to hold the uncomfortable feelings of others lightly and with kindness to prevent compassion fatigue

It’s not uncommon to see folks struggle when they fuse with the uncomfortable feelings of others. So fused that they may take on the uncomfortable feeling as their own, or react to them with anxiety, helplessness, or even hopelessness. Of course, this is great for empathy, but it’s a sure recipe for “compassion fatigue” in the long run.

In Acceptance Commitment Therapy ACT, we can learn to hold these uncomfortable feelings more lightly, and with kindness, care and compassion like holding a crying child, and use that to guide action.

We allow others to feel how they feel, and with support, care, and kindness, they too may learn to hold their uncomfortable feelings more lightly, and with care and kindness. Then in time, we may be able to shift uncomfortable feelings like shifting gears rather than being emotionally reactive, for more effective actions.

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