HELPLESSNESS – EMPATHY FATIGUE
COVID has caused tremendous suffering through illness, death, financial loss and isolation. It is natural to feel empathy for those who are suffering and this can lead to a sense of helplessness and to empathy fatigue.
In response to this difficult situation we tend to catastrophize, dramatize and ruminate. This triggers the flight or fight response and our adrenaline levels rise. The stories leave us with a sense of hopelessness and fear which can prevent us from doing the things that can help us nurture ourselves.
How meditation Helps
- Long Slow Breath – triggers the relaxation response.
- Focus and concentration – decreases the dramatizations and gets us out of our fears of the future and regrets about the past into the present moment.
- Awareness – We develop the awareness that helps us be able to:
- Recognize – When we feel helpless.
- Regulate – Refocus our attention to things that nurture us and our energies to activities that heal us, such as mindfulness practices, compassion and gratitude.
Which mediation technique should you use?
The guided meditation had several different phases, each with a special purpose. What approach is best for you at this moment depends upon your personal preferences and how calm you are when you start the meditation. The following meditation goes through many phases:
- Long slow breath – to trigger the relaxation response.
- Counting – slows down the thinking minding.
- Felt sense of the breath. – keeps you in present moment awareness
- Compassion and Gratitude practices – this can nurture you and help you to cultivate a sense of well-being. Sometimes the best thing we can do is just deeply and fully wish well for others and be grateful for all that people who care and the advantages that we have.
Sometimes you don’t need to count to slow down the mind. You will know what is best by practicing and seeing what works for you.
Breath - Focus and Compassion
Meditation is a way not the way! Other things can help us also:
- Physical exercise – adrenaline.
- Rituals – New York – 7 PM – honoring the health care workers
Coping With Stress Meditation
Long slow breath
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