Build Your Empathy Muscle

Why Helping Others Can Help You More 
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Closeup shot of two unrecognizable people holding hands in comfort

Between the pandemic, the economic crisis, and the social unrest we have experienced in the last 12 months, we have seen no shortage of fellow Americans who could use a helping hand. 

While you may be tempted to turn the news off and ignore it, you could be missing out on an opportunity to empathize with those who are struggling around you—and boost your own health at the same time.  

Performing random and spontaneous acts of kindness can have a great impact on our own sense of well-being, according to new research from the American Psychological Association. Expressing kindness made one more likely to find meaning in their life, the study found.  

Here’s how to build up your empathy muscle, along with  some random acts of kindness that can change the trajectory for others, as well as yourself. 

 Show random acts of kindness by 

  • Helping a neighbor bring in their groceries
  • Paying for the person behind you in the drive-through
  • Sending a loved one a free meal via Uber Eats 
  • Leaving a 40 percent tip

 Build your empathy muscle by 

  • Being present when listening to others
  • Paying attention to body language
  • Asking follow-up questions
  • Putting yourself in someone else’s shoes


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