Experiencing empathy has its benefits. But there are also downsides and learning to practice healthy empathy matters. Broadly speaking, there are two types of empathy: cognitive empathy and emotional empathy. Emotional empathy is about sharing feelings with another to the extent that you may experience pain when watching someone in distress. Too much empathy can cause anxiety and depression, especially when prioritizing the emotions of others over our own. The effect of empathy can also have a physical effect on the body, leading to symptoms such as lowered immunity. On the other hand, cognitive empathy refers to seeing the world from another’s perspective without necessarily experiencing associated emotions. When we have more compassion and less empathy, our brain associates with positive emotions and action. The active part of compassion helps us realize that we do not need to feel another’s pain; instead, we can have the feelings of wanting to help. There are three ways to practice compassion while watching the news: practicing loving-kindness meditation, practicing self-compassion, and taking action. These ways greatly help in stopping oneself from doomscrolling on social media or news sites.

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