The power of empathy plays a critical role in reducing mental health stigma. Participating in Bell Let’s Talk Day on January 28 will educate you and help you become more tolerant.
Now more than ever, we need to demonstrate more empathy and kindness to others. Taking a moment to reach out to someone and really listen to them can make a world of difference to that person. Participate in Bell Let’s Talk Day, an annual initiative that raises funds for mental health and gets stronger each year. The goal is to encourage everyone to use the following 5 simple ways to end the mental health stigma and start a conversation about being more tolerant:
- language matters
- educate yourself
- be kind
- listen and ask
- talk about it
Without a doubt, each of these recommendations will make a tremendous difference in mental health awareness. They allow us to enhance our interactions with others and become more tolerant. These suggestions will strengthen our empathy, which is a vital component of emotional intelligence One of the greatest attributes an individual can possess is empathy, which is paramount to building and maintaining effective relationships.
What is empathy?
Empathy is the ability to recognize and understand others' feelings and opinions by figuratively walking in their shoes or seeing things through their eyes. As we develop empathy, we become more tolerant, have more meaningful relationships, enjoy success in the workplace, and appreciate improved well-being and quality of life.
Empathy can be learned and taught
Some of us are born with natural empathetic skills that we practice regularly; however, that certainly isn't the case with everyone. People often inquire if empathy is a skill that can be learned and if children and adults with autism spectrum conditions can be taught to empathize. The answer to both questions is yes, which is so encouraging!
Learning to accept others’ differences
When consulting with teams and individuals, one of the significant challenges I find is a lack of tolerance, particularly colleagues' inability to understand each other's perspectives and individual differences. If we can learn to place ourselves in someone else's position, we strengthen our empathy skills, enhancing mental health.
We’re more alike, my friend, than we are unalike. - Maya Angelou
There are numerous ways to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health and becoming more tolerant. We can do this by practising these behaviours:
- appreciating we are more similar to each other than different
- taking the time to listen to others to become more empathetic and compassionate
- making an effort to connect with others by starting a conversation or asking questions
- being thoughtful of how and what we communicate with others
These behaviours will educate us to be more tolerant and reduce mental health stigma. As well, they will enhance our relationships with others and increase our overall joy and happiness. For one-on-one guidance with reaching your goals, including self-development, team building, employee relationships, and more, Click here? Be sure to check out many more motivational blogs here.
This article was originally published on January 26, 2019, and has been updated (January 2021).
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