A great example of the powers of empathy given by a brain scientist
Dr. Bolte Taylor’s describes her experiences of receiving empathy during her own recovery from a stroke in her book. A Stoke of Insight. It is a New York Times bestseller that chronicles how a brain scientist’s own stroke led to enlightenment.
Empathy can thaw frozen expectations and change responses to create new experiences. As conceptions that create responses shift the brain’s patterns for feelings such as shame, anxiety, or irritation change.
Responses to outside stimulus are based upon left brain or right brain dominance
When there is stimulus that goes beyond windows of tolerance activities of our brain in the areas of social engagement go into the responses of fight, flight and freeze.
Some experiences when going beyond our windows of tolerance are:
- discomfort, distraction, confusion
Some actions when we’ve gone beyond out limits of tolerance:
- denying responsibility, advising, diagnosing, educating, making demands and moral judgments, blaming and comparing
Some short term emotions:
- anger, fear, yelling, violence, slamming doors, hanging up, leaving
Some long term reactions:
- overwhelmed, mortification, terror, dissociation, numbing, going into a trance, leaving your body, going deeply into confusion, being unable to feel your body, shame, not caring what happens to you
Cultivating effective emphatic responses can be learned and experienced mentally, emotionally and physically
Ways of learning and integrating empathetic responses are:
- Awareness through Communication
- Values & Empathy integration in communication transforms disconnection into connection
- Awareness through Movement
- Learned posture responses mimic tolerance or lack of tolderance and translates into unconscious behaviours
- Awareness through Environment
- Cultural patterns create habitual tolerance or lack of tolerance behaviour
- Feldenkrais Movement Benefits
- InTouch with the – Right and Left Hemispheres
- Dr. Bolte Taylor on Youtube discussing her experience.