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Empowering Reading: Compassionomics

Book Review: Compassionomics

From time-to-time, as we find useful and empowering books filled with advice for living a happier life -- in this case, making the case for more compassion in healthcare -- we will share them with you.

Compassionomics: The Revolutionary Scientific Evidence That Caring Makes a Difference, by Stephen Trzeciak and Anthony Mazzarelli.

Reviewed by Randall Hansen, Ph.D.

One simple change in all of us could have a MAJOR impact on the physical and psychological health of the world!

Is compassion the wonder "drug" the authors suggest? The book provides some strong evidence in building the case for the power of compassion.

While the authors of Compassionomics make the case for more compassion in healthcare, that model could extend to every person, every industry, every situation.

Compassion heals.. and caring makes a HUGE difference (for ourselves... and others).

The authors define empathy as the feeling -- and compassion as the action as a result of empathy. In order to act with compassion, we must first feel empathy.

The book sets the stage with discussion of research that shows more Americans are "becoming significantly more self-focused and less other-focused."

Amazingly, the authors share a Pew Research Center that found that one-third of Americans do not consider compassion for others to be among their "core values."

Finally, the book makes the case for the healthcare profession to ramp up the focus and importance of empathy and compassionate actions among everyone who interacts with patients.

Gathering previous research throughout the medical literature, the authors share the proven benefits of compassion.

Physical Health Benefits of Compassion

  • builds trust
  • calms physiological response to stress
  • lowers blood pressure
  • reduces perception of pain
  • reduces migraine headache pain and IBS abdominal pain
  • improves quality of life in palliative care
  • improves endocrine function
  • helps wounds heal faster
  • improves symptoms of common cold

Psychological Health Benefits of Compassion

Compassion can...
  • relieve psychological, psychogenic pain
  • alleviate anxiety
  • reduce chronic inflammation
  • alleviate distress; improve quality of life
  • makes the unbearable bearable

Final Thoughts About Compassion and Compassionomics

From the world of trauma literature, we know that people deep in trauma, deep in unregulated emotions -- including many in the medical field that deal with trauma daily -- cannot manage their emotions and emotional reactions... resulting in lowering their ability to feel empathy for others, thus lowering their ability to show compassion.

That said, the authors make the case for helping medical personnel deal with burnout (which perhaps is partly a result of the trauma they face)... and doing so with compassion; the book makes the case for healthcare management to change practices to better support ALL healthcare professionals -- which will then result in better care for patients.

Perhaps the one missing element here is HOW health management can support healthcare professionals with their self-care... perhaps with empathy workshops/courses? Perhaps also offering healing sessions for all -- including, perhaps, EMDR, DBT, meditation, breathwork.

Finally, if you ever doubted the need for empathy and compassion, this work will set you straight. Compassion is a no-cost, minimal time commitment practice with massive benefits.

Best statistic in the book: "Forty seconds of compassion can save a life."

EmpoweringSites.com CEO Dr. Randall Hansen Dr. Randall Hansen is an advocate, educator, mentor, ethicist, and thought-leader... helping the world heal from past trauma. He is founder and CEO of EmpoweringSites.com, a network of empowering and transformative Websites, including EmpoweringAdvice.com.

He is the author of the groundbreaking Triumph Over Trauma: Psychedelic Medicines are Helping People Heal Their Trauma, Change Their Lives, and Grow Their Spirituality and the well-received HEAL! Wholeistic Practices to Help Clear Your Trauma, Heal Yourself, and Live Your Best Life.

Dr. Hansen's focus and advocacy center around true healing ... healing that results in being able to live an authentic life filled with peace, joy, love. Learn more by visiting his personal Website, RandallSHansen.com. You can also check out Dr. Randall Hansen on LinkedIn.


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