Here is a summary of the key points from the article:
New research found a link between empathy and inflammation, suggesting empathy may come with a biological cost.
The study analyzed data from a large, nationally representative longitudinal study tracking adolescents into adulthood.
Higher empathy levels were associated with higher inflammation marker levels 8 years later, but only for people with low depressive symptoms.
The findings suggest for non-depressed people, empathy may contribute to higher inflammation, which is linked to chronic diseases.
The study had limitations like using a single empathy measure and self-reported depression data.
More research is needed on the pathways linking empathy and inflammation, such as stress or intermediary biological processes.
The findings imply caring deeply for others may have health costs for some individuals, despite empathy being a valued trait.
Those of us with high empathy capacity as a gift require skillful emotional awareness and ways of tending to these feelings/energies without being inflamed or depressed by them.
As a child I was “schooled” in IQ-related skills. (Although honestly the schooling sucked for actually benefitting my gift of mental intelligence!)
What about EQ? What about the real skill of using our empathy to co-regulate, to bring circles together and hold (and maintain) we-spaces that serve all members?
It’s why I started the Circle so long ago. i wanted and needed and craved the Practice of circle tending. It’s isn’t an “obvious” skill based on what I see modeled almost anywhere in “popular” culture. Yet, for empaths who possess the gift of generous heartistry, to me it is far more essential to cultivate emotional skill than IQ.
What has been your experience?