Managing our mental health part 2 - empathy and appreciation

19 Aug 2023

In my last Post on 5 August I wrote part one of MOMH about Resilience.

Today I want to discuss another two personality traits that may help in managing our mental health: Empathy and ,nmAppreciation. 


It is an obvious fact that we cannot live in total isolation. We are naturally social beings and need to get on well with some of our family, friends etc. It follows that our mood can be greatly affected by the behaviour of others. We can decide what we need to do to help our mental health but the interaction with other people may change how we feel and make a difference to our mood.

It helps if we know more about the behaviour of others; what makes them tick. This where empathy comes in. The word literally translates as “in feeling” and the common meaning is “the ability to share someone else’s feelings and experiences by imagining what it would be like to be in that persons situation”.

I have to admit empathy was not part of my vocabulary during the early part of my life. However in the last few years my understanding has grown and I now realise what an important personality aspect it is.

Research suggests empathy can be cultivated by mixing with more people that are different from ourselves and also by reading novels. Some of the suggested benefits are:

- Stronger relationships. Take time to listen to others without passing judgment

- An overall happiness boost. Empathy is one of the most deeply appreciated human qualities.

- Higher emotional intelligence. It increases our ability to be aware of our emotions and handle personal relationships.   

(Thanks to Headspace)


It is important to appreciate as many things as possible. It is easy to overlook small everyday occurrences. Sometimes as we age we regret the things we can longer do. So it becomes even more vital that we notice all things that we can still enjoy and don’t take things for granted. A personal example: I can’t play badminton any longer but get so much enjoyment from playing crown green bowls. In fact the bowling is the more sociable activity.

As well as everything around us we should endeavour to appreciate ourselves. Our capabilities are incredible. You only have to consider what the brain, body and mind can achieve. Wow!

And we are all unique individuals. Never underestimate yourself. Always appreciate what you bring to this world. It is beneficial to take a few quiet minutes and think honestly about your personality strengths. If you can’t think of many, your friends will quickly supply a few answers.

With this appreciation comes self respect. This leads to self compassion which is a vital component of managing our mental health. A few benefits are:          

- Internal sense of happiness.

- Upholding personal values.

- Establishing personal boundaries.

In my next post (Part 3) I will conclude with the fourth personality trait for managing our mental health.   


A Moodscope member

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Moodscope members seek to support each other by sharing their experiences through this blog. Posts and comments on the blog are the personal views of Moodscope members, they are for informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice.

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