By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. View our Privacy Policy for more information.

40 Seconds of Compassion

Did you know that it only takes 40 seconds of compassion to lower another person's anxiety in a measurable way?
Joni Peddie
May 27, 2024
min read
40 Seconds of Compassion

A groundbreaking study conducted by researchers at Johns Hopkins University has revealed the profound impact that a simple act of compassion can have on reducing anxiety levels.

The researchers designed an innovative experiment involving pairs of participants. One participant was instructed to deliver a speech while the other listened attentively. During the speech, the listener was prompted to either engage in compassionate behaviour or maintain a neutral demeanour. Compassionate behavior involved making eye contact, nodding, and expressing understanding through verbal affirmations and body language. Remarkably, the study found that when the listener exhibited compassionate behavior for just 40 seconds, the speaker's anxiety levels, as measured by physiological markers such as heart rate and cortisol levels, decreased significantly.

The Neuroscience Behind Compassion
Neuroscientific evidence suggests that “compassion” activates specific regions in the brain associated with emotional regulation and stress reduction. When we experience compassion from others, our brain releases oxytocin, a hormone known for its calming and bonding effects, which can counteract the physiological responses associated with anxiety.

Furthermore, compassionate interactions foster a sense of social support and connection, which has been shown to buffer against the negative impacts of stress and anxiety.

By feeling understood and accepted, individuals are better able to regulate their emotions and cope with challenging situations.

While I was working in Abu Dhabi last week, and was mindful of incorporating simple acts of compassion into my daily interactions. By doing this intentionally we can create a more supportive environment ... with our clients, who may be culturally very different from 'us'.
#BeCurious #BeCompassionate!

In our personal and professional relationships, practicing compassion can foster stronger connections, improve understanding and enhance communication!

Thank you @SixSeconds for sharing the study from Johns Hopkins University.

By taking just 40 seconds to truly listen, validate, and express understanding, we can create a ripple effect of emotional healing and support.

In a world often characterized by stress and disconnection, I welcomed reading this research, which offers a simple yet profound solution: embrace compassion, and witness the remarkable impact it can have on the well-being of those around us!


Do you need help re-energising your life and career?
Yes please!