Compassion Fatigue: The Signs + Solutions

This podcast (episode #559) and blog is a recent replay of a Neurolive webinar I did on my app for my 2024 Brain Detox Challenge on the truth behind compassion fatigue. For more information on joining this challenge and watching my most recent webinars, see

The media often presents a picture that our society has a major compassion crisis, with a particularly brutal daily news cycle taking its toll on our reserves of sympathy. But the truth is that, although we have an unlimited supply of compassion, these reserves can get temporarily “dampened” to the point that we feel emotionless when faced with suffering. This is why occasionally disengaging to recharge the mind and brain is not only a good thing, but also healthy. We are not designed to be “on” or emotionally available all the time. 

However, this doesn’t mean we should not be compassionate. Indeed, losing any sense of concern for others over the longer term is bad for our wellbeing. Research shows that when we increase our empathy and compassion, and when we help others, we improve our health and boost our own healing!

There is no doubt that the ongoing, brutal news cycle, and the stress of daily life can put us at risk of exhaustion and deplete our resources, but we don’t need to reduce our empathy or compassion to recover. Instead, we need to recharge, set self-boundaries and carry on developing our compassion and ability to connect with others, which is ingrained in our humanity and an important part of our wellbeing. 

Research shows that if we think the brain is going to run out of resources when we are too empathic, this tends to create a self-fulfilling prophecy. However, we increase our resilience when we are more compassionate, and this can boost our brain and mental health!  

It is important to remember that our beliefs and mindsets powerfully influence how we behave  and what we are capable of. Rather than seeing compassion as our enemy or something that drains us, we need to learn how to balance empathy and compassion with recharging our mind and brain.

Suggested reading: 

For more on compassion fatigue, listen to my podcast (episode #559). If you enjoy listening to my podcast, please consider leaving a 5-star review and subscribing. And keep sharing episodes with friends and family and on social media. (Don’t forget to tag me so I can see your posts!).         

This podcast is sponsored by: 

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Podcast Highlights 

2:03 Is compassion fatigue real?

3:20 What happens when we are constantly exposed to suffering

5:30 Compassion & empathy are unlimited 

8:00 How helping others heals us 

9:20, 15:52 The importance of rest & recharging 

This podcast and blog are for educational purposes only and are not intended as medical advice. We always encourage each person to make the decision that seems best for their situation with the guidance of a medical professional.

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