Interpreting the expressions of others correctly improves understanding and this in turn boosts empathy.
A recent study found that meditation helped understand the feelings of others and improved empathy.
A team at Emory University evaluated the form of meditation called Cognitively-Based Compassion Training (CBCT).
For eight weeks, 13 subjects had weekly meetings where they were taught nuances of meditation, instruction, guided meditation and group discussions.
Before the study began, researchers evaluated participants' ability to empathize with others by showing them photographs of people making various expressions. At the same, time they underwent fMR imaging of their brains to measure neural activity.
The study showed that participants who had practiced eight weeks of meditation clearly portrayed marked improvement in their ability to identify the expressions in the photographs, this was also evident in increased activity in specific parts of their brains. It was quite the opposite among those in the control group.
Cognitively-Based Compassion Training can actually help build one's empathic abilities.