How stress can actually be good for you

Discover the surprising link between stress and empathy for better stress management and wellbeing.

The upside of stress: How it can enhance your empathy

Learn how stress isn't all bad—discover how it can actually make you more empathetic and improve your emotional wellbeing.

Discover the surprising link between stress and empathy for better stress management and wellbeing.

Stress can make you more empathic

The unexpected link between stress and empathy

Stress often gets a bad rap, but did you know that stress can make you more empathetic? This intriguing connection has far-reaching implications for human wellbeing and quality of life. In this article, we'll delve into the science behind this phenomenon, explore the concept of emotional fitness, and offer healthier alternatives for managing stress. By better understanding the role stress plays in empathy, we can make more informed decisions in our emotional lives.

Managing Stress Through Emotional Fitness

The production of the hormone oxytocin during acute stress encourages social bonding and makes us more empathetic. However, chronic stress has the opposite effect, potentially leading to a decrease in empathy and an increased risk of chronic diseases. Enter emotional fitness, a holistic approach that teaches individuals how to manage stress effectively and attend to its emotional consequences, such as increased or decreased empathy. Emotional fitness offers tools and strategies, especially within the 'Relating' pillar, for navigating the intricate relationship between stress and empathy. By enhancing our interpersonal skills, we improve not only our response to stress but also our empathic abilities.

Take proactive steps

To navigate the complex relationship between stress and empathy, consider taking 5th Place's complimentary stress test. Understanding your stress levels can equip you with the knowledge to make healthier emotional choices. By addressing stress through the lens of emotional fitness, you can manage its impact on your empathetic responses effectively.


The relationship between stress and empathy is nuanced, and understanding it can provide valuable insights into human behaviour and wellbeing.

Questions people often ask

Does stress make you less empathetic?

Acute stress can increase empathy due to the release of oxytocin. Chronic stress, however, can have the opposite effect.

Can stress make you more emotional?

Yes, stress triggers the hormone cortisol, which can heighten emotional responses.

What is emphatic stress?

Empathic stress is the stress one feels as a result of perceiving another person's stress.

Emotional fitness offers a holistic approach to managing this dynamic, enabling us to make healthier emotional choices. By proactively understanding and managing our stress levels, we're not only enhancing our emotional fitness but also enriching our interpersonal relationships.

Be sure to read our other articles which also highlight the relationships between our every day lives and the unsuspecting impacts stress has on them. From sweetening your diet to hindering your taste - we've seen, heard and dealt with it all. You can find more reading by following this link.


About the author

5th Place

5th Place is a dynamic organization that's passionate about emotional fitness. We're the creators of Shape of Emotion, a revolutionary tool that's changing the way we understand and manage our emotions. But we're not just about theory - we're about practical, tangible change.

We offer Emotional Fitness Classes and courses that help individuals, from children to adults, build emotional resilience and well-being. For our younger audience, we've created the Vibarealm, a vibrant universe that encourages a healthier interaction with emotions.

Join us on this journey to emotional fitness and let's make the world a better place together.

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