loving kindness meditation

What is A Loving Kindness Meditation?

By Annette Young | Monday Monday Staff -    2018-04-01

The name, ‘loving kindness meditation’ conjures up a warm nurturing style and this meditation really delivers. It provides numerous benefits increasing emotional intelligence, boosting health and well-being. It is a great meditation if you have unresolved issues and struggle with emotional health and compassion. 

loving kindness meditation

Emotional health

A loving kindness meditation helps to reduce any negative emotions experienced while promoting positivity instead. As such, it boosts inner harmony while projecting kindness and compassion towards others. There is a focus on contentment and on gratitude as well as the expression of love and joy. Once you have interconnected with these emotions and practice this meditation regularly, you’ll find that additional benefits i.e. mindfulness and developing a greater purpose in life also takes place. A loving kindness meditation also increases feelings of confidence and self-esteem.

Physical health

All meditation styles help with emotional and physical health. A loving kindness meditation promotes such positive healing energy that it has a nurturing effect on mind, body and spirit. It reduces headaches and migraines simply because it alleviates any emotional tension that may be associated with this type of pain. Where there are unresolved unhealthy emotions, this meditation helps to reduce deeply-rooted feelings of anger which can manifest into uncontrolled rage or, at the least, cause inner harm.

If you have been experiencing chronic pain for a period of time, it helps to reduce the underlying issues which may be causing psychological distress resulting in the manifestation of pain. It can also help reduce feelings of depression and even those symptoms associated with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

loving kindness meditation

A loving kindness meditation equals less stress

If you practice this meditation style for approximately ten minutes a day, it has been proven to have a relaxing effect on the whole body. It slows respiration and affects the parasympathetic cardiac control and has a direct correlation with the length of the telomeres which impact how we age. This halts the degradation of the telomeres and can lengthen them naturally. This means you are literally turning back the anti-aging clock.

Become a better person

A loving kindness meditation balances your own emotions and helps to improve the positive aspects of your personality. This naturally makes you kinder and more helpful to others. It increases levels of empathy and compassion.

Reduces self-criticism

Many people find themselves being self-critical but regular practice of this type of meditation will alter this. As a result, it improves positive emotions associated with self. This is really important because negative self-talk can be extremely harmful and even impact life in a far-reaching manner.

How do you practice a loving kindness meditation?

To be able to practice a loving kindness meditation, you have to understand what unconditional love is and to let it fill you up. Then, you generate compassion for others.

Sit in a comfortable position and make sure your whole body is feeling relaxed. Before you start, take two or three deep breaths focusing just on the inhalation and feel the cool air entering the nostrils and filling the lungs. On the exhalation, imagine warm air leaving the body and feel the energy depleting from your lungs. By focusing just on the breath, you let go of any concerns. Once you have done this, imagine that your breath is moving through the heart area, replenishing it and healing.

Extend this feeling

Once you have achieved this, you focus these feelings on yourself. Explore deep, nurturing emotions and then extend them, projecting them onto someone else. It helps if you choose a subject who you have warm feelings towards. Then, once you have achieved this successfully, project these feelings towards groups of people and gradually, extended outwards so that you finally project these warm, positive emotions to everyone you know. This includes anyone who may have hurt you, who may have generated difficult to control emotions within or even those that you may fear.

loving kindness meditation

Your starting point

So, it makes sense to learn how to generate deep feelings compassion and love towards yourself first of all. Use very specific words to help you to promote an insight these types of emotions.

May I be happy and well. May I be safe, peaceful and at ease.

Next, focus on and extend these types of statements towards a friend, family member or perhaps a child. Focus full intent and loving the motions towards others while placing great emphasis on the words. Then, move onto someone that you do not have any particular feelings toward. This is called a neutral target. Repeat these words. 

May you be happy and free from stress. May you be safe and free from harm.

Gradually, you project these types of feelings towards those who may have hurt you. There are numerous reason as how they may have upset you, perhaps through betrayal or it could be physical or even emotional abuse. This can make it very difficult to extend warm feelings and it may seem impossible to forgive them. But, by doing so, you free yourself from harmful negative emotions that could be trapped inside. When you master projecting warm loving emotions towards these people, you know that the past is behind you and you have moved beyond a point where they could hurt you.

Mindfulness Helps Our Brain Deal with Sadness

Say these statements with purpose

Your full attention must be targeted. Exude feelings of warmth. Embrace these feelings, interact with them, develop them as you continue to repeat each statement. If it helps, you can visualize these feelings growing and expanding within. This helps to reinforce your intention.

Once you have managed this, you offer up your compassion and love to the whole world. Try to visualize this as an energy and light that shines from you and one that reaches out and touches everyone around the world.

Summary

A loving kindness meditation may feel incredibly difficult to master initially and yes, it does take a lot of concentration and determination. It is however, well worth the effort so persevere as you gain so much from a regular practice. It frees you from any deeply-buried emotions, confusion and emotional turmoil and this can be liberating in itself. A loving kindness meditation enables you to tap into an emotion so powerful that it has the ability to reach others on a worldwide basis. Why not try it today?

 

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Annette Young

http://annettejyoung.com

Annette Young has been working as a professional writer for approximately 14-years and is passionate about the written word. She is the author of 18-books in her own name and has ghost-written numerous books for clients worldwide.

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