For today's challenge, try a loving kindness meditation!
Why try a loving kindness meditation?
With love and kindness meditation comes self-compassion, increased focus and attention, and a deep sense of emotional strength that balance our thoughts and actions.
Why does loving kindness meditation make us happier?
Loving kindness meditation regulates the limbic portion of our brain which controls our emotions and capacity for empathy. Long-time practitioners demonstrate higher levels of inner joy than those who do not practice loving kindness. Loving kindness meditation has been shown to enhance emotional regulation, reduce stress, decrease self-criticism, create more positive outlook, create more social connections at work, increase motivation and much more!
Empathy has long been recognized as one of the most important leadership skills, and loving kindness meditation helps to build this skill. This practice will also help leaders regulate their emotions so they can maintain a level head in volatile situations. Leaders will also benefit from the productivity boost and positive outlook that will motivate team members.
How can you do it?
In it's most basic form,
Picture someone that you feel a lot of warm feelings for.
Repeat kind words such as “May you be calm,” “May you be happy,” “May you be healthy." You can use other expressions that are meaningful for you and you can find ideas by a quick google search.
Focus on the warm feelings.
Expand your practice to picture people you have neutral feelings about to those you have negative feelings about and even yourself.
It is important to start with someone who naturally brings joy to your heart and to savor that feeling, because you want to be able to pass that same feeling to those you currently don't feel that way towards (including yourself!!). This practice is especially helpful when you are struggling in a relationship with someone or suffer from a lot of self-criticism. It will help you develop compassion and empathy.
There are many guided meditations to help you. You can start with one from Calm which is also an app you can subscribe to.
I recommend the following apps which are subscription based and allow you to choose which type of meditation you want to do:
Give loving kindness meditation a try today!
Chowdhury, Roy. “What Is Loving-Kindness Meditation? (Incl. 4 Scripts + Youtube Videos).” PositivePsychology.com, 27 July 2019, positivepsychology.com/loving-kindness-meditation/. Accessed 18 Aug. 2022.