Meditation and mindfulness are huge wellness trends at the moment, and while the main focus is on Vipassana mediation (a simple focus on the in-breath and out-breath), there is another type of meditation – loving kindness meditation – that also has huge wellness benefits.
People are now shifting away from thinking of wellness as purely something physical, and are seeking our practices that can assist them mentally, emotionally, socially, and spiritually. Loving kindness meditation is the practice of extending feelings of compassion via a silent internalised mantra to yourself and others. Here's how it could help you:
It will help you to be more socially connected. Loneliness is a 21st century epidemic. More and more people are spending time behind their screens, are busy with demanding jobs, and spend less time fostering social connections. When you consider that human beings are social creatures, and the greatest thing that can be done to boost happiness levels is improve social connections, you realise that this is such an important area in the wellness spectrum. A study has found that a loving kindness practice of just a few minutes can create feelings of positive connection with other people, and it's something you can fit into your day in any quiet space.
It will help you to de-stress. Another major affliction of the 21st century is stress and anxiety. Well, another study has found that just ten minutes a day of loving kindness meditation can reduce the respiratory rate and a calm a person down. As well as this, the person will be protected against the physiological and psychological effects of social stress, and emerge from meditation with more positivity directed towards themselves. So if you dread high pressure social situations like first dates or boardroom meetings, loving kindness meditation could help you out.
It will stop you from being so self-critical. While the benefit of generating compassion for others is wonderful, it all has to start with self-compassion, and nearly all meditations begin with a silent mantra that extends kindness, peace, and health to yourself. In today's world, people are constantly presented with outrageous images of success and beauty that are not even necessarily the markers of a happy or content existence. They make people more self-critical, but a daily loving kindness meditation practice can direct more feelings of positivity inwards so you can genuinely be your best self.
If you want to engage with a robust, well-rounded wellness practice that assists in many areas of your life, start a loving kindness meditation practice today.