Loving kindness meditation, or metta.
First, as all forms of meditation, it is an attention management practice. When meditation, we focus our attention on a chosen object, in this case on specific positive ideas. It gives you a break from your daily anxieties, to see your own usual view of the world as if from the distance, to experience both physical and mental relaxation and peacefulness that positive thoughts create and to strengthen capability to maintain focus on a chosen object. Meditation as a wide range of various benefits that last long beyond the session itself, and regular meditation has even more of the positive effect.
Specifically this loving kindness meditation invites you to focus on the unconditional love towards yourself and others. This meditation does not have any fixed goals or achievements, besides the experience itself. So it cannot be "successful" or "unsuccessful". The core of this meditation - wishing love, kindness, health, prosperity, success. One of the suggested forms is visualising one person in the world that loves you unconditionally, real or imagined, saying these wishes to you - "may you be strong, may you be safe, may you be loved, may you feel love to yourself and to others, may you be at peace, may you be free and have strength to accept and forgive". There is no mandatory text for this meditation, really, it can be something that you are used to say or would really like to hear. Later you can imagine a vision of yourself saying the same wishes to you, or imagine other people, groups or even the whole universe and wishing them love and kindness. While meditating, focus on what these words mean to you, when you say them sincerely, how and where you experience them in your body and in your mind. Do not try to argue with the words, as this is not the intellectual practice of reality. Just experience the wishes.
Several studies that already "tested" whether loving kindness meditation actually "works":
- even few daily minutes of loving kindness meditation increase feelings of social connection and positivity(1,5)
- loving kindness meditation strengthens focus, social support, clarifies purpose of life and decreases symptoms of various illnesses (2), also symptoms of PTSD and depression (3), helps to manage pain, anger and psychological distress related to pain (4)
- meditation can also help you to better manage conflicts and perhaps even boost your creativity (6)
Oh well, just try it. You will find records in Youtube or Spotify, or in Headspace app. A sample to start you off: https://youtu.be/0H20wUUo2-c
My name is Monika, I am health and nutrition psychologist. I help to deal with daily and difficult questions about behavior, thinking, emotions. I write, teach and provide psychological counselling. Book my talk to discuss mindfulness.
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My name is Monika, I am health and nutrition psychologist. I help to deal with daily and difficult questions about behavior, thinking, emotions. I write, teach and provide psychological counselling. Book my talk to know more about psychology of cleaning!
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