Search
Search
Generic filters

Ready to change your life?Start Now! Contact Us

Extending Kindness and Compassion to Ourselves and Others

June 14, 2021

By Duke Health & Well-Being Programs Team

The positive experiences of social connection, caring relationships, and community are linked to happiness, resiliency, and well-being.56,57 At times we find ourselves in situations where we are unable to affect a change or make a difference in our own or someone else’s life. The ancient practice of loving-kindness meditation (also known as “metta” meditation) focuses on developing feelings of goodwill, kindness, and warmth – feelings that
we do have the ability to control. Loving-kindness meditation serves as one way to take a pause, relieve stress, and to extend kindness and compassion to ourselves and others.

Loving-kindness meditation serves as one way to take a pause, relieve stress, and to extend kindness and compassion to ourselves and others.

IMPACT and SUPPORT

Research has shown routinely practicing loving-kindness mediation can induce the relaxation response and increase feelings of love, joy, hope, well-being, compassion and social connection. 58-64 It has also been shown to decrease emotional tension and symptoms of depression and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).65

PRACTICE CONSIDERATIONS

This practice is appropriate for any location at any time of the day. Loving-kindness meditation can be practiced seated or lying down, with the eyes closed or open with a soft downward gaze. Classically, the meditation is practiced using 6 categories and 4 phrases.

SCRIPT

  • Start by sitting or lying down in a comfortable position. You may choose to close your eyes or have a soft downward gaze.
  • Relax the breath by taking three slow, deep breaths. First, direct your mind toward a loved one.
  • Bring their image to mind, the way that you feel around them, think of the gifts they bring to your life.
  • Silently repeat the following phrases directed towards this person:

May he/she be happy
May he/she be healthy
May he/she be peaceful
May he/she be safe

If these phrases do not resonate with you, feel free to choose other phrases that speak more clearly to what you want for this person. You may repeat these phrases several times directed towards this person. When you feel complete, let the image or sense of this person fade.

Repeat the above using some or all of the following categories:

• Teacher or mentor who has had a positive influence in your life
• A neutral person such as a grocery store clerk or a neighbor or someone at work
• A difficult or challenging person
• Yourself
• All people and beings

End the practice when you feel complete.

MIND-BODY TOOLKIT | CULTIVATING RESILIENCY
C o p y r i g h t © 2 0 1 7 D u k e I n t e g r a t i v e M e d i c i n e

SUGGESTED POSTS

Healthier Baking: Seven Easy Substitutions for More Nutritious Baked Goods

By Erin Hancock, MPH/RD student at UNC-Chapel Hill, Dietetic Intern at the Duke Lifestyle & Weight Management Center and supervised by Christine Tenekjian, MPH, RDN, LDN Baking can be a fun, delicious, and a stress-relieving hobby to take up while many of us are spending more time at home. The only ...

READ MORE

How to Tell the Difference between Emotional and Physiological Hunger

By Akemi Huynh, Student of Nutritional Sciences at North Carolina Central University with the supervision of the Duke Lifestyle & Weight Management Center Nutrition Team Do you ever open the refrigerator door and stand there looking for something to eat? And then suddenly you wonder if you’re hungry? Before we make ...

READ MORE

Quick-Practice Well-Being Pocket Skills

By: Duke Integrative Medicine Psychotherapy Team It is natural to feel afraid, exhausted and overwhelmed as we continue to navigate these uncharted waters of life during a pandemic. Maintaining mobility in our bodies and a sense of connection to self and others will help us to ride the waves of ...

READ MORE
BACK TO POSTS

For more information about

Duke Integrative Medicine and our various services and programs, please join our mailing list.


error: Content is protected !!